Business travel in India to grow by 11.5 per cent in 2019

FCMFCM Travel Solutions, the Indian subsidiary of Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG), Australia and KPMG released a whitepaper titled ‘Redefining Corporate Travel Management’ that presents businesses with a holistic approach towards business travel and helps setting benchmarks to evaluate the performance of their chosen travel partner.
In the past year, rise in annual growth of business travel spend for India has been the highest among the top 15 business travel markets globally. According to Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the business travel spends in India stood at USD 37 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach USD 46 billion in 2019 with a projected annual growth rate of 11.5per cent – making India one of the world’s fastest growing business travel market. While India is the 7th largest business travel market it is projected to be amongst the top 5 travel markets by 2022. Furthermore, India-China-Indonesia (ICI) travel spend is predicted to reach USD 565 billion in 2022 and is projected to be the largest in the world by 2035.
To truly recognize benefits of business travel, corporates need to look at their travel management programme in a holistic way. The whitepaper focuses on key mainstays that make up a successful travel management programme; ensuring Safety of employees, increasing cost Effectiveness of the programme, boosting Productivity of employees while travelling for business and greater Transparency within the programme. Thus, aiming to succour organizations by helping them adopt a comprehensive travel programme that can integrate and fulfil the needs of all the stakeholders involved.
The report also details that while currently women account for approximately 30 per cent of the economically active workforce, they also account for nearly 25 per cent of domestic business travellers. This number is expected to rise as women account for 41.6 per cent of those enrolled in higher education and are entering high level positions in the professional hierarchy. As the number of women in business travel increases, the industry will have to adapt to cater to this trend. In order to ensure safety of women travellers, certain adjustments will have to be made across all stages of travel such as cab booking, flights, hotels, etc.
Rakshit Desai, Managing Director, FCM Travel Solutions, Indian subsidiary of FCTG, Australia, said, “The dynamics of business travel have been changing around the world in sync with the new age corporate traveller. The advent of millennial workforce has amplified the need for employers to understand the expectations and habits of the next generation of employees. This is leading to emergence of trends such as bleisure, value driven and mobile friendly business travellers, and an increase in women travellers. Corporate Travel Management Companies have the ability to streamline a corporate’s travel by deploying user-friendly integrated solutions like digitized approval workflows and reporting system. While assisting corporates in optimizing planning, approval and booking processes, TMCs also help corporates in shifting their traditionally offline processes like travel policies, approval matrices, expense management etc. online. This shift to digital processing will increase visibility into travel spends and trends, enabling comprehensive MIS reporting.”