Middle East emerges most preferred spot for Indians: Survey
Mumbai: Indians travelling abroad for leisure are showing more interest in new destinations with Oman in particular and the Middle East in general emerging as the fastest growing region for them, pushing Britain and the US to distant spots, says a survey.
A study conducted by leading global travel search site Skyscanner, says last year Britain was the most preferred destination for Indians, followed by Thailand, the US and the UAE.
However, the desire to explore new destinations is attracting more travellers to the Middle East with Oman topping the list followed by Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain.
According to the report, the Middle East will emerge as the fastest growing outbound destination for Indians this year, which for long had been dominated by Britain.
In November 2012, Oman witnessed 249 percent increase in flight searched compared to December 2011, while Kuwait saw 242 percent spike in searches, Saudi Arabia 202 percent, Qatar 201 percent and Bahrain way below 189 percent.
"England witnessed the highest number of overall flight searches from the country revealing that it still occupied the No. 1 spot in outbound destinations in 2012. This shows that travellers are ready to push boundaries and go beyond the run-of-the-mill holiday destinations. But this year, we see a growing preference for the Middle East," Skyscanner market development manager for India Kavitha Gnanamurthy says.
Besides these, people are now opting to explore fairly new destinations such as French Polynesia and Russia, implying evolved travel choices and exposure through the media, she added.