In an exclusive interaction with Express TravelWorld, Michael W McCormick, executive director and COO, GBTA shared his strong belief that the India market will continue to grow. “We saw India move from number 10 to number eight last year in terms of market size, it will move to number six in the coming years,” he said, pointing out that if business travel continues to grow, it has a direct impact on the growth of jobs and the economy.
Reminding that business travel is an investment and it has been proven in every market, he said, “Business travel is still largely driven by domestic travel, so one of the big opportunities for India’s marketplace is international business travel, which also indicates maturing of the market.”
There are plans to expand the India operations. He also spoke about developing a local chapter – the model has worked very well in the US. “There is a need for a local chapter, with a regional focus to bring on one platform major companies and suppliers,” he said.
The education programmes of GBTA have been expanded to five more cities in India. “There is an opportunity to continue to provide education research and information as there is a thirst for education and learning about the marketplace,” mentioned McCormick, adding that there is also a need in secondary and tertiary markets where it is not possible for all of those people working in the industry to travel and take the education. In the US, there are 40 local chapters across the country, which have been there longer than than GBTA global organisation. “They meet locally, are largely volunteer driven, provide the networking, it is an efficient way to take the education programmes delivered locally and create those local communities,” he said.
Being a US based organisation, the key research team is located there, but they work with different regions to develop local research.