Online travel booking is turning out to be a goldmine. In the past nine months, five new online travel portals launched while one was launched this month.
Frequent travellers swear by these sites. Fatima Hussain, a 31-year-old media professional, travels six times a year and always books through websites as “booking on net is so convenient”. Sonica Gupta, holidays with her sister twice a year. “These sites club airfare, sightseeing, hotel tours and sometimes even tour guides, all in one package, and offer cheap deals,” she says.
Online travel booking has gone into an overdrive very recently. Sample this: Thomas Cook launched its portal in May last year; Ezeego1 started India’s first Hindi travel site in July; in August, Trip Advisor launched its India-specific portal www.tripadvisor.in and Sprice.com did the same in September. Last month and Travelocity kickstarted Explore Karo, an interactive marketing campaign aimed at encouraging travel in 2009. Sites such as www.oktatabyebye.com and www.cleartrip.com have introduced new services. The former has unveiled a hotel booking application that allows users to compare rates and reviews across websites. Cleartrip has added a railway booking option and is offering cash back on SpiceJet base fares.