Love to travel and explore the world? Foreign travel is no longer considered the mainstay of the rich and mighty. It is a reality for anyone with the passion and determination to travel and soar beyond boundaries. These latest findings are sure to clinch your interest. In 2018, VFS Global processed 26.7 million applications globally, marking the most number of visa applications processed annually till date.
Several interesting insights have emerged from the data which indicate the latest trends pertaining to how Indians travel. A surprising trend is that Tier-II Indian cities contributed significantly to the growth in outbound travel from India.
Spanning a two year period since 2016, a notable increase of 22% has been registered with regard to visa applications in India. The visa application counts in some of the major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru grew consistently in 2018. Also, there has been significant growth in visa application counts from metros such as Ahmedabad and Pune.
READ: Odisha is India’s Best Kept Secret!
According to Mr Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group COO– Middle East, South Asia, and China, VFS Global, “With the year-on-year increase in visa applications from India, it is evident that foreign travel is no
longer the domain of a privileged few. A large part of this growth comes from smaller cities – more Indians from these cities are travelling abroad than ever before. They are keen to explore even off-beat destinations.”
The most striking trend registered by VFS global is the steep year on year growth from tier II cities with Jalandhar (66%) ranking at the top, followed by other tiers II cities like Chandigarh (54%), Pondicherry (43%), and Goa (45%).
“There is a greater comfort with the visa application process as well today – the anxiety that people used to have earlier has significantly eased with options like personalised assistance, door-step services, and document upload assistance being offered at every step. The joy of travel begins at the visa application stage itself,” Mr Vinay Malhotra stated.
In 2018, VFS Global processed 5.28 million applications from India, marking a 14% increase in the number of visa applications since 2017. The countries for which the maximum amount of visa applications were processed by VFS include the UK, US, Canada, China, Thailand and Malaysia, among others.
Also read Explore Lord Jagannath’s Abode Like Never Before!
Emerging destinations also showed a significant increase in the number of visa applications processed in 2018 as compared to the previous year. The 2018 data of emerging destinations include Japan, Turkey, the Czech Republic and Estonia.
Travel is a miracle-maker of sorts and does wonders to broaden one’s world view. For Indians living across tier II cities, these travel trends are a welcome sign to pursue their dreams and soar beyond boundaries. These trends also demonstrate that foreign travel is no longer the domain of the privileged class but can be made possible by anyone who is determined to overcome the odds and pursue the joy of travel for whatever purpose they choose.