Business Standard came out with an article on how offline travel agencies are investing in setting up online infrastructure to ride on boom demand projected by technology online travel services like cleartrip.com, yatra.com etc.(link)
They had talked about Indo Asia tours promoted indiaholidaymall.com. Stic Travels an established player in indian market also comming up by next month. I thought why not to review their model with other online travel agencies.
Now as rightly pointed out on contentsutra.com where i first found out abt the business standard article.Online Travel portals are currently projecting themselves as source for cheap airfare reservation. They are more competing to gain traffic from airline websites directly than travel agencies. For an offline travel agencies airfare is not the money making part. Its the revenue generated from hotel reservation, car rentals etc which gives them the right margin to play around with. Probably online travel portals can come out and share stats on how hotel reservations are looking keeping in mind budget hotels are the major bunch of operators in india. Based on my research of market their exist around 1500 hotels across india which are open to putting up their inventory for online sale .Rest still prefer the old model of shelving out inventory to routine travel agents who can help them provide the stability of running income and occupancy at hotel.
On the other hand providers like indiaholidaymall.com are just trying to replicate their offline advertising model to an online model. Though the site behaves its giving freedom to traveller to select what kind of tour package/destination he wish to travel to. But its more like any other e-commerce site with integrated shopping cart. where buyers are going online selecting from their pre-concieved catalougue and making reservations. At time of writing the article 60% of the site was still under constructions and it was appearing more static than dynamic in any regard. The site was way before alpha stage of release and probably prototype design approved by the company. The signup page was still giving errors etc.
7-8 years back cyberica worked with one of delhi based travel agents : Varun Voyages for me in terms of information indiaholidaymall.com people have not re-invented the wheel. As an individual looking at this site for fulfilling my leisure travel needs would not be the best bet. As got to see more to comment whereas this site still requires a board of comming soon instead of making themselves online.
Yatra.com, cleartrip.com, makemytrip.com wins this battle. Lets wait for other offline travel agencies portal to come online to see what do they do different to capture my personal travel demand.