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Tag: Indian Travel

Chennai Chettinad Adventures: Discovering the Real Madras

Chennai Chettinad Adventures: Discovering the Real Madras

Madras Masala and the Chennai Super Kings Life is an adventure, when your family moves around India every few years for work. Growing up, I became even more audacious as I went on my own travels returning home to discover a different city each time. […]

Discover Spirituality with a Nature Trek by the Ganges at Rishikesh

Discover Spirituality with a Nature Trek by the Ganges at Rishikesh

24 Hours on Offroad Camps Eco Trail, Narender Nagar, Rishikesh   Guest Blog by Nitima, I had my very first mountain hiking experience on Himalayas with a Kumao girl Lakhi. She was playing with her dog near the camp, least aware that her naturally green […]

Travel Economics for the Nomadic Backpacker: India

Travel Economics for the Nomadic Backpacker: India

Why plan a trip to India in 2017?

Planning a trip to India is an optimal idea for any season. As you can always travel to one of the many beautiful places in India every month.

While the northern Himalayas and the North Eastern Jungles may be popular during the summer, the sandy beaches of Goa , the Palaces of Rajasthan and the temples of Hampi are popular in Winters. India has a lot to offer if you consider its multicultural past.

Vacation in India is unique for several reasons. For those interested in a luxury vacation in India, there is the Maharaja express. A luxury train priced so expensive that you need to be really loaded to see India like a King.

For the budget traveler, put on your running shoes and practice your bargaining skills. As if your are thinking of saving on a vacation tour, then India is the perfect travel destination.

So should I go to India or not?

International tourism in India is extremely low.

Why don’t foreigners prefer to visit India?

With around 8 million visits a year there are many reasons for this. The World Economic Forum considers various factors in determining its Travel & Tourism Competitiveness ranking.

From considerations on tourism infrastructure spending and price competitiveness to the cultural fabric and the business environment in the country, the index presents an explicit methodology.

India ranks high for Price Competitiveness and Cultural resources and business travel in the WEF Travel & Tourism Competitiveness ranking 2015.

While India ranks lower for ICT readiness, Tourist service infrastructure and Environmental sustainability, but the Real Incredible India is outside the cities, where none of these matter.

I have always seen a lot of value in India. Rich historical heritage and and an assortment of vegetarian delicacies you will not find anywhere else in the world.

But immersed in the path to quick economic development, the country is finally waking up to its environmental problems.

The pollution is still confined only to our crowded cities and we still have lush green forests. The Tiger population is reviving and India has now stepped across the path to digitalization.

The Travel Economics info-graphic below aims to summarize information on tourism to India. Understanding who visits India may help figuring out the main motivations for travelers.

Considering that currency fluctuations can affect your travel budget, the info-graphic below also presents a foreign exchange analysis of the Indian Rupee.

The motivation behind this study was to find the optimal time to travel to India considering macroeconomic trends.

Considering the economic growth and future rise in domestic tourism, a post demonetization visit to India is 2017 can be a great idea. 

If you are a person who looks at travel as an Investment, then a trip to India is an undervalued asset.

When is the best time to travel to India?

As a tropical country, a visit to central India is ideal for the winters from October to March. If you do land in the Off season, you can still head out to the hill stations which provide a respite in the warm season.

Hence , the best time to visit South India will be in the winters. While the best time to visit North India depends on where you plan to go. Rajasthan will be hot in the summers, while the Himalayan resorts are very welcoming.

The best time to visit India also depends on the economic trends and reforms.

Since 2015, India has changed a lot. The country has adopted digitalization with an attitude unforeseen before.

Amid the short term discomfort to tourists visiting India during the currency Demonetization, India has surpassed the challenges and has now become a cheaper place where money is valued more. Cracking down on the black economy can ensure foreign tourists visiting India a more hassle free trip.

With more transactions becoming digital, there is lesser scope of being coerced to pay higher charges to unscrupulous agents.

Such a major step will be succeeded with a low interest rate regime aimed to boost growth. Rise in Domestic tourism is expected in the medium to long term future.

Hence, Now may actually be the best time to visit India.

Just like when a smart investor picks up a wonderful stock at a low price, Travel to India post demonetization presents a huge opportunity.

Top reasons not to visit India

Don’t listen to that guy who says do not travel to India because there are lots of rapes and not enough of toilets. Of Course there are places not to go in India.

While the South Indian states have very little crime and a high human development index, incidents of crime is prevalent in the lesser developed parts of the country. The nation largely believes in respecting its guests.

There is political stability in the country and the government is taking huge steps to curb crime. In Spite of news about crime from India, data for per capita population shows a much lower crime rate.

 

 

Crime from India is an act of crime from 1 out of 7 people in the world. Of Course you may hear some bad stories, but that is coming from a country with over 1 billion people.

So is India safe for tourists?

Of Course it is safe to travel to India in 2017.

A visit to India is memorable in the countryside. Indian cities are very crowded and the rising pollution is a major concern. Nonetheless, very little of India is still industrialized. A visit to the forests in the North East of India can be a truly enriching travel experience.

How safe is the food in India?

In today’s age technology can help you with this simple issue. Just visit Zomato and read a review. If a bunch of people are alive posting feedbacks and reviews then the restaurant should be good.

Don’t just enter any place you find on the road. Most mid priced places offer high quality food feeding several people everyday.

Hot vegetarian food should be chosen if you are entering an unknown restaurant.

Try to have bottled water in India. Do not drink water from the tap!

