In what seems to be a paradigm shift in consumer preference and usage pattern for Indian travel and tourism industry, traffic on Indian travel portals such as Makemytrip, Travelguru, Yatra etc. has increased by 50% from 7 million last year to 14 million this year. This clearly points out that for the sake of convenience and better returns on their travel expenses, Indians are turning to the web in search of cheaper travel deals and value for money accommodation options. Around 37% of the Indian online population aged 15 and above has visited travel portals either from home or office in the month of April 2010. What is more surprising is the fact that India ranked second among all countries only behind UK when it came to the average time spent per visitor on travel portals. This report was released by comScore Inc., which is a leader in providing marketing data and services to many of the internet’s largest businesses. The Indian Railways website was the most visited portal with 7.7 million people visiting it. Makemytrip ranked 2nd and Yatra ranked 3rd with 2.4 million and 1.9 million visitors respectively. This makes it clear that customers, at least some, are diligently taking time to compare prices before making a deal. The challenge before Indian travel portals is now to mobilize and maintain customer loyalty, as this segment’s customers jump ship faster than a blink with their prime focus being, you said it, lower fares.

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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2010.

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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