Maldives, a Top Destination for Indians
According to travel service providers such as STIC Travel, Cleartrip.com, Cox and Kings and Pearl Luxe, Europe and Southeast Asia are among the most sought after places, while there are also a few surprises as many Indians are flying to unexplored locations.
Many tour operators have remarked that although, a large number of travellers ask for affordable tour packages, luxury travel are also catching up in a major way among Indians.
“In the April to June period this year, the total international travel has grown up by 65 percent in case of Cleartrip.com in terms of number of people flying outside India,” Supplier Relation Executive Vice-President of Cleartrip, Noel Swain told PTI.
Maldives is one the most popular beach destination for Indians. “There is a keen interest in renting and even buying luxury villas in destinations such as Maldives by our clients,” Founder of Pearl Luxe, Taruna Seth said.
With an aim to cater to the growing demand for newer and unexplored destinations, companies are also launching customised packages. Yatra.com for instance has announced an experiential holiday package.
The total outbound travel in India is expected to see an increase of 25 to 30 percent in 2011, compared to last year. According to statistics 12.5 million Indians travelled overseas in 2010.
According to Maleeh Jamal, the Secretary General of Maldives Association for Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO), India is an emerging market for Maldives and shows a lot of potential and success.
During 2010 Maldives welcomed 25,756 tourists from India with a 62.5 percent growth compared to 2009. After lowering Korea to the fourth place, India has become the third most important market in Asia for Maldives, after China and Japan.
Maldives is currently connected to Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) with daily flights by Air India and Maldivian. Air India also operates daily flights from Bangaluru (Bangalore) to Malé. Further connections are also available from Sri Lankan via Colombo.
Kingfisher Airlines recently announced its plans to start flights to Malé from Mumbai and Bangalore. SpiceJet and IndiGo has also expressed their interest to start flights to Malé.