It's undeniable that India has surged into the position of being one of the world's pre-eminent economies during the past 25 years. And during the past half-decade, that growth has accelerated at a fantastic pace. In fact, a Forbes piece from December 2016 noted that the Indian economy had expanded so much so quickly that its gross domestic product for that year just barely exceeded that of the U.K., and is projected to leave Britain only further behind in the next few years.
Considering that India earned its independence from the U.K. less than 75 years ago, the nation's ascension to the ranks of the most robust global economies is quite remarkable. Of late, business travel is a major driver of Indian economic growth, according to a number of recent reports. Effectively, corporate travelers who are hurriedly trying to schedule last minute flights from Mumbai or New Delhi, for major conferences and numerous other business purposes, are contributing to the future largesse of a country on the rise.
Recent Indian business travel up ahead of expectations
A report released in the latter half of 2016 by the Global Business Travel Association noted that India was solidly in place as the world's 10th-largest market for global business travel, and liable to become the sixth-largest such market by 2019's end. Business travel spending originating in India is predicted to surge from 2015's figure of $29.5 billion to $33 billion when 2016's numbers are fully crunched - an increase of approximately 15 percent.
The GBTA noted that this is likely reflective of overall global business travel spend, which, per the report, should grow by 5.4 percent in 2016 - larger than the organization's original prediction of a 3.1 percent uptick.
"Our general outlook for Indian business travel spending remains very positive and has even improved slightly since our previous outlook," the GBTA report stated. Additionally, regarding broader trends in international travel, it pointed out that "brightening prospects for increased trade activity, especially with the oil-rich [Middle East and North Africa] region[s], should push ... spending forward by 9 percent in 2017."
"India will emerge as a leader in business travel spending over the next decade or so. When one looks at India, one sees one of the highest growth rates in business travel in the entire world," said Jaideep Gosh, partner and chief operating officer of KPMG's management consulting division. "If India continues on that trend, in another 15-20 years, it will surpass the U.S. as well and be second only to China."
Growth could skyrocket in coming decades
Remarkable as the recent growth is for India's business travel sector, expansion predictions for the coming decade and beyond make prospects appear even more robust. Per a collaborative study released mid-January by FCM Travel Solutions and consultancy firm KPMG, the worth of this vertical is expected to reach $93 billion by 2030 - more than triple its 2015 value. The paper also pointed out that the compound annual growth rate of the industry will be 12 percent through 2020 and 6 percent through 2030.
By almost any standard, the business travel sector in India has a bright outlook. Travelers seeking a last minute flight to or from cities in the nation serving as major business hubs will need to ensure they seek out the right travel services provider.