Indian business travel spend to reach US$45b by 2019

India is poised for “breakout growth” in the corporate travel market, with business travel spend expected to grow 11 per cent in 2015 and 2016.

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) says India’s business travel market remains one of the healthiest in the world, with short-term prospects for the economy continuing to improve.

In its new BTI Outlook report focusing on India, China, Brazil and Russia, GBTA says India and China will continue their double digit growth while Brazil and Russia lag behind.

“A decade ago, it looked like these four nations would develop in lockstep, with high rates of growth across the board. But their paths have diverged sharply as a result of the unique political and economic situations in each country,” said Michael McCormick, GBTA executive director.

“China and India continue to be business travel juggernauts, a reflection of the underlying strength of both economies even in a tough global economic environment. Brazil and Russia, on the other hand, face growing economic turbulence, turmoil and uncertainty.”

India has the 10th largest travel market in the world, spending US$26 billion on business travel in 2014. With a growth rate of 11.5 per cent, the nation is expected to spend US$45 billion in 2019.

GBTA predicts India will be a top five market in business travel spend in 15 years, .

The report adds: “(India’s forecast) is a reflection of an improving business climate under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as well as the high levels of domestic economic activity.”

Conversely, travel spending in Brazil will decline 1.5 per cent in 2015, a significant downgrade of GBTA’s projection of 1.8 per cent growth earlier this year.

Even worse is Russia, where spend is expected to fall 17 per cent in 2015 to US$17.5 billion, down from earlier forecasts of a 2.7 per cent decline.

Report authors add: “The decline in Russian growth can be attributed to the collapse of oil prices, international sanctions and overall weakness in the global economy.”