NEW DELHI: The US remains one of the most popular destinations for business travel from India, with seven American cities listed among the Top 10 destinations outside of Asia-Pacific for such travellers from the country, a report released by American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) showed.
According to GBT, strong links between India’s technology and engineering sectors and the US seem to be driving an increase in business travel to San Francisco and New York, which have both overtaken Singapore to move to the second and third most popular business destinations,behind London.
Encompassing all air bookings made directly with GBT for India-based travellers between June 2016 and May 2017, the travel destinations report provides a snapshot of business travel flows within, and from India. Delhi remains the top destination for domestic business travel while London is the No. 1 for international business travel. Elyes Mrad, managing director, international, American Express Global Business Travel, said GBT has witnessed an expansion of 10% year on year in its business in India, and he expects the growth to continue at the same pace this year as well.
London, New York and San Francisco are the top three destinations for international business travel outside of Asia-Pacific, as well as overall. Seemingly reflective of softening business sentiment locally, Singapore has dropped from the No. 2 position to the fourth in the annual rankings.
“This is a hugely exciting time for India from a business travel perspective. India is progressing up the international value chain and has expanded from traditional outsourcing to advanced technology and product development, alongside many other areas of business. It is widely thought that India produces the most engineers in the world and they are of high value to many nations who need large scale support,” said Mrad.
Delhi has grown from its role as India’s political hub to also being a key corporate hub for the country. Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai are also the top destinations for domestic business travel. Lucknow, 12th in the rankings, did not make to the Top 10, but the introduction of special economic zones for IT companies and the development of a major business park there are expected to lift the position of the Uttar Pradesh capital in the future.
Source: American Express Global Business Travel point of sale data destination analysis for June 2016 – May 2017