Asia was home to the fastest-growing business travel market in 2016, a new report has found.
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Foundation’s latest BTI Outlook report reveals that the value of India’s business travel sector increased 11.4% in 2016, and is expected to expand by a further 11.6% this year. This would take the sector’s total value to US$36.8 billion by the end of 2017 and gives India the strongest growth rates of any major global market.
This comes despite the Indian government’s surprise decision last year to remove INR500 and 1,000 notes from circulation, which disrupted the domestic economy.
“India continues to position itself to become a world leader in business travel for decades to come,” said Gaurav Sundaram, GBTA’s regional director for India. “Despite fears surrounding the demonetization efforts, India saw a 10.9% growth in year-over-year business travel spending for the second quarter of 2016 – even higher than our last report projected.”
The continued double-digit growth will propel India further up the global business travel rankings. Having moved up five places during the 2000s to become the world’s 10th largest business travel market at the end of 2015, GBTA forecasts that India will overtake South Korea and Italy on its way to becoming the sixth largest market by 2019. Last year India surpassed Brazil.
The country’s growth is being driven by domestic business travel spending, which is forecast to jump 12.0% this year and 11.8% in 2017, reaching US$33.8 billion. This means that domestic spending accounts for almost 92% of India’s total business travel value.
The country’s international outbound business travel spending is believed to have increased 5.4% last year, accelerating to 9% in 2017.