Constituting a huge market, apart from the fact that they are big spenders, Indian tourists are a welcome sight in several countries across Europe and Asia. With these countries witnessing a steady increase in the number of Indian tourist arrival, the travel and hospitality industry has laid out a range of facilities for them. In fact, wooing the Indian tourists was the focus at the 22nd edition of SATTE (South Asia Travel and Tourism Exchange), South Asia’s leading travel trade show held in the Capital last week.
Around 650 exhibitors from 50 countries, including domestic and international buyers and professionals from across the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, participated in the three-day exhibition hosted by UBM India at Pragati Maidan. The international players hailed from the US, Britain, Spain, Turkey, Argentina, Fiji, New Zealand, Israel, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Japan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Macau, Korea, The Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Maldives, Bhutan and Mauritius.
"The Indian market is huge. Therefore, every country, including us, is looking at Indian tourists. In Turkey alone, we saw a 25 per cent growth in the number of Indian tourists in 2014 over the previous year," said a representative of Turkey. Other European countries, including Britain and Spain, are also eyeing the Indian tourists. A major factor, they said, was that Indians loved shopping and spent a fair amount. "Indians are good spenders, they don’t hesitate to spend money on luxury. Therefore, Indian tourists have become most sought after," said a representative from Scotland.
Echoing him, the representative from Spain, which has also witnessed a 25 per cent growth in Indian tourist arrival in year 2014, said, "Spain is very popular among Indians as a destination. Therefore, we have been witnessing a hike in the number of Indian tourists every year. Moreover, Indian tourists love to spend on luxury goods." Other countries that witnessed a rise in tourists arrivals, included Mexico, with 20 per cent, Britain with five per cent and Russia. Countries like Israel, Korea, Fiji, The Philippines, Sweden and Mexico participated for the first time at SATTE. "India is a market developing at a very high pace. They have made their presence felt all over the world. Therefore, one can’t afford to overlook Indian travelers," said a representative from Egypt.
Apart from international players, SATTE 2015 saw domestic participation from Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Lakshwadeep, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha. Apart from NTOs (National Tourism Office) and State Tourism Boards, travel and hospitality companies, DMCs (Destination Management Company), OTAs (Online Travel Agency) and tourism brands also joined the trade event.