Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 05/29/2014 -- India offers potential investors an enormous range of opportunities, with growth expected across all of our key market indicators throughour our current forecast period to 2018. Domestic economic growth is providing a boost to both internal and outbound travel, while the country's extensive range of attractions and new travel connections are helping to expand the number of annual tourist arrivals.
If India is to keep up with the expected increases in inbound and outbound travel, the country will need to invest heavily in the expansion and modernisation of the transport infrastructure network. The rail network, although one of the most extensive in the world, is subject to overcrowding and frequent delays, and this can be a deterrent to visitors as well as limiting growth of tourism to rural areas. While a great deal of progress was made in the preparations for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, a great deal of work is stuck in the development pipeline. The air travel network 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.
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India also needs to address ongoing security concerns both in the form of regional tensions with Pakistan and lingering threats from domestic and regional 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. The investment environment for foreign developers also needs to be improved, with restrictions and beaurocracy eased in order to facilitiate new projects.
If India can address these concerns, the future is looking very bright for tourism, with arrivals expected to reach 8.8mn per year by 2018, while outbound travel is forecast to hit an impressive 24.4mn by the end of the forecast period. This growth is giving confidence to hotel developers, and we expect the accommodation sector to grow at a healthy rate over the next few years. Developers are attracted by the country's large labour resource pool, range of natural resources, solid international market links and a generally stable political situation.
Overall, despite security concerns and the much-needed infrastructure development, India remains a popular tourist destination for travellers who are attracted by the country's extensive and beautiful coastlines, ecotourism activities such as tiger trekking and rich cultural history.
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. Carlson Rezidor, Hilton, Marriott and InterContinental Hotels Group all have new hotels opening in 2014.
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