When I am asked as an American what do I like best about India, one of the things I have noticed especially in Kerala is that a typical middle-class, well-educated family is well-aware of the world, global cultures, speaks multiple languages and has children that by the age of 17 have traveled to two to five countries. I would venture to say this is a ‘better global travel’ record than a typical American child in the same economic and educational bracket. There are many reasons for this, but I’d like to focus this article on the Desi (meaning Indians from India) side of the equation.
The Hindu Newspaper recently ran an article entitled "The New Desi Globetrotter" which throws much light into this topic. A few interesting insights include:
Here is a list of preferred destinations mentioned in the article:
- Macau (China)
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- South Korea
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States
- The number of families with disposable income is on the rise.
- DINKs or Double Income families with No Kids is on the rise. DINKs account for an average of two foreign travels a year; but can indulge in up to five per year.
- Indian travel agencies with attractively priced package tours coupled with lower airfares have fueled these changes. (Though this will quickly change with the recent rise in airfares.)
- “Easy loans” also available for foreign travel.
- “Experimental holidays” to atypical Indian tourist locations on the rise.
- The number of outbound Indian travelers has increased by 7 to 9 million to 13 million since 1997.
- An average rate Indians pay for hotels abroad is Rs7,000 per night (US$140). This is more than an average tourist from U.K., Germany, France and Singapore.
- Indians pay on average about US$800 (Rs.40,000) per trip which is about US$200 (Rs.10,000) than tourists from other countries.
- For at least the last seven years, Indians were the highest spending tourists in places like Malaysia and Singapore.
- One reason for high spending Indian tourists is the lure of plentiful and good quality products available abroad (aka shopping).
Images in this article are taken by the author, Jennifer Kumar. The first image is of a newspaper ad featuring trips to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Mauritius. The second image is of a world map as displayed on an Etihad flight from New York City to Abu Dhabi (UAE).
Author Jennifer Kumar is an American living in India helping resolve cross-cultural concerns between Indians and Americans to promote friendship and good working relationships. Find her on Facebook.
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