As GBTA becomes increasingly global, we continue to develop new resources that will be useful to our members and the industry from a global perspective. Just a few weeks ago, Donna Kelliher our President and CEO wrote to you about the new Global Leaders Directory 2014, which enables you to connect with key leaders around the world in our industry.
Last week the GBTA Foundation released its inaugural GBTA BTI™ Outlook – India report. It will become part of a semi-annual business travel outlook and overall economic analysis of India. The report, sponsored by Visa Inc., includes the GBTA BTI™; an index of business travel spending that distills market performance over a period of time, adding India to the growing list of countries that GBTA conducts these business travel forecasts for.
The report shows India has become the 10th largest business travel market in the world, working its way up over the last 15 years from number 24. GBTA expects India to continue moving up these rankings and should pass Italy to become the 9th largest market in the next five years.
The outlook for India’s business travel is positive. 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.
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.
International outbound business travel spending also plays a role however. It has been extremely volatile in recent years and is only expected to gain 1.1 percent in 2014, but will see major improvement in 2015 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.
Domestic business travel spend is also 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 also regain its footing in 2015 advancing 7.7 percent to $24.2 billion USD.
The recent landslide victory of Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) party in India’s May elections have renewed optimism for more pro-business reforms and accelerated infrastructure investment. Even incremental success in these efforts should eventually spark greater economic and business travel growth, although insufficient infrastructure will continue to present challenges to this growth.