Monday, October 22, 2018

The new Indian traveller: More women, youngsters; many more on holiday

New Delhi: As more Indians take to foreign skies, their profiles have changed too – from corporate, business travellers, the average Indian travelling abroad is now more likely to be young, flying alone and holidaying. And very likely a woman. International air traffic from India has grown six times over the last two decades – from 1.07 million in 1997-98 to 6.06 million in 2017-18.
German airline Lufthansa now sees, among its Indian customers, more couples and women travelling in groups, compared to the mainly corporate passengers 20 years ago. British Airways says 47 per cent of their Indian women passengers now travel alone. Oman Air now carries more holidaymakers, honeymooners and corporate travellers from India to Oman than the migrant labourers the airline ferried five to six years ago.
Lubaina Sheerazi, India representative of Oman’s Ministry of Tourism, says the number of Indians arriving in Oman has gone up – from 1,87,322 in 2013 to 3,21,161 in 2017.
“In 2010, when Oman’s tourism ministry opened office in India, Oman Air had a low profile. Most of the traffic on Oman Air then was of people travelling for employment. That has changed now. Families with grown-up children, honeymooners and MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions) form a very important segment for us. Bachelorettes are now a trend – I was surprised to hear from tour operators of organised groups of 40 women travelling. They are not necessarily friends, probably people who have come together as part of group travels,” she says.
22/10/18 Pranav Mukul/Indian Express
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