Archive for January 17th, 2007

Low cost airlines killing Travel Agents can travel agent promoted portal be an alternative marketing medium

Today an article in ET talked about “Low cost carriers slowly grounding travel agents” . Mainly how the revenues has fallen down by 25%-35%.  On the other hand online travel industry generated a revenue of $800 million last year and this year its expected to go upto $1.5 Billion. With air ticketing consitueting 90% of the pie.

With travel agents forced to move away from their comfort zone its time for them to take fight back to the travel portals. Which is very much possible especially with brand names can take advantage of their existing brand recognistion to keep intact their existing customer base which is turning out to be the strategy for any travel agent today. As discussed earlier on this blog all major travel agents are comming up with online travel portal strategies but its important to see how much it will effect their potential growth opportunities. Travel agents need to understand under cutting on price would not help them gain traction and they either need to upgrade themselves as tour operators or travel management organization otherwise it will not be a good strategy to even invest in comming  up with an online travel portal.

Online Reservation Engine – Book Elephant Rides Online for Rajasthan Trip

This newspiece is one of the most interesting article to be covered this week. It talks about facility to be provided by Rajasthan Tourism for making online advance booking for elephant rides at various sites.  The charge will be USD 13 or INR 600 for 2 persons. The idea is to increase number of people to use the service and increase revenues from value added services like these. Its a good approach being taken by Rajasthan Tourism especially after making wild life safari at Ranthambore booking available online. Most of the tourism board websites in india are taking next level of e-commerce to make hotel reservations online but what is needed is to bring these value added services like adventure sports booking or other services made available online. Using the online tool tourism boards will be able to provide online tour creation facility whereas creating revenue for local small operators and helping tourist plan better holidays.

Online hotel reservation engine of rajasthan board looks pretty decent as they have invested right amount of money in making portal and providing the right services. The site is using ICICI payment gateway services for accepting master car and visa credit cards.  Important thing is with these inventories available online potential exist for travel portal to aggregate contents from these websites with an agreement and make available inventory on their own websites.

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January 2007