Internet is now considered as a commodity instead of luxury what it was a decade ago and it has also been considered as the new mantra for tech savvy generation in India. According to Travel mart India, The fastest growing category for B2C e-commerce in India is Travel. From railways to airlines, hotels to travel packages- virtually every segment of the travel industry is seeing a surge in online bookings. With the global increase in popularity for Online Travel, Online Travel sales worldwide increased by as much as 34% from 2004 to 2005 and reached $62 billion in the US markets and $31.1 billion in the European markets. Online travel in Asia too, is on a roll, estimated to reach $16 billion by 2006 more than double that in 2003. Of the 38.5 million people logged-on in India, the Travel industry accounts for over 23% of internet shopping in India, which translates into a whopping 4.8 million Indian users who venture for the Online Travel. The travel industry is cashing on this growth with dedicated e-commerce portals that enable customers to make online bookings and payments for hotel rooms, air tickets, car rentals as well as holiday packages.
Preeti Desai, president, IAMAI says, “With leisure travel on the rise, so is the need for hotel rooms. As per our estimates Rs 29 lacs (US$66000) worth of Hotel Stays were sold online in 2004-05 and Rs 2.36 crores (US$537,000) worth will be sold in 2005-06. This is increasing because companies of all sizes have realized that for no implementation charge they can begin using an online travel program that drives down the company’s travel management costs and overall travel spending.
A new report by PhoCusWright, “The Emerging Online Travel Marketplace in India,” estimates that online leisure/unmanaged business travel gross bookings in India totaled $295 million in 2005 and will grow nearly sevenfold in just three years to go beyond $2.0 billion by 2008.
Online travel in India is expected to double by 2008, reaching a value of $2 billion. Some 65 per cent of the online travel market will then be controlled by websites that facilitate travel and accommodation bookings according to IAMAI.
With a lot of competition from the industry with portals like cleartrip.com, makemytrip.com etc many new websites are also launching to cash in on the trend.
One such portal which I had come across is Takeofftrip.com which was launched recently and offers unique and consumer friendly facilities for the online costumers like providing a vast search through the different array of hotels and bookings. When I conducted a few flight searches, I was pleasantly surprised to find lower fares as compared to other travel portals. The navigation was smooth and the search function was quite fun. When you search for a flight list, instead of waiting for the results, you are kept interested and informed by some amazing and unknown facts which are displayed for your pleasure. It is indeed a smart idea and sure to score brownie points with the users.
One more benefit which interested me was whenever you make a booking on TakeOffTrip, you get rewarding points on their business partner AMPEE.com
These points can be redeemed again at TakeOffTrip for future booking or also on Prisb.com, an online shopping portal with great deals like Prisb Mania which guarantees the lowest online rate anywhere.
TakeOffTrip is a fresh change from the current trends and to think that it has just started. I have great expectations from TakeOffTrip and a chat with their Customer Care gave me sneak peek into some novel ideas they have for future. Do Log-in once to TakeOffTrip, trust me, you will like the experience.