Business travel on the rise in India, finds survey

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 28, 2011 Published on April 28, 2011

Corporate cut backs on travel – introduced during recession – are as yet not fully lifted. And this is a sore point for the travel industry.

“Recession- induced conservatism continues to plague the airline industry, as corporate bodies take time to crawl back onto the travel wagon,” says Mr Malvinder Singh Rikhy, Chief Operating Officer, HRG Sita India.

He was speaking at the release of a survey on Indian Business Traveller done by British Airways (BA).

While financial sector, services and information technology have bounced back, sectors such as telecom and manufacturing are yet to fully roll back their cutbacks, he said.

According to the BA report, however, the news is not all gloom as some cuts have been removed. Sixty eight per cent of Indian business travellers were found to be travelling more frequently than they did 18 months ago, during the peak of recession.

Of the 68 per cent, 20 per cent claim to have doubled their travel, while half moderately increased their travel, said Ms Judy Jarvis, Regional Commercial Manager, South Asia, British Airways. The survey is based on responses from 107 business travellers across India.

“Our survey shows that business travel in India is much more optimistic than in other markets. While 82 per cent of the respondents feel that their business travel will increase in the next 12 months, three per cent expect to fly less this year,” said Ms Judy.

Small and Medium Enterprises are flexible and fly both economy and business, with a sharp eye on the price factor, while larger businesses tend to be more fixed in their choices. Price (21 per cent), direct connectivity (20 per cent) and comfort during travel (19 per cent) were the top three factors that shaped the Indian business traveller's choice of an airline, said the report.

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Published on April 28, 2011
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