The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Foundation, the voice of the global business travel industry, today announces the results of its third GBTA BTI™ Outlook – India report, a semi-annual analysis that relates unfolding economic events at home and abroad to their resulting impacts on India’s business travel market. The report, sponsored by Visa Inc., includes the GBTA BTI™; an index of business travel spending that tracks market performance over time.
“India is poised for economic harmony as the region is strongly growing in the short-term and is also in an excellent position for the long-term,” said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA Executive Director and COO. “If India continues on its current growth path, it will be a world leader in business travel for decades to come.”
Key highlights of the report include:
- GBTA upgraded its forecast for the second straight time projecting India’s total business travel spend to grow 9.8 percent in 2015 and 10.9 percent in 2016 – the first year of double-digit spending gains since 2011.
- India’s GDP grew 7.5 percent during the fourth quarter of 2014 resulting in annual growth of 7.4 percent over 2013.
- The consumer sector has been trending upward for most of the past two years. An advancing middle class, steady job creation, rising incomes and a post-election boost to consumer confidence that the World Bank has deemed “the Modi dividend” have helped to advance spending.
- A strong piece of economic news is the trend reversal and moderation of inflation during 2014. Down from a year-over-year high of more than 11 percent in November of 2013, consumer inflation fell to a low of 4.4 percent just one year later.
- GBTA forecasts domestic business travel to hit double digit growth in 2015 and 2016 growing 10.1 percent and 11.3 percent respectively.
- International outbound (IOB) travel from India is much more volatile and slower growth in China has put downward pressure on the growth of Indian IOB over the last few years. GBTA expects IOB spending to grow 7.9 percent in 2015 and 7.3 percent in 2016.
- Infrastructure presents a challenge for India, but Prime Minister Modi has made the development of the country’s infrastructure a cornerstone of public policy. India has also announced a new tourism policy will be launched in May that will likely focus on various issues including tourism infrastructure.
“The combination of an aspirational middle class, positive government reforms and strong economic sentiment has resulted in an increased demand for business travel. The shift towards electronic payments is making it easier for companies to track travel expenditure and more convenient for employees to manage their spending when abroad and reconcile their expenses on return,” said TR Ramachandran, Group Country Manager India and South Asia.