Tuesday November 21, 2017
Home Business Let’s g...

Let’s go Globetrotting! A decade of strong growth has put more money in pockets of middle-class India

However many Indians chafe about cumbersome visa procedures, particularly for European countries where applying for the Schengen visa requires elaborate documentation

0
113
South Africa. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

New Delhi, August 31, 2016: Indian tourist, Manasi Chadha, 35, spent ten days holidaying in Spain along with six family members this summer. It is the third year in a row that she took an overseas vacation – Portugal and Italy were the earlier stops.

“Travel kind of opens up your thinking as well. You see a lot more instances of people actually venturing out, they share their experiences, so you tend to travel and try them out,” said Chadha, a senior executive with consultancy Accenture in New Delhi.

Richer tourists

A decade of strong growth has put more money in the pockets of middle-class India while the growing numbers of working women like Chadha have added to disposable family incomes. And as budget airlines open up more routes from India, travel has become more affordable leading to a massive spurt in the number of Indians trawling the globe.

By 2020, the United Nations World Tourism Organization estimates the number of Indians heading overseas will grow to 50 million for both business and leisure travel.

To tap the potential of those numbers, foreign tourist boards are ramping up their presence in the country.

Follow NewsGram on Twitter

Indian favorites

Spain for example witnessed a three-fold rise in the number of Indian visitors in the last five years, while travelers to Australia and New Zealand nearly doubled.

As it sets out to woo more travelers, the Director of Spain’s Tourism Office in India, Ignacio Ducasse Gutirrez said, “India is positioned as one of our top emerging markets globally.” The European country witnessed a surge of Indian visitors after a blockbuster Bollywood movie “Zindagi Naa Milegi Dobara” was shot in the country showcasing its locales and festivals.

Bollywood has always had a strong influence on Indian travelers, prompting many countries such as Singapore, Ireland, and Australia to woo film producers to shoot films and television soaps in their countries.

Indian tourist tastes are changing

Travel industry professionals say that with higher incomes, travel preferences are also changing from group tours to more luxurious holidays. In New Zealand for example, experiences ranging from helicopter tours to lodge stays are now on the plate of Indian travelers, says Steven Dixon from South and South East Asia Tourism, New Zealand. That includes “adrenaline pumping activities such as jet boating and skydiving, or more luxurious activities such as scenic flights and cruises,” according to Dixon.

And although East Asia still remains a top favorite, time-tested destinations such as Singapore and Thailand or Britain and France in Europe have become passé, as Iîdians with higher incomes head out to more off-beat places. That includes places where few Indians visited earlier, such as Iceland, South America, Uzbekistan, and Croatia.

Wanting a different experience, Mumbai-based management consultant Ajai Mittal and a group of over 50 college alumni chose to go on a cruise of Baltic countries last summer. “It is not as predictable as going to the same places as Paris. There is enough written about them, enough heard about them, these are places which are small and relatively obscure,” said Mittal. He said he would like to explore more such destinations in the future.

However, many Indians chafe about cumbersome visa procedures, particularly for European countries where applying for the Schengen visa requires elaborate documentation. On the other hand, many East Asian countries have liberalized visa rules, allowing Indians to get a visa on arrival, which has helped boost tourism numbers.

Management consultant Ajai Mittal visits St. Petersburg during a cruise of Baltic countries along with more than 50 college alumni. Image source: VOP

Management consultant Ajai Mittal visits St. Petersburg during a cruise of Baltic countries along with more than 50 college alumni.

Indian women love to travel

Still, such woes are not curbing the enthusiasm of travelers, young or old. They include growing numbers of Indian women.

Sumitra Senapaty’s travel club “Women on Wanderlust” organizes all-women holidays to cater to women who want to strike out on their own. From just five trips a decade ago, she now organizes nearly 100 trips a year, with more than half headed overseas.

Follow NewsGram on Facebook

She said Indian women travelers have become more evolved and travel for many of them is no longer just a matter of ticking off a destination on one’s passport or visiting the usual hot spots.

In November, she is taking a group of 18 women to Peru, Chile, Argentina and the Galapagos in South America for a holiday that will cost upwards of $12,000. “There is an excitement about it. They look at traveling as not just a holiday, and not just as having fun, but as a way of life. They want to explore new cultures, they want to learn about it,” said Senapaty.

