Indians planning destination weddings overseas could consider Jordan or even Ras Al Khaimah, the northernmost of the UAE. The tourism boards of these and other countries such as Israel and Australia are among those wooing Indian visitors with new measures and incentives, buoyed by a surge in outbound travel from the South Asian nation.
While India still attracts fewer tourists than some other Asian countries, rising disposable incomes have led to a surge in outbound trips, a trend that hasn’t gone unnoticed. Australia is starting online visa applications for Indians from July. Israel, Germany and Canada are also witnessing an unprecedented influx of visitors from India.
The number of Indians visiting Jordan is already up 39% to 20,150 so far this year. The kingdom, famous for its architectural ruins and historic landmarks, is offering Indian tourists a fully-sponsored luxury honeymoon of seven nights if they choose to host their wedding there. It introduced a Jordan Pass for Indian travellers last year. A pass for $100 will get Indians access to over 40 historical sites across Jordan, including the ancient cities of Petra and Jerash and Wadi Rum, the valley cut into sandstone and granite rock in the South.
“There is tremendous scope to increase Indian arrivals into Jordan. Tourism between India and Jordan is flourishing and the intrepid Indian traveller is visiting Jordan in increasing numbers. We are also carrying out extensive campaigns through print, indoor, outdoor and online mediums,” said a spokesperson from the Jordan Tourism Board.
The Australian government recently announced online visa applications for Indians from July to make the process easier. There has been an increase in demand for Australian visas in India with the rising popularity of Australia as a holiday destination, an official statement from the government said. Over 65,000 visitor visas were granted to Indians by Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection in the first four months of 2017.