Indians Are Now The Fifth-Largest Contributor to US Tourism, 30% Growth Expected in 2024 – News18

India has emerged as the fifth-largest contributor to the tourism industry in the United States, projecting a 30 percent growth in 2024. In an exclusive interview with TOI, Staci Mellman, Chief Marketing Officer of Brand USA, unveiled insights into this trend driven by a growing middle class and younger travelers.

Mellman underlined the substantial spending power of Indian tourists, surpassing global averages and contributing significantly to the $173.9 billion spent by international visitors in the US. The surge in spending, from January to October 2023, aligns with improvements in visa processing, enhanced flight connectivity, and an expanded array of tourism offerings.

With 1.7 million Indian visitors in 2023, there is a growing interest in exploring beyond the traditional gateways that the US has to offer. Notably, this encouraging figure is despite visa processing challenges, including a current wait time of hundreds of days.

In the past year, 1.2 million new visas were issued and the US added 2.5 lakh new tourist visa appointments for Indians. The Consulate in Hyderabad, processing 3,500 appointments daily, aims to streamline operations even further, including weekend processing.

Last year, it was reported that outbound trips from India will surpass USD 42 billion by 2024 and the government could bring about certain policy changes to boost this growing market. India is experiencing what industry experts describe as a tourism boom.

Looking to take advantage of the situation, the US aims to attract more Indian tourists in the coming years. The US National Travel and Tourism Office expects the current numbers to reach 2 million by 2027, according to a recent report by Business Standard.

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    first published: January 27, 2024, 13:14 IST

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