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first_imgLove for travel has been on the rise among Indians, according to data from RCI, a global timeshare exchange company. International travel by Indians increased by 13 per cent in 2017 against 2016 while domestic travel grew by 8 per cent, according to a report by the firm.The United States was the most traveled destination in 2016 and 2017, while Malaysia and Indonesia were the favorites in South East Asia. In Europe, Switzerland and Spain were the most preferred.For domestic travel, Indians preferred Goa, followed by Coorg, Munnar, Ooty and Kodaikanal, according to RCI data. The numbers are expected to increase in the summer of 2018.“With increased disposable income, factors like cheaper airfares and low tariffs for budget hotels, international travel plans have seen an exponential rise among the general Indian traveler,” Sabina Chopra, managing director of RCI India, said.Various countries have been gunning for increasing footfall from Indian travelers. Qatar, for instance, eyes a 15 per cent increase in travelers from India this year, especially as the Gulf nation has started visa-free entry for Indian nationals.“India is our number one source market, with 3,33,708 people from the sub-continent visiting Qatar in 2017. In the first quarter of this year we have already witnessed 15 per cent growth with 1,10,000 visitors from India. For the whole year we are expecting a similar growth of 15 per cent over last year,” Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) chief marketing and promotion officer Rashed AlQurese told PTI.Indians traveling to Qatar don’t need a visa if they have a passport with a minimum validity of six months and a confirmed onward ticket, he said.“We expect free visa will boost tourism in the country and encourage more people from India to visit the Arab country. Qatar is a perfect alignment of cosmopolitan sophistication and rich culture, which will interest Indian tourists,” AlQurese said.Tech Savvy TravelersIndians are also the most tech-savvy travelers in the world, according to Expedia’s 2018 global flight and hotel etiquette survey conducted among 18,229 respondents from 23 countries, including the United States, Europe, South America and Asia Pacific.Indians are ranked at the top for mobile check-ins and are at No. 7 in online check-ins, the Economic Times reported. India took the second spot for the number of people (29 per cent) using the boarding pass on a mobile device, behind Thailand.Indians are also most likely to pay for in-flight Wi-Fi, the survey said. They also engage the most with airlines over social media about their travel experiences at the airport, at the gate or on the plane (34 per cent), listening to music or podcasts (72 per cent) and are only second in playing video games in flight (37 per cent). Related ItemsAviationTourismlast_img read more