India’s BT spend at $38.2 bn

India is 9th largest market in the world for business travel spending and 4th-largest market for the Asia Pacific, representing 5.7 per cent of business travel spending in the region, says Sunny Sodhi, Managing Director, FCM Travel India.

Hazel Jain

There are many statistics that indicate that India is on the right track of development, says Sunny Sodhi, Managing Director, FCM Travel India. “To start with, look at the sheer number of aircraft India added over a period of six years is phenomenal – from 700-odd aircraft to 2,000 in the next five years. In terms of infrastructure, airports are being built and rebuilt, many brownfield projects taking off. With regards to corporate travel, we see a lot of inclination around consolidating the travel spends through use of technology where everything is available on a single platform,” he adds.

UX key to any product

FCM Travel’s journey is also going to be tech-led going forward. An important aspect of this is the voice of customer. “Customer or user experience (UX) is going to be a very important factor for TMCs like us to grow at a faster pace, backed of course by a strong technology background. More and more companies today are deciding to choose their travel management partner based on what they have to offer on the technology front. It is table stakes when it comes to technology. At the end of the day, feature functionalities are only as good as the user experience they offer. Features can always be built. While the travel programmes are structured around cost-efficiencies, technology enablement, the user is someone raising the expectation with regards to what the experience should be like. How do those five clicks come down to three when making reservations,” Sodhi explains.

India 9th largest in world

“India is the ninth largest travel market in the world for business travel spending. It is the fourth-largest market for the Asia Pacific region, representing 5.7 per cent of business travel spending in the region. In 2023, India’s business travel spending grew 24.7 per cent and we anticipate an 18.3 per cent increase in spending in 2024,” reveals Sodhi. Face to face meetings are back!  “It is going to be an exceptional year for the meetings and
events industry. Technology-enabled events are here to stay, and we use artificial intelligence and virtual reality to enhance and elevate guest experiences. We have also seen a strong demand for wellness, well-being, and even luxurious experiences. We recently organised walking tours in Maasai Mara and dinner along the Mara River,” added Manpreet Bindra, FCM Meetings & Events Leader, Asia.

India’s business travel spend is estimated to touch $38.2 billion in 2024 and reach $49.5 billion by 2027, he added. FCM Travel India hosted its first FCM Corporate Travel Summit in Mumbai powered by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).



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