Other travel professionals agree that the Indian middle class is on the move, helping fuel the global travel boom from Asia. (VOA)

ALSO READ:

Next Story

7 Most Famous Temples to Visit in Uttar Pradesh

show up at these temples on your visit to Uttar Pradesh and enjoy the majestic beauty, architecture and not to miss, the devotional sound of the bells.

0
54
Uttar Pradesh
Prem Mandir one of most famous temples in Uttar Pradesh. Wikimedia.

The state of Uttar Pradesh is regarded as an enshrined pilgrimage junction since the inception. Devotees from across the world solicit spirituality by visiting these temples of divine importance. Uttar Pradesh is known for its special attraction especially for the Hindu devotees since it is the birthplace for Vishnu avatars, Lord Ram and Lord Krishna.

Undoubtedly, you must show up at these temples on your visit to Uttar Pradesh and enjoy the majestic beauty, architecture and not miss, the devotional sound of the bells.

The listicle shows you a tour of these famous temples worth giving a visit in Uttar Pradesh.

Prem Mandir

Uttar Pradesh
Prem Mandir is one of the most famous temples in Uttar Pradesh. Wikimedia.

Built on the outskirts of Vrindavan, the Prem Mandir is dedicated to Lord Krishna. It was structured by the Fifth Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj. Statues of Lord Krishna and his followers cover the entire temple symbolizing the crucial events of Lord Krishna’s life and birth. The temple is known for its exquisite architecture and the sculptures. Devotees visit the Prem Temple to offer their prayings to Lord Krishna, during Janmashtami and Diwali.

Banke Bihari Temple

Uttar Pradesh
Banke Bihari temple main gate in Vrindavan. Wikimedia.

The Banke Bihari Temple of Vrindavan is a Hindu temple built by Swami Haridas, the solemn guru of the ancient singer Tansen. The temple is efficiently carved in Rajasthani style. The literal meaning of Banke is “bent in three places” and Bihari means “supreme enjoyer”, which suggests that the main idol Lord Krishna is in a Banke posture or the famous Tribhanga position. It has been claimed that Lord Krishna’s statue was hidden underground by a Hindu priest during the Mughal era. It was Swami Haridas who dreamt of Lord Krishna asking him to release the statue. Swami Haridas dug up the place, found the statue and built a temple for it.

Ram Janma Bhoomi Temple

Uttar Pradesh
Ram Janam Bhoomi Temple in Uttar Pradesh. Wikimedia.

Although Ayodhya is presumed as the birthplace of Lord Ram, it was in the town of Ram Kot where he was actually born. This temple is known as Ram Janma Bhoomi marking the divine presence of Shri Ram. Travellers visiting Ram Kot in Uttar Pradesh pay their homage to Lord Ram and admire the inscriptions on the temple walls depicting the life of Lord Ram.

Goraknath Temple

Uttar Pradesh
Gorakhnath Mandir in Uttar Pradesh.Wikimedia.

The Gorakhnath Temple is one of the most popular temples in Uttar Pradesh and is believed to have been structured at the exact spot where Saint Gorakhnath had meditated. The main feature of the temple is the garb griha where the saint is depicted as an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Tourists also visit the pond next to the Goraknath Temple called Mansarovar for peaceful meditation or boat rides.

Shri Krishna Janbhoomi Temple

Uttar Pradesh
Sri Krishna Janam Bhoomi Temple in Uttar Pradesh is the birthplace of Krishna. Wikimedia.

Shri Krishna Janmbhoomi is one of the most sacred places for Sanatan Dharmis (Hindus) since it is the birthplace of Lord Krishna. It is a prison cell belonging to his mama (maternal Uncle) Raja Kans where Lord Krishna was born.

Located in Mathura on the banks of river Yamuna, Uttar Pradesh, Shri Krishna Janmbhoomi temple is approximately 145 km from Delhi. The prison cell, commonly known as ‘Garbha Griha’, in the temple premise is the exact place where Lord Krishna was born.

Sarnath Temple

Uttar Pradesh
A Buddhist temple at Sarnath. Wikimedia

This famous Buddhist site in Varanasi, Sarnath Temple is popularly known where Lord Buddha addressed his first sermons. It is here where the lord set the ‘wheel of law’ in motion. Stupas like Dhamek Stupa and Chowkhandi Stupa are situated inside the enshrined temple. The temple aims to inculcate its thousands of visitors about the history and impact of Buddhist cultures.

