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Jump in Indian tourists opting for loans, BNPL to fund foreign holidays

The tourists who are borrowing more often to save money on tour and activities.

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Jet-setting Indians have taken to the new trend of “travel now, pay later,” refusing to be held back by financial limitations when it comes to visiting foreign and expensive locations.

A pent-up demand in the travel and tourism industry has led to many Indian tourists choosing loans to finance their international vacation plans. Travelers now find it simpler than ever to pay off in EMIs thanks to a plethora of pay later (BNPL) offerings from banks, tour operators, and third-party lenders.

According to the Times of India, IT professionals and honeymooners are fueling growth in the BNPL travel market category.

Travel BNPL presently makes up barely 1% of the entire gross merchandise value (GMV) of travel agencies, but by the end of the next year, that percentage is anticipated to rise to 5%.

As many as 40% of customers of some of the largest tour operators choose these loans; Thomas Cook, for instance, noticed a 25% surge in tourists looking to use these loans to finance their trip arrangements. According to Thomas Cook (India) President & Country Head Rajeev Kale, his company provides loan facilities with 3–13-month payback terms in collaboration with several banks.

According to Daniel D-Souza, president & country head, vacations, SOTC Travel, a division of Thomas Cook, “the average transaction size for an overseas travel loan is Rs 1.5 lakh.”

A 30% increase in the number of honeymooning couples and small families using loan services including credit with EMI option, personal and travel loans from banks to fund vacation plans was reported by Chennai-based travel agency Madura Travel Service between January and June of 2022.