Business travel expenditure in India estimated at USD 38.2 billion in 2024

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Global Corporate Travel Management Company, FCM Travel India, hosted its first FCM Corporate Travel Summit in Mumbai powered by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) with Hyatt India Hotels, Amadeus, and Singapore Airlines as sponsors. The summit was attended by more than 150 professionals from the travel industry, including key decision-makers. The event curated thought-provoking sessions for India’s business travel community which covered the latest business travel trends, technology, meetings and events, and sustainability.

According to Sunny Sodhi, Managing Director of FCM Travel India India is the 9th largest travel market in the world for business travel spending. It is the 4th largest market for the Asia Pacific region, representing 5.7 percent 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. 

2024 business travel spending projected to reach $38.2 billion

The Indian business travel market witnessed a remarkable 24.7 per cent growth in 2023, and experts anticipate an additional 18.3 per cent increase in 2024, reaching an estimated value of $38.2 billion.

This growth is attributed to various factors, including the increasing adoption of technology, a growing focus on wellness and unique experiences, and the reopening of China.

Pre-pandemic levels expected by 2025

The industry is optimistic about a swift recovery.

Catherine Logan, Regional Vice President of EMEA & APAC at GBTA, concluded by stating, “India will fully reach pre-2019 spending levels by 2025 and is expected to reach 120 per cent of its pre-COVID business travel spend in 2027.”

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Technology and sustainability at the forefront

Manpreet Bindra, FCM Meetings & Events Leader for Asia, highlighted the growing prominence of technology in 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,” he said.

He further highlighted the rising demand for wellness-focused experiences, citing examples like walking tours in Maasai Mara and dinners along the Mara River.

India: A promising market for future growth

FCM Travel Asia’s Managing Director, Bertrand Saillet, reinstated the positive outlook for the Indian market, saying, “Asia has continued to outperform, with a significant 44 per cent increase in revenue as announced in our Mid-Year Results FY2024.”

“This is fuelled by strong performance across Southeast Asia, India, and the re-opening of China, hence we are witnessing growth opportunities in India and Southeast Asia in FY2025,” he added.