Bharat Mata Mandir

Uttar Pradesh
Bharat Mata Temple in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh has the Indian Map structure inside the temple. Wikimedia

The temple located in Varanasi is dedicated to Bharat Mata with the national flag in her hand and a tri-colored sari adorning the idol, who is regarded as a symbolized figure of unity in Diversity and integrity in India. It acquires a huge map of the Mother India on the ground denoting the statue of the Goddess or the Mother of India.

-Prepared by Bhavana Rathi of NewsGram. Twitter @tweet_bhavana

Next Story

5 Events Of November Which Are Ideal For Family Vacations

0
52
Events in November which will give you a vacation mood.
Events in November which will give you a vacation mood. Wikimedia.

As we approach the year’s end, Indians not just bid adieu to their summer outfits but also welcome the festival seasons. October and November are two months in India which are full of cultural events and festivals, which make these months, the ideal time for going on family vacations.

Below are the events of November 2017 which you will regret missing. They are worth the try for family vacations:

1.  Dev Deepavali, Varanasi

family vacations
Representational Image. The ghat of holy city Varanasi. 

Varanasi, the holiest city of India, celebrated Dev Deepavali on Kartik Poornima every year. The festival is celebrated with joy. The ghats of Varanasi are lit with beautiful diyas (earthen lamps). God is believed to have descended to the banks of Ganges, to take a holy dip. The festival will take place on November 3, 2017.

 2. Dharamsala International Film Festival

Filmmaker, cinema buffs or all those people interested in the art of films come together of Dharamsala International Film Festival (DIFF). This film festival will witness filmmakers coming from different regions to show films on various issues- socially relevant, contemporary etc. DIFF will take place from November 2 to November 5. If you are a movie buff, then you should immediately pack your bags and seal a date for attending the festival.

3. Pushkar Camel Fair, Rajasthan

Family vacations
Representational Image. Camel Fair is celebrated in Pushkar. Pixabay

Pushkar Camel fair, a cattle fair, in Pushkar which truly defines the real meaning of culture. The Pushkar Camel Fair has been in tradition for a very long time. The fair attracts a huge crowd every year. One of the most ideal and happy places for family vacations. It will take place between 23rd October to 4th November.

Also Read: 7 Beautiful Places To Visit In North East India

4. NH7 Weekender

The five seasons old Indian multi-city music festival has indeed garnered a lot of attention and love from the musically inclined youngsters across the country. It is a combination of national and international studies coming together. In Meghalaya, the event will take place from October 27 to October 28.

5. Guru Purab

family vacations
Sikhs celebrating Guru Purab. Wikimedia.

Guru Purab, one of the most important festivals for Sikhs. The golden temple celebrates it with a lot of joy. The celebration which Amritsar witnesses at this time are unbelievable. It will take place on November 2017. Golden temple is indeed one of the best places for family vacations.

-by Megha Acharya of NewsGram.  She can be reached at @ImMeghaacharya.

Next Story

Top 10 Budget Destinations for New Year’s Eve in India

0
113
Budget Destination
Plan your memorable Budget Destination in India for New Year's Eve. Pixabay.
  • New Year is banging your door and we’re sure of you hunting for that perfect place to kick-start your New Year with.
  • Explore the Budget Destinations to celebrate new year 2018 that you have been longing to visit without fretting about your expenses.

Do not just let your wishes confined, Instead, take a sneak peek at this list of top 10 budget destination to celebrate the new year 2018 in India within your budget.

1. Puducherry – The Riviera Of The East

Budget Destination
Carousing at Beach cafes at Puducherry is fun. Pixabay.

From biking on the beaches to carousing on the rooftop cafes, the range of things to do in Pondicherry makes it a land of fantasy. The quaint town, also host to the “Aurobindo Yoga Ashram”, is a good place for self-reflection. And don’t fret over the expensed. The erstwhile French capital is one of the budget destinations to celebrate New Year in India and provides enough fodder for a wonderful New Year party 2018.

2. Gokarna – The Rave Nation

Budget Destinations
Head for Gokarna Beach and Party hard. Pixabay.

If your heart belongs to Goa but at the same time is in dire need of a change in budget, we suggest you opt for the electrifying parties on the unspoiled beaches of Gokarna for a secluded beach holiday. Visit any beach shack, lay down on the hammocks to enjoy the sun with a beer, hit Kudle beach with your gang, or spend afternoons with dolphins in the water. This amazing place is one of the best budget destinations to celebrate new year 2018 in India.

