Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/19/2014 -- We see a very healthy future for the tourism industry in India. The country offers investors an enormous potential domestic market, with GDP growth in recent years providing a substantial boost to outbound travel figures. India maintains its position as one of the most popular destinations for inbound travel in the Asia Pacific region, and we expect to see solid increases across our range of key market indicators.
The tourism market in India will benefit from longer-term investment in the expansion and modernisation of the country's transport infrastructure. While India already has one of the most extensive rail networks in the world, many sections are overcrowded and subject to massive delays, which can be a deterrent to visiting travellers. A great deal of progress in terms of infrastructure development was made in the preparations for the 2010 Commonwealth Games; however, a great deal remains to be done. The air travel industry, in particular, is expected to be subject to a range of investment programmes, with work continuing to see the sector recover from the managerial and economic problems experienced in 2011 and 2012. We expect to see a great deal of investment in the country's transport infrastructure in the run-up to the hosting of the ICC World Twenty20 cricket tournament in 2016.
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The accommodation sector is also expected to grow at a healthy rate throughout our forecast period, with developers attracted by the country's large labour resource pool, range of natural resources, solid international market links and a generally stable political situation. There are, however, ongoing security concerns in the form of regional tensions with Pakistan and lingering threats from terrorist groups (which may target tourism locations, as demonstrated by the Mumbai hotel attacks in 2008). Recent high-profile violent attacks on women, including tourists, could also impact inbound travel, with visitors likely to be deterred if the government is not seen as taking a strong stance against violence of this nature.
Overall, despite security concerns and the much-needed infrastructure development, India remains a popular tourist destination for travellers from around the world and is increasingly tapping into the lucrative highend luxury travel market. While any return to the economic conditions seen during the global credit crunch could affect both inbound and outbound travel, we do expect to see an increase to - and from - all regions, pointing to very healthy growth throughout our forecast period to 2018.
Key BMI forecasts include:
- We expect to see an increase in the number of hotels in the country, with many of the major hotel chains expanding their presence in India. These chains include Hyatt, which opened five new hotels in early 2013, and Starwood, which opened several new hotels in 2013 and aims to have 100 hotels under different stages of development by 2015.
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