The influx of Indian tourists into Southeast Asia is solidifying India’s position as a crucial growth market for the travel and tourism industry. Airlines like IndiGo and Thai Airways, as well as hospitality chains offering numerous rooms, are capitalizing on India’s expanding middle class and increased spending power, according to executives and analysts.
This rise in Indian tourists will prompt adjustments in airline capacity, hospitality services, and tourism operators in the long term. Industry experts suggest that these adjustments are already underway. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) stated in a May report that India has the potential to become the next China in terms of outbound tourism growth in the next decade, although limited airport connectivity may pose challenges.
In Thailand, while the number of Indian tourists is lower than that of Chinese tourists in absolute terms, it is only about 14% lower than pre-pandemic levels in 2019. According to Thai government data, Chinese visitors spent around US$197 per day in Thailand, while Indian visitors spent about $180, with both groups typically staying for a week.
Tanes Petsuwan, Deputy Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), estimates that 1.6 million Indians will visit the kingdom this year. The growing Indian tourist market is expected to contribute significantly to the tourism industry in Southeast Asia.