Indian travelers take longer trips, more frequently, and spend 40% more than their regional counterparts - Visa Study


India witnessing a growing preference for card payments; 84% Indian travelers book vacations through cards while 51% use cards at destination


Visa, the global leader in payments technology, today released their Global Travel Intention (GTI) Report that highlights the leading trends in travel and tourism in 2017, with insights from over 12,000 globetrotters. The study reveals that Indian travelers are increasingly combining business travel with leisure add-ons. Indians are also leading their regional APAC counterparts in terms of the number and length of trips, and the amount spent.

“The GTI study has thrown up some very interesting travel insights, including the growing preference for digital payments, with over 84% of Indian travelers preferring to pay by card for booking their vacation and 51% spending through their cards while on vacation. Even with travelers who preferred carrying cash on vacation, over 94% Indians reported bringing back unspent cash, indicating the wide acceptance of digital payments and cards in particular. This augurs well for the digital first approach we have adopted in India,” said TR Ramachandran, Group Country Manager, India & South Asia, Visa.

Travelers from India have averaged 5.6 trips in the past two years, compared to 4.7 for APAC and 4.2 globally. This was boosted by business travel – 2.6 trips compared to APAC (1.6 trips) and global (1.4). Indian travelers spend much more – an average of $2,334 against APAC’s $1,677 and they plan to increase that spend by 21% when travelling in the next two years. India is also expected to lead in all categories – Leisure, Business and Other, in the next two years.

A key motivator for Indians to travel is bonding with family, although ‘disconnecting’ and ‘reward’ are close behind. Culture/heritage, time available and good scenery are key drivers of destination choice. They are less likely to be concerned about budgets, compared to APAC or global travellers. Group travel is common, more than half do so, but a third of Indians travel solo.

Indians are increasingly using technology to plan their trips and navigate their destinations – 97% of travelers used technology for this purpose in 2017, the highest compared in the region, and globally. Indians spend the least amount of cash (35%) than their peers in APAC (51%) and globally (53%).


2018 Macro Trends in Travel

In addition to examining motivations and planning tactics, the GTI Study of Indian travelers also uncovered a number of macro trends expected to continue into 2018:

  • Indians are less dependent on cash, preferring other payment methods, and only a third of them spend at destination is in cash. Visa continues to be most preferred card brand overseas.
  • Some 45% of Indian travelers chose destinations based on personal safety, while 21% chose travel destinations to avoid the number of cyber-security attacks reported in the region.
  • 97% of Indian travellers want to stay connected to the internet while travelling, which is the highest compared to their global peers.
  • Japan, the United States and Australia are the most visited countries: Indian travelers travel further compared to their regional and global peers. The United States has overtaken Australia as the most popular destination for Indian travelers in the next two years. 
  • 75% of millennials indulge and spend in shopping and dining, which is higher than the other categories of Indian travelers. 
  • 96% of Indian travelers made impromptu travel plans, which is higher than their peers.


More GTI Findings

For more information about Visa’s Global Travel Intentions Study (GTI) visit


About Global Travel Intentions 2017

The Global Travel Intentions Study analyzes travel behavior and tourism spending patterns of global travelers. A comprehensive study monitoring and analyzing international travel trends and consumer travel behavior, the Study is part of Visa’s continued commitment to helping industry players in their pursuit of growth in the global travel and tourism industry. The GTI Study was conducted in conjunction with research and business intelligence firm ORC International and collected data over the course of 12,400 interviews in 27 markets. Visa has been conducting this biannual study since 2008. Where possible, trends are shown.

About Visa Inc.

Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks - VisaNet - that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information visit