Monday, August 14, 2006

Online travel sails on strong VC funding, low cost-carriers

Mumbai: The business of online travel agents seems to have taken wings on the back of huge fundings supplied by Venture Capitalist (VC) firms and a booming aviation sector.
Unlike the dotcom bubble at the turn of the millennium, online travel ventures like 'Makemytrip.com', 'Travelguru.com' and 'Yatra.com' seem poised to replicate the success of their overseas peers like 'Travelocity', 'Orbitz' and 'Expedia', in the Indian market, which is expected to grow at 25-30 per cent per annum.
According to an NCAER study, around 550 million domestic tourists in India took over 230 million trips in 2002. And industry estimates that the domestic tourism business is growing at 20-25 per cent annually.
Travelguru CEO Ashwin feels that while the current start-ups will be competitive to get people on board, going forward, the pie was big enough for three to four niche players.
14/08/06 PTI/The Hindu