India's travel and tourism industry is poised for significant growth,
with recent data from Sabre indicating strong potential for expansion.
Domestic travel has already surpassed pre-pandemic levels, and
international travel is quickly catching up. The country's middle-class
segment is also expected to double in the coming decades, providing
further opportunities for the industry to expand.
Sabre's analysis shows that there have been significant investments
in the Indian tourism industry to support capacity requirements for both
domestic and international travel.
Major plane orders by Air India, Akasa Air, and IndiGo are set to
result in close to 1,200 more aircraft for Indian carriers over the next
24 months to meet the growing demand for travel. The Indian government
has also announced a US$12 billion investment in aviation infrastructure
upgrades to increase the number of airports from 148 to 220 by 2025.
Sabre's booking data reveals that domestic travel has already
exceeded pre-pandemic levels, with domestic capacity having already
surpassed 2019 levels since the beginning of 2023. The rise of low-cost
carriers has helped to drive growth in domestic travel, with domestic
capacity for LCCs recorded at over 110% of 2019 levels in Q1 of 2023.
International travel is also on the rise, with recovery rates of 95%
in January 2023, 97.5% in February 2023, and 99.5% in March 2023. Indian
carriers are expected to play an important role in the growth of
international travel, with the aviation minister urging Indian carriers
to fly more long-haul routes. Indian carriers now serve 42.7% of all
international routes, an increase from 36% pre-pandemic.
The growing middle-class segment in India is expected to gain access
to travel as travel becomes more affordable. The middle-class segment is
expected to rise from 1 in 3, to 2 in 3 Indians by 2047.
As more Indian carriers add domestic and international capacities,
alongside aviation infrastructure upgrades, travel will become more
accessible and affordable, encouraging more Indians to travel.
Despite increased fares post-pandemic, travel demand remains strong.
As capacity grows to meet and potentially exceed demand, coupled with
various tourism investments aimed at making travel affordable, fare
prices are expected to stabilise.
Brett Thorstad, vice president of Sabre Travel Solutions, Agency
Sales, Asia Pacific, said, "All the indicators, the investment, and the
conditions are there for substantial growth over the coming years. What
is important now is that all players in the Indian travel ecosystem, and
those who want to be players in the marketplace, understand and can
harness these opportunities through advanced technology."