"For India, the broad trends for 2012 are strikingly similar to the US. Around 53 per cent of Indian travellers claimed they travelled more in 2012, with 20 per cent more travellers planning to take an international holiday. Also, 44 per cent of Indian travellers are looking at spending more on their holidays in 2012 than last year", Stephen Kaufer co-founded TripAdvisor.
Ministry of Tourism compiles monthly estimates of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) and Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEE) from tourism on the basis of data received from major airports. Following are the important highlights regarding FTAs and FEE from tourism in India for the year 2011.
Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs):
India's growth story still seems very credible to global corporations looking to grow beyond their borders. The world's largest hotel chain Best Western International Inc, USA, has taken up new strategies to expand its presence in the country in the hospitality sector.
"If you look at the rates charged at the five or six-star luxury hotels, you can say that India is among the most expensive in the world. But if you look at the mid-scale and up-scale hospitality segments, India is quite affordable. I think growth is going to come from tier-2 and tier-3 cities. The 45 cities of India that have more than a million population have the most growth potential in the hospitality sector and we will perform best in these emerging markets”, David T Kong, president and CEO, Best Western International Inc.
Following the success of religious and medical tourism in India, the domestic travel industry is seeing a surge in a new set of tourists: Executives who travel to upgrade their skills while on a holiday in the country.
Mr Iqbal Mulla, President, Travel Agents' Association of India says that there has been a rise in the number of corporate houses sending their executives, especially mid-level and above, to India for management programmes offered by top B-schools, chiefly because it means huge cost savings for them. “The courses and accommodation charges are 50-60 per cent less in India, and the courses offered are on par with those offered by universities in the US and Europe.” The educational tourism sector in India is gaining ground due to the cost-effectiveness of courses and for offering higher level of training standards, agrees Mr Ravi Kaklasaria, Director, SpringPeople Software Pvt Ltd.
Starwood Hotels &amp;amp; Resorts plans to open 20 new Hotels across all its brands by 2015. The company which is the largest operator of four and five star hotels in India currently operates 33 hotels in the country under management contracts. The hotel chain also plans to launch its brands W and St. Regis in the country in the next three to four years. With the debut of the W and St. Regis brands, Starwood will fly eight of its nine brand flags in India including W, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Le Meridien, Westin, Sheraton, and Four Points by Sheraton and Aloft.
Taj group of hotels will be opening its doors in Yunnan Province of China. The Indian Hotels Company Ltd on Monday signed a memorandum of co-operation for a joint venture with Yunnan Tourism Co Ltd to engage in the development, construction, operation and management of two hotels in Kunming Expo Garden situated in Yunnan province. Taj already has management contracts in place for the Taj Temple of Heaven, Beijing. Besides, Taj will also manage a 300-room key luxury resort in Hainan Island.