Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Low-cost carriers slowly grounding travel agents

Bangalore:Low-cost carriers, at the forefront of the aviation boom in India, are slowly but surely making travel agents redundant, especially for the FIT (frequent individual travellers) segment. Keen to cut corners, low-cost carriers are generally willing to bypass travel agents and encourage personalised online bookings.
“Online booking has impacted the revenues of travel agents by as much as 25% to 35%,” says Lalit Seth, CMD, Raj Travels.
Others such as Travel Tours are placing faith on holiday packages and group bookings to sustain growth.
According to the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), there are 38.5 million Indians online as of now and this number is set to grow to 100 million by 2007-08. Sky-rocketing at a CAGR of 125%, the online travel industry is expected to become a $2-billion industry by 2008.
Out of the total 4.5/5 lakh rail bookings daily, 20-25,000 are done through the IRCTC website.
The online platform enables users to choose the cheapest available fare.
17/01/07 Preiti Sharma Shahane/Economic Times