Press Trust of india

Steady rise in Indians visiting overseas tourist spots: Report

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Mumbai, Jul 22 :  The outbound tourism from India is on the rise, going by the steady year-on-year increase in visa applications in the last few years, a report has said.

The US, the UK and China were among the top tourist destinations for which the maximum visa applications were received in the last two years, said the report by VFS Global, an outsourcing and technology services firm.

There was a 10 per cent increase in visa applications from India in 2017 at 4.7 million compared to 4.3 million applications in 2016, according to data compiled by VFS Global.

The company manages millions of applications across five continents for its 59 client governments.

“We have been seeing a year-on-year increase in visa applications from India. It is evident that foreign travel is no longer the domain of a privileged few in the country.

“More Indians are travelling abroad today than ever before, and are keen to explore even off-beat destinations,” VFS Global Regional Group COO  Middle East, South Asia and China, Vinay Malhotra, told PTI here.

Top five destinations for which visa applications were processed (in 2016 and 2017) were – the US, Malaysia, the UK, Canada and China, according to the data.

The report said visa applications for Thailand witnessed the sharpest increase in 2017 compared to 2016.

Schengen (European) destinations continued to be popular among Indians. Emerging tourist markets like Czech Republic, Turkey and Japan also witnessed growth, the report said.

“Emerging destinations showed positive trend in 2017, with significantly more applications processed for these destinations than in the previous year,” it added.

“New trends among Indian travellers, particularly their willingness to explore off-the-beaten-track destinations, have resulted in many of these destinations becoming increasingly keen to woo the Indian traveller,” the report said.

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