Tourism & Travel

    More Indians are travelling than ever before; 9.7 crore passengers took flight in Q1 2024: Report

    The Hawk
    May17/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Breaking Boundaries" report, Indian travelers are increasingly exploring international destinations, with notable increases in visits to Japan, Vietnam, and the United States. This growth is driven by a rising middle class and expanded route capacity.

    Representative image of an airport

    New Delhi: Be it international or domestic, more Indians are travelling than ever before, claims a new report, as a whopping "97 million passengers" (9.7 crore) travelled through Indian airports in the first three months of 2024 alone.

    "Travel Trends 2024: Breaking Boundaries", conducted by the Mastercard Economics Institute (MEI), provides comprehensive insights into the evolving landscape of the travel industry across 74 markets, including 13 in the Asia Pacific region (APAC).

    "In 2024, fuelled by a growing middle class and expanded route capacity, more Indians are travelling internationally than ever before. In the first three months of 2024, 97 million passengers travelled through Indian airports. Just 10 years ago, the same figure would have taken a whole year to achieve," read the report.

    While domestic air passenger traffic surged 21 per cent above 2019 levels, international travel rose by 4 per cent.

    Indian travellers, according to the report, are increasingly exploring key markets, with a 53 per cent increase in visits to Japan, a 248 per cent growth to Vietnam, and a 59 per cent rise in visits to the United States, compared to 2019, despite a stronger US dollar.

    Also, Amsterdam, followed by Singapore, London, Frankfurt, and Melbourne are the top five trending destinations that Indian travellers are visiting this summer (June – August 2024), as measured by the change in share of flight bookings in the report.

    “Consumers in the Asia Pacific region have an intense desire and willingness to travel and are becoming increasingly savvy to ensure they get the best value and unforgettable experiences from their trips. For tourism authorities, retailers, the hospitality and F&B sectors, the bottom line is that costs matter," said David Mann, chief economist, Asia Pacific, Mastercard, in a statement.

    The report also pointed out how consumers globally continue to prioritise experiences over material goods and the same is playing out in the travel sector where spending on experiences, especially nightlife, totals "12 per cent of tourism sales" -- the highest point in at least five years.

    Additionally, a burgeoning fine dining scene in India has translated to marginal outperformance of the fine dining category for in-destination tourism dining, it reported.

    "As of March 2024, spending on casual dining rose by 49.2 per cent, while fine dining saw a 55.2 per cent increase compared to the previous year," it added.

    Mastercard Economics Institute, launched in 2020, analysis macroeconomic trends through the lens of the consumer.