ATM 2024 to focus on India’s outbound tourism potential

ATM 2024 to focus on India’s outbound tourism potential

30% of travellers pick the Middle East

Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2024 has announced it will hold a dedicated Indian Summit at the event this year.

The news comes following a  report published by by and McKinsey, that reveals 70% of Indians travelling overseas choose nearby destinations, with one third choosing destinations in the Middle East. 

Titled ‘Unlocking the True Potential of Inbound Indian Travellers, the Summit will take place at ATM’s Global Stage on Monday May 6, from 14:45 to 15:25 in conjunction with VIDEC Consultants Private Limited. 

The Summit will explore the dynamics of India as a key source market for tourism growth, as well as current and future opportunities.

The report found that the UAE is the top regional destination for travellers, followed by Saudi Arabia. 

According to the DET, India is Dubai’s top source market, with 1.9 million visitors in the first 10 months of 2023 while Saudi Arabia is aiming for 7.5 million visitors by 2030. 

Prior to the pandemic in 2019, Indians made 26.9 million overseas trips. The report predicts that by 2030, that number could increase to 50 million departures.    

Danielle Curtis, exhibition director ME of Arabian Travel Market, said: “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. 

“More specifically, households earning over $35,000 per annum will also increase from two million in 2020 to 13 million by 2030, a sixfold increase! 

“And with India’s median age being just 28 years, it’s little wonder that the UNWTO recognises India as one of the top three fastest-growing outbound markets in the world. By 2030, India’s total travel expenditure will be valued at $410 billion. 

“Putting that into perspective, prior to Covid, in 2019, it was worth just $150 billion, an increase of 173%.”

Furthermore, it is not just the volume of Indian travellers that is getting Middle East destinations excited. According to a survey by Acko Insurance, the majority of Indian travellers who responded were willing to spend up to $7,000 on international trips.   

Another reason already alluded to is the close proximity of the Gulf states, Dubai is the most popular city destination for Indian travellers, just three hours flight time from Mumbai. 

In addition, increased connectivity and affordable air travel from tier-two cities are also driving demand, particularly direct flights with low-cost carriers.

“And with over 8.5 million Indian expatriates currently working in the GCC, business travel and bleisure, will undoubtedly underpin this growth,” added Curtis. 

Last year’s ATM hosted several high-profile exhibitors from India, including Air India, who exhibited for the first time; the Goa Department of Tourism; Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board, Uttar Pradesh Tourism; Karnataka Department of Tourism; Odisha Tourism and Puducherry Tourism. 

This year, with an anticipated 20% increase in exhibitors from India expected,, Taj Hotels, Rezlive, and Rategain have already confirmed. 

New exhibitors to feature in the 2024 edition of the show include Verteil Technologies and The Paul Resorts & Hotels.

The event taking place May 6-9, is held in conjunction with Dubai World Trade Centre.

Its 2024’s strategic partners include Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) as Destination Partner; Emirates as Official Airline Partner; IHG Hotels & Resorts as Official Hotel Partner; Al Rais Travel as Official DMC Partner and Rotana Hotels & Resorts as Registration Sponsor.