At the Brand USA Market Trends Update session held during IPW in Washington, D.C., U.S. travel suppliers heard mostly good news about the prospects for continued growth from the Number 9 overseas source market for inbound travel to the U.S. Here’s a brief outline of the presentation by Sheema Vohra, president and managing director, Sartha Marketing and Sartha Global Marketing, which is based New Delhi and represents Brand USA in India.
Current Consumer Trends in the Indian Market:
- India’s outbound travel market is expected to reach 50 million travelers by 2020.
- Growth is taking place in all segments—FIT, special interest and MICE, with FIT growing the fastest.
- Indian travelers are among the highest spenders on hotel rooms globally.
- Indian Millennials are looking for adventure, sports and entertainment.
- There is a growing demand for free and easy itineraries.
- Websites and social media rank high as travel influencers for consumers—though the travel industry gets maximum yield from traditional advertising.
- Among Indian travelers, there is a willingness to extend the duration of a holiday, spend more, explore the countryside, local art and culture and cuisine.
- Within a large segment of India’s young population, it is a generation to “connect and share.”
- There is a preference for shorter duration trips.
- Travelers prefer to be with others who have the same socio-economic background—there are regional and ethnic differences among Indians
- Be aware of dietary factors; one will find vegetarians, as well as pork or beef eaters
- “Maximizers”—those who want to get the most of their trip and their spending—are found especially among first-timers, and they are multi-destinations travelers
- Take a flexible approach with their itineraries
- Much of their trip is relationship driven; they will shop for friends and family
- Everyone is looking for value for their money—all segments, from the budget traveler to the high spenders.