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Experts examine Indian T&T opportunities at ATM 2024

India is rapidly emerging as a crucial source market for global tourism, driven by significant economic growth, demographic shifts, and infrastructural improvements, as highlighted on the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2024 Future Stage, as the Middle East’s leading travel and tourism event returned to the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) for its 31st year.

During the session Unlocking the True Potential of Indian Travellers, Virendra Jain, CEO and Co-Founder of VIDEC, a travel, tourism and hospitality boutique advisory and analytics firm, shared key insights, including market opportunity assessments, channel and distribution analysis, characteristics and behaviours of Indian travellers and projections of Indian outbound travel trends over the next decade.

According to VIDEC’s 2023 Indian Traveller Behaviour & Insights Report, over three-quarters of surveyed respondents prioritise travel and tourism for discretionary spending. The report also shows that 59% of Indian travellers prefer short weekend trips, and 79% choose domestic over international destinations. Of the international travellers, 84% were first-time travellers, with Thailand, the UAE and Singapore as the top destinations, chosen for their proximity, climate and cultural appeal.

Showcasing the findings of the report, which Jain co-authored with Deepak Jain, he said: “The primary motivator for these trips is the need for a break from daily life, with 33% of travellers seeking leisure escapes. Furthermore, 69% book flights well in advance, contrasting with last-minute intercity bus bookings. Coupled with India’s rising digital proficiency and infrastructural enhancements like the UDAN scheme, these trends are shaping India into a dynamic source market for global tourism, necessitating targeted engagement strategies to capitalise on this growth.”

Following the presentation, an India Market Insights Summit panel session took place on the ATM 2024 Global Stage featuring prominent speakers, including Ross Veitch, CEO & Co-Founder of Wego; Raj Rishi Singh, Chief Marketing Officer & Chief Business Officer – Corporate at MakeMyTrip; and Ankur Garg, Chief Commercial Officer at Air India Express. The speakers emphasised the strategic importance of understanding and targeting the Indian travel market with innovative and tailored marketing strategies, focusing on sectors such as air travel, hotels, rail, and intercity buses.

Commenting on the session’s impact, Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, said: “Today’s discussion on the Indian travel market highlighted the wealth of opportunities and the strategic importance of nuanced marketing approaches that cater to the unique needs of Indian travellers. This session is a cornerstone for fostering deeper understanding and cooperation between Middle East travel professionals and Indian travel enterprises.”


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