CTC News

India travel market still offers untapped potential for Canada.

Rapidly expanding economy has opened the door to international adventure for affluent middle class, according to CTC’s latest Global Tourism Watch report.

17 April 2014

A rapidly growing economy and burgeoning middle class have propelled expansion in the Indian travel market over the past few years. An estimated 50-60 million Indians now have deep enough pockets for international travel. Despite a contraction in 2012 caused by economic unrest and a decline in the rupee, international travel is expected to rebound strongly, says the new Global Tourism Watch (GTW) summary report by the Research department of the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC).

Other key statistics:

  • The current Indian outbound market is ranked 23rd in the world in terms of expenditure.
  • Despite the economic woes at home, Indians remain optimistic about their prospects of future long-haul travel.
  • The top long-haul destinations for Indian travellers are the US, France, the UK and Hong Kong.
  • Canada is the 10th most visited destination by Indian travellers; by a statistical quirk of fate, India is Canada’s 10th largest overseas market, with 162,000 visitors in 2012.
  • In terms of brand personality perceptions, Canada came third in terms of being liberal and informal, but recorded disappointing scores in other areas, including beautiful scenery (fourth place), a strength in other GTW markets.
  • Indians strongly associate Canada with winter activities, including skiing and snowboarding, a niche area in this market.
  • British Columbia (86%) and Ontario (85%) are almost neck and neck as the leading destinations for Indian travellers intending to visit Canada in the next two years, with Quebec (63%), Alberta (57%) and Atlantic Canada (53%) further back in the field.
  • Indian travellers prefer destinations with a mix of beautiful scenery, city activities (including nearby nature opportunities) and cultural and historical attractions.
  • Trip planning takes time in India, likely due to visa requirements for many destinations. Four in five Indians consult a travel agent while mapping out a long-haul trip.
  • The majority of recent Indian travellers to Canada have been middle-aged or older, female, married with kids at home, well educated, well off and likely to have friends or family in this country.
  • However, those Indians most interested in coming to Canada in the near future are in a different demographic: younger, equally male or female and with lower incomes.
  • Cost is the No. 1 reason for Indian travellers choosing not to come to Canada, followed by stringent visa requirements.
  • The top two sources for travel information for Indians are friends and family, either in-person or via social networks.
  • Online destination research and social networking are the two most popular ways for Indians to share info while travelling.
  • Indians love to tell their travel stories when they get home to friends and family, but are becoming increasingly fond of submitting online reviews and blogging, too.

TNS conducts the Global Tourism Watch surveys for CTC. The company asks thousands of participants aged 18 and over from around the world for their views on Canada and CTC’s “Canada. Keep Exploringtourism brand. The 2013 reports look to identify shifts in each market since 2011 via a substantially revised questionnaire. However, the India survey was conducted online in 2013 in contrast to the face-to-face methodology used in 2011. This change means limited comparisons can be drawn in this instance.

Read the Global Tourism Watch 2013 India summary report.


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