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Indian tourists are discovering India like never before, but there is a problem

Adam Popescu – 6 July, 2018

There are fears that weak infrastructure and stretched bureaucracy could allow Indian tourist magnets to lose what makes them special. The travel habits of Chinese citizens are changing the world. Taking about 145 million overseas trips a year, the Middle Kingdom’s middle class is moving—and spending—more than that of any other nation: In 2016 they accounted for $261 billion overseas, a fifth of all sales by international tourists, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization. To the south, India’s own swelling, monied middle class—250 million smartphone-toting young professionals out of a population of 1.3 billion—is starting to emulate its regional rival. In less than 10 years, the World Travel & Tourism Council expects India to become the fourth-largest travel and tourism economy behind China, the U.S., and Germany. Although more people are visiting India than ever before—two decades ago about 2.4 million international tourists came to India a year; in 2017…