The year 2013 once again brought the world to its knees, a situation reminiscent from 2008 when world economies saw huge downturns. India was no different, with the exception of a couple of industries like information technology and fast moving consumer goods, growth has been stagnant, sluggish and nothing much to shout about. Unmatched inflation with an 18 per cent rise in food prices (result of supply not keeping pace with excess demand) added to the consumer’s dilemma of matching expenses with income. The travel and tourism industry fared no better, with domestic airlines declaring losses for three quarters in 2013, hotels recording lower than ever average room prices, transporters burdened by increasing fuel prices and scarcity of quality drivers; finally tour operators and travel agents (with few exceptions) saw margins being eroded with high taxation and increasing competition between online portals and three dimensional travel offices. While consumers gained, service providers shed profits to stay afloat. A perfect recipe for FDI and overseas players (from desert sands) to step in!!
How will 2014 shape out for the Indian tourism and travel industry, in a year when national elections in May decides who will govern for next five years in India and World Cup Soccer Finals will be held in the Mecca of football crazy fan followers – Brazil? While 2013 was a year in which the world stood and watched a wind of change sweeping our lives, with innovations in mobile technology, revolutionising of search engines and the manner in which we sought, processed and analysed data; the year 2014 will witness productive uses of data from information gathering systems, a high increase in creation of packaged commodities especially in highly perishable fixed departure escorted tour sector, increasing products in land plus air, cruises, luxury and experiential segments and consumers factoring in inflation while drawing out travel plans (one can’t live at home forever).
Full report here Travel Biz Monitor