The Indian city of Delhi is expected to see the largest rise in inbound arrivals in Asia this year, according to research for World Travel Market London – the leading global event for the travel industry – released today (Tuesday 7 November) at WTM London.
The Top 100 City Destination Ranking WTM London Edition, by Euromonitor International, estimates the city will see 2.8 million more inbound arrivals in 2017 – the biggest growth in Asia in absolute terms.
Delhi will see numbers soar by 37.7 pc year-on-year to a total of 10.3 million, says the report.
Although Delhi will see the most in absolute terms, the fastest growth rate in Asia this year will be seen in Indonesia, where Denpasar – the gateway to Bali – will see inbound arrivals soar by 52 pc, followed by Jakarta (48.5 pc).
The report says Indonesian cities are expected “to benefit from a Chinese influx, boosted by the waiving of visa requirements”.
Delhi will see the third fastest growth rate (37.7 pc), followed by two other Indian cities: Agra (26 pc) and Mumbai (23.5pc).
The growth in India is largely thanks to the launch in 2014 of e-visas, says the report.
And the expansion is set to continue, with Delhi predicted to welcome 12.9 million inbound arrivals in 2020 and 18.8 million in 2015.
India also performs strongly on a global stage, as it has six cities in the top 100 ranking.
Delhi is 21st, closely followed by Mumbai in 22nd place. Others are Agra (35th); Chennai (45th); Jaipur (48th) and Kolkata (89th).
The report further highlights how the Indian economy is heavily dependent on cash transactions – but India’s cities are “driving a cashless revolution”, with the push towards digital payments coming from governments, companies and consumers.
Mobile payment app PayTM (Pay Through Mobile) is one of the companies that has been successful in making cashless payments easier for Indians, helping them to buy travel products without cash.
In September 2016, PayTM launched a booking feature for railway tickets and in less than a year, this “travel outsider” had become the second largest retailer of rail tickets in the country.
Major online travel agents such as MakeMyTrip and ClearTrip have followed suit by investing in mobile wallets, says the report.
WTM London, Senior Director, Simon Press said: “India Tourism was the Premier Partner for WTM London last year, as the country promoted its ‘Incredible India’ brand to the world.
“We are heartened to see that the country’s tourism business is doing so incredibly well.
“It’s fascinating to read in this Euromonitor report how modern technology, such as e-visas and mobile payments, are boosting the inbound tourism and domestic travel sectors.”