India’s travel industry is expected to expand at 5-6 per cent in 2010, a little higher than the expected global average of 4.5 per cent, InterGlobe Technology Quotient, a leading global travel and technology distribution company said.

“We expect a steady growth of close to 5-6 per cent for the travel industry of India. A bit above the expected global average of 4.5 per cent,” ITQ CEO J B Singh said.

The Commonwealth Games in October would drive travel volumes both, inbound and intra India and also strengthen India’s image as a travel destination, he said.

Singh said that 2009 was a year of many changes in the travel economy for India as overall global markets went down by as much as 15 per cent due to the economic downturn.

Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in January were estimated 4.91 lakh, an increase of 16.4 per cent over the year ago period. Overseas arrivals had contracted by 17.6 per cent in January 2009 compared to the same month last year.

Singh said adoption of technology is an important factor, which can also aid in growth of the Indian travel business.

“In 2010 alternate booking solutions via new technologies like mCommerce and taking the travel agent online will have a great impact,” he said.

Singh said the enhanced capacity with aircraft induction as well as reconfiguring of aircraft to full economy would provide greater production in the domestic space. The growth in budget hotels in the organised sector would be another stimulant for the travel industry, Singh said.

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