Corporate Travel Segment in India Has Incredible Potential. Here's Why
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Travel industry in India has seen a massive transformation over the past few years and the changes unfolding now are going to be much swifter than ever before. India is the world’s 10th largest business travel market and is likely to clock the fastest growth in this segment in the next five years. According to a KPMG report, business travel spending is expected to treble until 2030 from USD 30 billion in 2015. Clearly corporate travel business in India holdshuge potential and here is how its gaining traction.
Evolution of Indian Corporate Travel
There has been a rapid growth in business and leisure travel in the past decade. As per Global Business Travel Association, with an annual growth of more than 11%, India is the fastest growing business travel market in the world today. This growth has been led by key factors like globalisation of organisations and rising income levels. Earlier business travel was a smaller piece of the pie, but now it is considered as an important aspect in the overall growth of any corporate/business. With low cost carriers and budget hotel providers, travelers have a wide range of options to choose from, making travel for business more affordable and convenient.
Rise of Start-ups and SMEs
The rise in corporate travel can also be attributed to the parallel rise of the start-ups in the country. Similarly, past years have also seen a rise in business travel by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).Driven by factors like growing expansion of organizations, rising income levels and the growing need to network - business travel has emerged as one of India’s fastest growing travel segments.With this the overall travel industry has seen the rise of low cost carriers and budget hotel chains to cater to the growing demand.
Tech Makes Travel Simple
Business travel often involves unplanned flights, last-minute hotel booking, which can be hard to pull together at short notice. Hence,corporates are now taking to new travel tools that drive savings, efficiencies, compliance and traveller safety. For most organizations, travel and expense spending is the second largest expense besides payroll. Unexpected corporate trips create a lot of hassle viz multiple bookings from different vendors, unexpected travel expense and reimbursement issues later. The new corporate travel booking tools are solving these issues by deploying technology, taking the hassle out of booking and expensifying.
The new coporate travel tools by online travel companies have made travel lucrative for those traveling for business. From offering free cancellations for flights & hotel bookings, complimentary in-flight meals and seat selection, hotel upgrades, digitized approval workflows and reporting system to seamless around the clock support – traveling for work has perhaps never been more convenient. More and more companies are today signing up for these online corporate travel tools to ensure that there is ‘Choice’ with the traveller, ‘Control’ with the company and ‘Benefits and Savings’ for both. And with the government’s push for digital payments, more and more companies are looking for online tools to ease their GST requirements – a benefit that online travel companies are passing on to corporates.
Bleisure – Business + Leisure
It might be a relatively new term, but “bleisure” travel—the combination of business and leisure travel—has garnered quite a bit of attention and is also a growing sub-segment. People who travel for business now prefer extending their trips for leisure. The new age traveller is becoming more experience oriented, where they want to ensure that they can experience new places while they are there for business. This concept of bleisure has been a key driver of growth in corporate travel sector as more people look forward to business trips which they can extend by a few days or take their companion along to explore the new city or country.