A Reserve Bank of India (RBI) report has revealed that Indian travellers have spent record amount of forex abroad in the first quarter of financial year 2019. With travel topping the chart for being the prime reason for buying/spending forex, followed by education, maintenance of close relatives and gifts. International travel cost the country US$1.6 billion out of the total US$4.2 billion forex purchased by Indians in Q1 (April-June 2019). There’s a 42 per cent increase from the US$1 billion spent on international travel out of a total US$ 3 billion spent done during April-June 2018.
RBI’s numbers show that of the total US$13.8 billion spent by Indians in Financial Year 2018-2019, US$ 4.8 billion (35%) was on travel, US$ 3.6 billion (26%) on education, followed by US$ 2.8 billion (20%) for maintenance of close relatives and nearly US$ 1.4 billion on gifts to the relatives overseas. The sector that has crashed in terms of overseas spending is purchase of property or equity investments.
According to World Tourism Organization, Indians are spending more than twice the amount on international travel as per June 2019, as opposed to what they spent in 2017. The numbers of Indians already having travelling overseas so far this year is close to 5 crore; quite a hike from the 2.4 crore Indians who travelled abroad in 2017.