Tap water in bathrooms and the kitchen is not safe in all parts of the country. Most Indian houses install a water purification system or just buy bottled water.

As a part of your visa process to India, you will have to get vaccinated for precaution.

Most importantly, do not take food from strangers while traveling.

 

Travel Caution!

 

As a tourist to India you really don’t want to carry too many expensive gadgets and jewelries. This is advice I would give to anyone visiting Europe too.

My visiting father was pick-pocketed in Milan and I know at least 10 friends who have faced pickpockets in Barcelona. If you look different, you will catch a little attention.

So always be alert and hold on tight to your belongings. Just as tight as you would hold it in European tourist hubs.

Travel & Economics Info-graphic summary

  • Seasonality in Tourist arrival trends in India and the west (US and Europe) complement very well.
  • India enjoys peak season during the western off season and an off season during western peak season.
  • India sees a fall in Inflation rates following the Demonetization of large currency in November, 2016 which has led to a stronger rupee.
  • However as India moves into a lower interest rate regime, a rise in Inflation should happend in the near future.
  • With stable Government Debt to GDP ratio and steady Current Accounts, the Indian economy is expected to soar ahead. Indian Tourism may fall lower in Price Competitiveness with an increase in domestic tourism.
  • The advent of the Goods & Services tax (GST) will ensure an efficient hospitality sector and increase India’s overall ranking in the WEF Travel & Tourism rankings.

  • India is currently in a sweet spot with lower Terms of Trade, for foreign tourists seeking a budget travel.
  • Though the Indian Rupee may fall slightly in the coming years, the rise in Domestic Tourism (post reform growth) may make Travel to India more expensive ahead.
  • Taking advantage of Off season travel can be a great idea currently as there is always some place you can visit in every season in India.

 

Read more interesting stories at MilanKaRaja.com

Himalayas: Travel prescription for the urban claustrophobic

Himalayas: Travel prescription for the urban claustrophobic

Why you need to disconnect with the Yaks at the Himalayas? Pandas and Cats have really made life better for the busy urban employee. The social media stars from the Animal kingdom are yet to see competition from the Yaks. These beautiful creatures live in the […]

Italy & Germany: Indian family trip in Europe with Parents

Italy & Germany: Indian family trip in Europe with Parents

10 things to prepare for an Indian family trip to Europe My elder brother and me have been living in Europe for over 5 years now. While I moved to Milan for study and then work, my brother is now a proud Doctorate at a […]

Lessons for Indian tourism: Dents in Incredible India

Lessons for Indian tourism: Dents in Incredible India

Tourism is more than fun and games for the Host country

That is me up there with an Indian map and an incredible India T-shirt. I had it as my Facebook profile picture for sometime. As innocent as it may sound, I was doing my part in promoting tourism to India.

Living in Europe for over 6 years, I was sure I could reach out to a lot of new connections with a simple photo update.

I always knew that a trip to India is for the adventurous folk. Learnt that from living in various cities across the South and the North of India. Trips to Agra, Rajasthan or any of the other popular tourists destinations in North India can surround you with hoards of hawkers and agents trying to sell you some thing. Usually, some one with limited people experience, would end up making some bad money decisions.

Looking at it, in a country with so much to offer the tourists would always arrive. But the short term thinking by Indians hoping to profit from these tourists is very sad.

Recently, with the demonetization of larger Indian currency, loads of foreign tourists with cash are forced to exchange them with agents asking for commissions over 40%. In other words, 100 € should give you around 7200 rupees apart from commission deduction by money transfer companies.

Assuming you get the best deal of 7200 rupees, you are now left loosing 40% of all larger currency that you urgently need to convert. Even if, you had 2200 rupees in 100s and wanted to exchange the other 5000 rs.

You would loose 2000, leaving you with only 5200 rupees instead of 7200. This was a very optimistic calculation assuming that these tourists had 2200 rupees in cash of 100s. Even more optimistic would be some one telling me that the sudden deflation caused should allow them to enjoy more with their little money.

Shit has hit the fan now, and I am expecting a drop in tourists for the New Years. Nonetheless, with criticism like mine, I am very confident that the authorities will act and quickly resolve these silly issues to make India a much better place for foreign tourists in the future.

Empowering them with cash less transfer, eliminating special extra bribes, healthy competition among tour operators, eliminating crony monopoly by gangs etc.

As I compare Indian tourism with Italian tourism, I understand that there is a lot of work to be done on the Indian side in making the tourists feel safer. But the troubles in India may actually be its unique selling point.

Not quoting any concrete research on this, and will stick to my own personal opinions based on people I have met who traveled to India. It helped them see life from a whole different perspective. They could witness a life of luxury as well as a life devoid of indulgence. This diversity among the classes, inspired from diverse philosophical beliefs may not make sense, until you return back to your country to become some one more self aware.

Travelling helps, good or bad experiences are relative. You can be stranded on an Indian highway, only to hitch hike with a trucker to one of the traditional Indian Dhabas, where you can relish some of the best tasting Indian food in the most original manner.

Indian Superfoods

Enjoying delicious Naan-Parathas, with a choice in spicey chicken, farm fresh vegetables and dal, accompanied by green chillies and thinly sliced onions with lemon juice and pepper sprinkled on top. When you are done with your meal, you could have some nice butter milk served in a bronze tumbler, to help you digest while you nap on something like this:

indian-cot

If you plan on driving more, you need to relax after that big yummy meal which could look something like this if you like chicken:

or like this if you love veggies:


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