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India is now the world’s 8th largest business travel market

Ackash Jain, Director at QnA International

Travel suppliers eye India’s USD 45 billion outbound tourism market at MILT Congress 2018

As India maintains its double-digit annual growth in the outbound MICE and luxury travel segment, travel and tourism businesses around the world are looking to capitalize on the country’s growth potential by Forging business opportunities and partnerships with leading Indian corporates and luxury travel specialists at the 6th annual MICE India and Luxury Travel (MILT) Congress, the premier B2B event that caters to both the business travel and luxury tourism sectors in India.

Organized by Dubai-based QnA International, the MILT Congress will be held this year in two iconic Indian cities – in Mumbai, the country’s commercial capital, from July 25-26, and in national capital Delhi from July 31-August 01.

By 2030, the value of India’s business travel market is expected to reach USD 93 billion and, as global travel and tourism suppliers eyeing a slice of this lucrative market keep searching for new opportunities to tap into, they are once again turning their attention to the annual MILT Congress, which has become a must-attend event for anyone interested in capitalizing on India’s outbound MICE and luxury travel buyers’ needs.

Noting that Indian corporates remain largely unaffected by the global slowdown and continue to spend big on corporate travel, Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism – India & Philippines, said, “Indians are now travelling abroad throughout the year for business. We had a total of around 60,000 Indian tourists visiting Israel in 2017. Platforms like the MICE India & Luxury Travel Congress are crucial as it offers an opportunity to connect and network with travel decision-makers at leading Indian corporates. We see a lot of growth in the outbound MICE segment from India in the coming years.”

Stephanie Tanpure, Vice President of Sales, Sands China Ltd., commented: “As Asia’s leading integrated resort for business and leisure, Sands Resorts Macao is delighted to be the Platinum Partner of MICE India & Luxury Travel Congress. With over 85% market share of overnight Indian guests coming to Macao, India is one of our most important markets, and this key event provides the opportunity to connect with existing and potential clients looking for the ultimate meetings experience. The key to sustained growth is diversification, and since opening The Venetian Macao in 2007 we have increased our hotel offering, which now includes The Parisian Macao; Four Seasons Hotel Macao, Cotai Strip; The St. Regis Macao, Cotai Central; Conrad Macao, Cotai Central; Sheraton Grand Macao Hotel, Cotai Central; and Holiday Inn Macao Cotai Central. In this way, we are able to appeal to both the luxury and family markets.”

Speaking about how Sydney is emerging as a popular destination for business travelers from India, Liza Bajracharya, Assistant Director of South East Asia, India & Japan, Business Events Sydney (BESydney), said, “Sydney is a drawcard destination for Indian companies looking to reward, motivate and inspire their teams. We have seen significant growth from the Indian market in terms of both number of events and number of participants recently. Overseas arrivals from India have tripled in a decade and our popularity with Indian incentive trips reflects this continued rise in interest in the Harbour City.”

India’s emergence as the world’s fastest growing outbound travel market after China has coincided with the steadily rising reputation of the GCC, and particularly the city of Dubai, as an attractive MICE destination. By far the most popular location in the Middle East for trade shows and exhibitions, Dubai accounts for more than a quarter of the GCC’s USD 1.27 billion (AED 4.7 billion) MICE market. The city is India’s top outbound MICE market, ranking ahead of Singapore and Bangkok.

The UAE’s capital city Abu Dhabi, too, is making significant strides in attracting MICE tourists. The Emirate is targeting 3 million business visitors by 2021, by which year it also expects the MICE industry to account for 4% of its GDP. Not surprisingly, India is among the largest source markets for MICE tourism in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and the travel and hospitality companies in both the Emirates are looking to further expand their reach in the Indian market by taking advantage of the unique networking opportunities provided by MILT Congress 2018 with its high-profile buyer lineup.

India has recently moved up two places to become the eighth largest business travel market in the world, and business travel spending in the country is projected to record a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12% through 2020. The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), meanwhile, has forecasted that India will account for 50 million outbound tourists by 2020. Business and luxury travel is expected to make up a significant share of the total volume of outbound travel, with one report indicating the country is on track to generating 6.5 million outbound luxury and MICE tourists annually by 2020.

Ackash Jain, Director, QnA International, said, “India has been maintaining an annual GDP growth rate of 6-8 percent since 2013, and this strong economic momentum is rubbing off on the country’s outbound MICE and luxury travel sector, enabling these segments to post a double digit year-on-year growth. Additionally, the rise of incentive travel, which has emerged as one of the fastest growing segments within India’s outbound business travel market, is opening a new dimension of opportunities for travel and hospitality suppliers around the world.”

“The MILT Congress is the only event that allows travel and tourism businesses in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere to meet and engage one-on-one with decision-makers from India’s leading corporations and luxury travel specialists who are involved in finalizing MICE and luxury travel activities,” he added.

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Angelos is the news editor for TravelDailyNews Media Network (, and His role includes to monitor the hundrends of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skim the most important according to our strategy. He currently studies Communication, Media & Culture in Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens.