New age travellers are now looking increasingly at an online option for planning their travel. The ease of use and convenience associated with finding all vital information that one may need for planning a holiday at the click of a button has been the main reason for this growth in respect of online travel portals and direct selling by websites of airlines. Also electronic ticketing being the order of the day, passengers are getting accustomed to experience the liberty to choose the airlines of their likings and getting their tickets delivered via e-mail. Undoubtedly this is a quite different experience from the traditional one where they were required to have repeated visits to Travel Agents for arrangements. With web check-in facility, the Internet have become an integral part in the travel process.
According to a recent report from Jupiter Research US travel Forecast (2006-2011), online travel revenues will reach US $ 128 billion in the US in 2011 with nearly 38% of all travel being booked online.
In India too the growth is expected to be impressive, almost US $ 2 billion by 2008 with the rapid growing PC penetration & Internet access as well proliferation of online travel agencies and online travel products availability. Thus technology will play a vital role in the growth of travel industry reducing the conventional travel agents a just facilitator or provider of tailor made packages. They will be just termed as providing customized services.
The airline industry in India is booming as more Indians are flying than ever before and over 7.5 million Indians travelled abroad in 2005. India ’s domestic air travel has grown to 25.5 million passengers. All these quantify that there is a steady growth for the leisure & business travel, which further got a boost with falling ticket rates and emergence of low cost carriers (LCC). India has certainly come into the radar of world aviation with these developments. The number of airline operators in India today – both regional & national is quite large and is still evolving.
Most of the airlines are putting all efforts in respect to the introduction of the electronic ticket (E-ticket) and development of web booking and sales technologies including our National carriers. The travel trade noted that the dynamic development of this sales channel is going to stay and is the road to high growth rates in sales via the website and thinking of attracting new segments through introduction of different foreign languages in the system of web-sales. The websites are now extensively used by prospective customers. Make my Trip is one of the oldest and biggest portals in India and doing a roaring business. On line travel portal, Travel guru & Yatra are now offering its services to customers covering entire gamut of travel products. The crux of the whole matter is that traditional travel agents must create value if they do this, they will survive or they will be out of business. Only E travel agents are the best players in the world travel scene of the 21st Century.