India’s tourism will become stronger with G20 presidency: Thomas Cook CMD

Domestic tourism growth in India will continue to be strong, supported by domestic flights through the country’s G20 presidency, and increasingly conferences and exhibitions being held here, according to Thomas Cook (India) Chairman and Managing Director Madhavan Menon.

On the other hand, long-distance trips abroad from India are also expected to increase with the onset of summer in Europe and the United States, he told PTI.

“Domestic tourism is here to stay and the reality is that we will see more and more activity in the domestic space without a doubt,” Menon said when asked if the strong growth in domestic tourism seen post-COVID will continue.

He added that one of the main reasons for the boom in domestic tourism is the change in consumer behavior after the pandemic, and their belief in living today and not worrying about tomorrow, along with their strong confidence in the economy.

“The pandemic has brought about a change in human behavior. You are seeing more people working from home. The tendency to spend more time with family has increased, and as a result the need to take frequent breaks is what the local market is seeing,” said Menon.

He added, “Now, I expect that earlier people took one international trip and maybe another domestic trip. Today, that has completely changed. We are now talking about multiple domestic trips, even short weekend (flights)”.

However, Menon added, “But that doesn’t detract from the fact that you will see Indians traveling short and long distances. I think we are seeing what is called a saver becoming a spender which is another important thing.”

All of this, he said, “stems from one fact and that is their confidence in the economy. And that doesn’t come from anywhere. And it’s not just the pandemic. It’s also the fact that people are confident that the economy is growing, that their jobs are safe, and they expect things to pick up from here.” .

Menon added that the rapid development of infrastructure and construction of more airports and hotels across the country is also driving the growth.

Another factor that will drive tourism in India is the country’s emergence as an economic powerhouse and hosting important global events.

“The G20 is just another government event, and going forward as India emerges as an economic powerhouse that positions itself as today, it will see more travel to India. I think that will be important. India is going to be in the spotlight and it will attract more tourists to India.”

He added that another important segment that is witnessing great activity is international travel to India to attend government conferences and exhibitions.

“In the past, most people would travel to other countries to attend exhibitions. Now these exhibitions are held in India too because we have the infrastructure to do so,” said Menon, citing examples from Pragati Maidan in the National Capital and Geo World. Center in Mumbai.

When asked about outbound flights from India, he said there were plenty of trips as short as three and a half hours to destinations like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Mauritius, Malaysia and Thailand.

“The longer run is only starting now because it was winter from January to March in Europe and the fact that getting visas was not easy,” Menon said, adding that a rise in long-haul flights was expected in the current quarter.

“One of the outliers we saw in the first quarter was travel to Japan and Korea. We used to send an average of 200 passengers at most each year to Japan. This year we saw close to 1,300 passengers traveling in a month to Japan. So we’re seeing different trends.” .

Overall, he said that group travel, which was slow to take off, is now picking up and that customized travel is growing across all sectors without exception.

(Only the title and image for this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is generated automatically from a shared feed.)