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Passport Demand drops first time in 5 years – People traveling lesser ?

The revival in the global economy witnessed since the early 2009, could well be deceptive if one goes by the demand for passports which has fallen drastically, at least in the populated country like India – though this cannot serve as a sole indicator of global economic health. But, one can say that the recession has slowed foreign travel dramatically.

India in 2009 saw a drop in the demand for passport for the first time in the last 5 years. The data from the ministry of external affairs indicates that the demand for passport climbed down throughout the years of financial crisis when the global economy contracted.

Indian Passports

This drop in the demand for passports could be on account of several reasons including that of Indians opting to delay holidaying at expensive foreign tourist destinations, during the tough recessionary conditions and, in the process, accumulating the savings for the rainy days. It could also imply that Indian job-seekers, who aspired to work for large MNCs, realized the dwindling growth prospects involved in working with over-leveraged and financially weak foreign companies.

The global recession since the late 2007 has led to deterioration in the economic health of the major advanced economies such as the US and the Europe – which are said to be the major destination markets for the low-cost outsourcing services offered by Indian off shoring and BPO companies.

Another crucial aspect that could have hit the number of passport issuances is that of the increasingly cumbersome passport renewal process. Frankly, I haven’t gone through the process personally, but hearing it from my friend – it was a bad feeling. Speaking about a very recent incident, my colleague said he had to spend his valuable 6 hours in the passport office just to get it renewed.

The process which is implemented through various counters includes biometric data collection as well as other verification methodologies. In spite, of issuing online tokens the process takes much longer than the usual time.

Further, the report says that the traditionally migrant people of Kerala and Uttar Pradesh had also witnessed a significant drop in terms of passports handed out. Even the face-saver software industry involved in outsourcing services didn’t witness a boom in terms of too many graduates being recruited to serve their foreign clients.

Can we expect the demand from hot-spots Tier-II and III cities to pick in 2010?


About Viral Dholakia

Viral Dholakia is a Freelance writer for financial magazines & is passionate about blogging and Capital Markets. Stay in touch with him at bull4bears-at-yahoo.co.in or on Twitter at @viralsss

2 comments

  1. Hope people would travel more within India than going abroad. Also it might be that the lure of going to the US or other countries for further studies / job is ebbing now. Overall, a positive move, i believe.

    • Agreed…. Liju Philip. It could prove out to be a positive move for the domestic tourism space. As people would travel to tourist destination within India and give a fillip to the trade at such locations. And, even domestic education system is also gradually taking steps to improve and bridge the gap to reach quality education standards.

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