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Arabian Travel Market to tap burgeoning Indian middle class

Arabian Travel Market extravaganza this year will feature a dedicated India summit

Arabian Travel Market to tap burgeoning Indian middle class
[Source photo: Chetan Jha/Press Insider]

The Arabian Travel Market, a premier global travel event, plans to sharpen its focus on wooing a burgeoning Indian middle class that is going places, literally.

This year’s extravaganza will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from 6-9 May, and will feature a dedicated India summit, titled ‘Unlocking the True Potential of Inbound Indian Travelers.’

The summit will explore the dynamics of India as a key source market for tourism growth, as well as current and future opportunities, the Arabian Travel Market said in a statement.

Nearly three-quarters of Indians traveling abroad prefer nearby destinations, with one-third choosing the Middle East, it said, citing a joint booking.com and McKinsey report.

“The boom in outbound travel from India is being driven primarily by the growing middle class. In 2020, only 37 million households had annual income between $10,000 and up to $35,000; but due to India’s rapid economic growth, by 2030 that number will rise significantly to 177 million households,” Danielle Curtis, exhibition director for the Middle East, Arabian Travel Market, said.

“More specifically, households earning above $35,000 per annum will also increase six fold from 2 million in 2020 to 13 million by 2030,” Curtis said.

“With the median age at 28 years, it’s little wonder that UNWTO recognizes India as one of the top three fastest-growing outbound markets. By 2030, India’s total travel expenditure will be valued at $410 billion, a 173% jump from $150 billion in pre-covid 2019″ she added.

Meanwhile, it is not just the volume of Indian travelers that is getting destinations in the Middle East excited.

The majority of Indian travelers who responded to a survey by Acko Insurance were willing to spend up to $7,000 on international trips, Curtis said.

“And with over 8.5 million Indian expatriates currently working in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations, business travel and leisure will undoubtedly underpin this growth,” added Curtis.

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