India Market Profile

As California’s global footprint continues to expand, India projects to be “the next China” in terms of visitation, and Visit California has already been planting roots and cultivating relationships in advance of the inevitable boom. California welcomed its first direct, nonstop flight from India in 2016. With an additional airlift coming online in the next year, India is primed for significant growth.


  • Many travelers continue to experience the United States and California due to business engagements
  • Visa process helps increase attractiveness of United States travel
  • Print and television are major drivers in awareness and enticement
  • Increase in vacation frequency in market

  • Experiential demand is increasing, driven by the luxury segment

Travel Profile

In Person Trips, 2016
$706 Million
Visitor Spending, 2016

Market Conditions

GDP Annual Growth Rate

In the aftermath of recent demonetization of the Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes by the prime minister, most Indians are positive that this will help fix corruption and illegal money dealings in the market and effectively control economic growth in the longer run. Interest rates will come down after some time since banks are flush with surplus funds following the rush to deposit all demonetized currency. Money supply will fall in the economy with the government trying to limit the availability of liquid cash in the market, with a commensurate increase in online transactions (via credit cards, e-wallets and inter-bank transfers). Demonetization is expected to benefit the economy by improving the government’s fiscal position, improve tax-to-GDP ratio, bring down inflation and drive jobs and income. This demonetization has specifically hit those agents that mainly dealt in cash payments for bookings. As travelers are preoccupied with the handling of individual monetary needs, time assigned for leisure, planning holiday activities, etc. has taken a back seat. Online direct bookings are getting popular compared to agent’s sales counter bookings because people can pay with their credit cards.


Exchange Rate

 1 Indian Rupee equals 0.015 U.S. dollar.

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Travel & Planning Methodologies


  • 6 weekly nonstop flights
  • 1,309 weekly seats
  • Air India increased capacity of their first direct flight from India (New Delhi) to the West Coast (San Francisco) from three to six weekly flights starting November 2016.


  • Planning time frame: 3-4 months in advance; for FIT travel typical planning time 8-12 weeks prior to departure
  • Booking time frame: Planning and booking time frame remains the same; booking is now getting advanced

Market Barriers & Risk Factors



  • U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Tourism Economics 
  • CIC Research, Inc.
  • International Monetary Fund
  • World Economic Forum -Global Competitiveness Report
  • Market intelligence
  • trends from tour operators

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