Skift Take

While international travel is poised to continue growing this year, one country increasingly stands out as a rapidly emerging outbound tourism market. Here's a look at what we found.

Although Skift reported in its recently released State of Travel 2023 report that international travel in most global regions still trails 2019 levels, there is gradual progress. International travel has been boosted in recent years in part by a significant increase in destinations providing visitors visa-free access.

What’s the biggest emerging outbound tourism market? Ask Skift, our artificial intelligence chatbot, answered the question using information appearing in our daily news coverage and Skift Research.

Here’s the answer Ask Skift provided as well as more information we gathered on the subject.


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Ask Skift said:

The biggest emerging outbound tourism market is India. This is due to their expanding middle class which is increasingly venturing farther from home. In 2022, India generated Asia’s highest outbound travel volume for the first time, with foreign trips exceeding those of China, South Korea, and Japan. With around 10 million foreign trips, the country registered a 190 percent year-on-year rise in outbound travel last year.

The CEO of Marriott International, Anthony Capuano, predicted a positive trend in the emerging outbound travel demand from Asia Pacific, and specifically highlighted India as an outbound source market over the next decade.

What else you need to know:

A 2023 Skift Megatrend said India was becoming the new China in terms of being a major outbound travel market. India overtook China as the world’s most populous nation in April of this year, according to data released by the United Nations.

A recent report revealed that outbound tourism from India is expected to be worth $44.7 billion by 2032. In addition, international leisure flight bookings from India have jumped 40% for trips between June and August compared to the same timeframe last year, travel software company RateGain found. RateGain said that figure represents the highest level of outbound leisure flight bookings from India in the post-pandemic era.

In addition, Omri Morgenshtern, CEO of Singapore-based online travel agency Agoda, said Indian travelers have been searching for international trips faster than travelers in any other global market. Company data revealed outbound travel searches from travelers in India jumped by 225% from 2019 to mid-May of this year.

Indian consumers have also expressed optimism that any possible economic downturns wouldn’t slow down the country’s travel industry. A Skift Research survey earlier this year found 94% of Indians expect business travel spending to rise in 2023 while 74% of respondents expect to increase their personal spending on leisure travel this year.

The region’s airlines saw a nearly 193% jump in April 2023 traffic compared to the same month last year. Skift Research reported in its Travel Health Index for June 2023 that Asia-Pacific, as well as all other global regions, have made a full recovery to pre-pandemic levels. Agoda also found that outbound travel searches from most Asia-Pacific countries increased between 30% and 60% from 2019.

More Responses from Ask Skift:
Why Hasn’t the U.S. Made a Full Tourism Recovery?
Why Is Summer Travel so Difficult?
What Is AI’s Impact on Travel?


Ask Skift Is the AI Chatbot for the Travel Industry

Go deeper into the business of travel with Skift’s new AI chatbot.

Ask Skift Your Questions

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Tags: asia pacific, ask skift, india, india outbound, outbound tourism, outbound travel

Photo credit: Smiling young woman with camera enjoying sunlight on face against mountain range during vacation Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images

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