New Delhi: India is on a roll and the capital city is becoming a hub for traders as people in the country have begun to explore the Asian market for goods, services and entertainment.
A total of 11 million people in India, including many people from the US and the US-India area, are estimated to have visited India in 2017, a trend that is expected to accelerate in the next few years, said Anshuman Thakur, CEO of Thakurti Group, a Delhi-based business consultancy.
The number of Indians visiting India in the past year has risen to more than 1.5 million, an increase of nearly 60% from 2016, said Thakumar.
The growth has come as India’s economic growth is expected hit by a severe slowdown in China, which has already taken a major hit from the impact of the global financial crisis, but it has been boosted by the arrival of millions of Chinese tourists in India.
“We have seen a big rise in visits from China, from 4 million in 2017 to more like 15 million in the first three months of 2018,” said Tharakur.
“That’s a huge increase.”
Thakur said the number of Chinese people who have visited Delhi in the last three months has increased by more than 500% from the same period last year.
The figure is expected by the end of 2018 to reach around 2.5 crore.
“They’re coming here to have fun, to have food, to relax, to shop and for a lot of reasons it is a huge boost for the economy,” said one of the traders.
In a country where many people have grown up in the colonial era, India has become a hub of commerce and a tourist destination for people from other parts of the world.
“The Chinese market is the largest in the world, with the largest concentration in the southern part of the country,” said Manoj Gopalakrishnan, chief executive of the Indian Express Travel and Tourism, which is based in Delhi.
“We are seeing a big growth in this market.”
As a result, it is expected that more Chinese visitors will come to India in coming years, and that the country will be able to compete with other countries in terms of tourists and trade.
“I think we are going to be able compete with China in terms, at least in terms.
We have to go beyond the tourism,” said Gopalag.
“But in terms we are doing business, I think the demand is very high for the products we are selling.”
The capital city has seen a surge in foreign visitors, with nearly one million Chinese visitors visiting India last year, according to Tourism India, which provides official figures.
The number of foreign tourists in the city increased by nearly 60%, to 725,000, which comes out to more people than there are Indians in India itself.
The growth is mainly in the hospitality and tourism segments.
A lot of Chinese come to visit India, especially the tourist season, said Rakesh Kumar, managing director at Tourism India.
“They want to experience the city for a while, see the sights and to meet some of their friends.”
The number one reason why Chinese tourists come to the city is for the entertainment, he added.
As the number and quality of entertainment in India has grown, so too has the demand for entertainment.
“A lot more Chinese tourists are now coming to India to watch television or films, or to go to the cinema or the theater,” said Ram Chandra, president of the International Chinese Film Association.
“There is more than 100 cinemas in Delhi alone, and more than 400 of them have theatres,” he added, noting that a number of theatres are now being built.
According to an industry report by Tourism India last week, the number two reason for visits to India is for cultural experiences.
“In terms of the cultural experience, we are seeing more people from overseas coming to Delhi,” said Kumar.
“This is very much about tourism and the experience of the city.”