3. Diu – The Fishing Town

Budget Destination
Diu- The Fishing Town. Pixabay.

Get ready for paragliding, surfing, diving, parasailing, and windsurfing in one of the budget destinations to celebrate New Year eve 2018 in India. Lay on the golden sands of the Diu island and dive into the pristine waters of the Nagoa beach. Diu offers you all the adventure you can think of at absolutely affordable prices!

4. Lakshadweep – The Prince Of Coral Reefs

Budget Destination
Feel your feet flowing on the coral reefs at Lakshadweep. Pixabay.

Deep sea diving, exploring coral reefs, kayaking, and yacht sailing are perfect activities for a New Year trip 2018. Aren’t they? And the Lakshadweep group of islands is among the best places to visit in India for New Year celebrations 2018. The dance forms of Kolkali & Parichakali will surely touch the chords of your heart. And that’s not all. Lakshadweep is perfect to enjoy your New Year’s Eve 2018 on a budget.

5. Bhimtal – The Lake Destination From The Mahabharata

Budget Destination
Feel your feet flowing on the coral reefs at Lakshadweep. Pixabay.

The captivating view of the lake and a candlelight dinner on the shore makes a visit to Bhimtal a happening place for the celebrations of the New Year 2018. You can enjoy the awe-inspiring views of the snowcapped hills of Malital or take a tour of the famous museums as you travel to this beautiful destination. And we suggest you stay alert for you may come across hidden stories or secrets that localities have kept to themselves.

You could enjoy snowfall too if you’re lucky enough!

6. Manali – The Abode Of God

Budget Destination
Intoxicate your senses at Manali. Pixabay.

Tibetan Monastery, Van Vihar, Vashisht temple, etc. And a crazy DJ Night with the hills in the backdrop is sure to intoxicate your senses on your trip to Manali. Engage your group in parachuting, paragliding, and skating and pray at the beautiful Gurudwara of Manikaran Sahib to fulfill all your wishes this New Year.

7. Kasol – Getting you high on nature and life

Budget Destination
Under the Starsky lit with your gang at Kasol. Pixabay.

A backpacker’s very own paradise, Kasol will get you high on its scenic appeal. As it majorly hosts a young crowd, there is always some vibrancy in the air. The energy escalates as the new year knocks the door. New year in Kasol can be about hippy parties or a peaceful bonfire session by your camp, under the starlit sky – just as you like it!

8. Mcleodganj – From popular monasteries to secluded scenic hideouts

Budget Destination
Visit the Indian Monasteries on New Year’s Eve. Pixabay.

The Land of Lamas, Mcleodganj is home to Dalai Lama. This spiritual and picturesque hill station in Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh is the sheer delight if you’re planning a new year getaway. Bejewelled with many iconic Tibetan monasteries as Namgyal Monastery, you’ll actually be stunned to know the number of ways you can welcome the coming year! You can go camping amidst snow in Triund, party the night away in some local clubs, or enjoy an exclusive staycation at your Budget Destinations.

9. Udaipur – The Venice of the East at its very best

Budget Destination
Royal Udaipur, The city of Lakes. Pixabay.

Enjoying the royal feeling of Rajputs, your new year in Udaipur is going to be unforgettable. The glistening lake and lazy sun add charm to the landscape, and the weather gets ravishing and more pleasant as the night approaches. Being a popular tourist destination in India, Udaipur, the city of Lakes is dotted with lovely stays for every budget, and almost all these stays offer something special for the new year’s eve. Besides, you can always enter a happening pub in the city to celebrate like never before.

10. Gangtok: For the Cool Minded

Budget Destination
Set your mind cool at Switzerland of the East. Pixabay.

Situated at an altitude of 5410 feet, Gangtok is one of the budget destinations good for hills, Trekking, Natural Beauty and spirituality in Buddhism. Coupled with its beautiful sunset and dawn views and its clean surroundings, this small town is also called the “Switzerland of the East”. Trekkers and mountain lovers, do look out for Kanchenjunga, the 3rd highest peak in the world. Now, imagine spending the eve of New Year in a place with such beauty.

Now that you are aware of these ecstatic places to spend your New Year’s Eve head up for the adventure.

– by Bhavana Rathi of NewsGram.  She can be reached @tweet_bhavana