After online travel portal, cleartrip.com launched rail bookings on its website, India’s leading online travel agency (OTA) makemytrip.com is also gearing up its plans to start online rail bookings. According to its founder and CEO, Deep Kalra, makemytrip should be able to launch the rail product by December this year.
Earlier, Indian Rail Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) was the sole provider of online rail tickets. However, Indian Railways opened its inventory to private players about two months back. Offline travel agency Thomas Cook was the first private player to start online rail bookings followed by OTA Cleartrip.
The $800 million OTA market, which depends hugely on air tickets for their revenues are now betting big on the online rail business as they try to diversify their offerings. For instance, Makemytrip, which currently gets around 70% of its revenues from air tickets, is now aiming to reduce the share to 50% in the near future.
Similar is the case with Cleartrip. “There has been a 15% impact on the transaction volume this year compared to last year because of the slowdown,” said Noel Swain, vice-president, marketing, Cleartrip.
7 months ago