The airports in India collectively received four percent more international travelers in January to March this year, with the leisure segment driving growth by seven percent. Comparing the first three months of this year with the same period last year, all top 10 inbound tourism markets for India witnessed strong growth—with UK, Canada, and Australia registering the greatest surge among the larger markets.
GfK-ForwardKeys captures flight bookings by travelers around the world on a daily basis through the air reservations handled by more than 200,000 online and offline travel agencies worldwide. According to the latest travel industry intelligence from GfK-ForwardKeys on inbound travel to India, international visitors from America, Saudi Arabia and United Kingdom form the top three inbound markets for the country, accounting for 37 percent of the total market in the first quarter of the year.
“The ICC T20 World Cup which took place in March could have been a key driver of growth in the country’s tourism in the first quarter of the year,” highlighted Anant Jain, Travel and Hospitality Industry Lead, India. “There was a 10 percent surge in tourist arrival in March this year compared to a year ago and we believe this was contributed by sports tourism to a large extent.”
Moving forward into the second quarter however, GfK-ForwardKeys has reported fewer forward air travel bookings for arrivals into India for the period of April to June, by around seven percent from last year.
The four busiest Indian airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad together contribute to over half of all travelers’ arrival in India. Current booking for the second quarter of this year showed that overseas visitors arriving at these airports are anticipated to be slower than last year, except for Bangalore, where there is already a five percent expected increase in arrivals. It is interesting to highlight, on the contrary, that current arrival bookings have however gone up for the smaller airports of Udaipur and Pune by 18 and 13 percent respectively.
“One of the possible reasons for the slowdown in travel bookings to India during this period of time may be related to the global economic situation,” Jain commented. “The fact that it’s the hot summer season during the next few months could also be a deterrent for the leisure travelers—which is the main segment contributing to this drop.”
“These valuable travel insights will help the industry players of one of the world’s largest travel market understand future market demand in the country and help them optimize their revenue management strategy by adjusting sales conditions and rates to true market needs,” Jain concluded.