Indians travelling a lot to witness big-ticket sports events says Mastercard official

Vastavam web: India definitely is not a destination for sports tourism as yet but Indians are surely travelling a lot to witness big-ticket events, a fact which has excited leading financial services providers such as Mastercard.Sarah Quinlan, the Senior Vice President and Group Head of Market Insights for Mastercard Advisors, said Indians are now travelling abroad with a purpose, including for sports events and it is encouraging for them.”There is determined travel as opposed to a vacation. I call it travel with a purpose. Indian consumer is responding. I wonder if the markets have caught what the consumer has demonstrated,” she added.

She, however, agreed that it will take some time for India to witness sports tourism in the country.”Right now it is a low, single-digit percentage but interesting thing is to watch the growth in spending. The Indians have started travelling outside the country for this (sports tourism),” she said.”There is a real opportunity. The middle class continues to emerge in India for the industry to take advantage of it. From our perspective, any sort of commerce is good commerce. That is what we are trying to improve.”

Sarah said demonetisation in India came as a “shock” to the industry but it proved to be highly beneficial for the digital payments sector.The Indian government had demonetised all currency notes of 500 and 1000 denomination in 2016, claiming that it would help wipe off black money from the economy.”It was quite a shock to the system initially. The best thing that came out of it was that we are still having net plus in digital transactions. There was a need and necessity at that time but it stayed up. We had double digit growth across the country last year. That’s exciting for all the players within industry,” Sarah explained.