The GBTA Foundation announced the results of its first GBTA BTI™ Outlook – India report, a semi-annual business travel outlook and overall economic analysis of India.
Key highlights of the report include:
• After a period of economic growth stuck below 5 percent along with soaring inflation, GBTA projects total business travel spending for India to grow 2.1 percent in 2014 to $24.9 billion USD. An improved outlook for the Indian economy, however, should bring business travel spend back on track in 2015 as GBTA expects 7.6 percent growth to $28.8 billion USD.
• Over the last 15 years, India has worked its way up the rankings of major global business travel markets from number 24 in 2000 to the 10th ranked market in the world in 2013. GBTA expects India will continue to move up the rankings and should pass Italy to become the 9th largest market in the next five years.
• Driven by both the tremendous growth of the middle class and size and multitude of business centers throughout India, domestic business travel spending has dominated, comprising 90 percent of total business travel spend in the country.
• Along with the ailing domestic economy, domestic business travel spend is expected to slow in 2014 only growing 2.2 percent. Thanks in part to the recent election results providing a boost in business and investor confidence, domestic business travel spend will regain its footing in 2015 advancing 7.7 percent to $24.2 billion USD.
• International outbound business travel spending has been extremely volatile in recent years and is only expected to gain 1.1 percent in 2014. It too will see major improvement in 2015 though as GBTA projects 7 percent growth to $2.6 billion USD due to renewed strength among India’s major trading partners including China, Europe and the United States.
India’s insufficient infrastructure presents a significant impediment to sustainable growth. This includes not only physical infrastructure such as ports of entry and modes of transportation, but also urban infrastructure such as access roads, electricity, water supply and telecommunications. One particular challenge for business travel in India is that while the supply of hotel rooms is relatively large, there is a shortage of quality options, which are by and large expected by business travelers. This is beginning to shift, however, and development is taking place across a number of global chains that cater to business travelers.