The Internet which was virtually unknown to masses a couple of decades ago has now become the life blood of many economies and societies. This global phenomenon has brought the human kind closer than ever before. Ranging from information websites to novel concepts of social networking, Internet has become a way of life for many people.
According to Internetworldstats.com only 16 million people used the Internet in 1995, where as today over 1200 million surf the cyber space which amounts to nearly 20% of the world population. The growth of the Internet has created a whole new dimension in doing business as well. The speed of information and the convenience has made online a promising venture for many markets.
In travel industry around a decade ago, travel agents had a better say when it came to selling travel solutions than its original providers such as airlines and hotels etc. But today the increased use of online travel has made it easy for the consumer to plan and book their travel needs easily on their own over the Internet. Hotels, airlines and other travel service providers are able to directly get in touch with customers through the Internet.
Online travel portals and websites also have an upper hand over conventional travel agents on costs as well. The traditional travel agent requires more manpower and huge investments to expand its business where as an online portal can get in touch with the whole world through a single domain purchase. However, the intense competition among online travel portals and various hospitality websites have reduced intermediary commission rates thus offering far more economic value to online transactions.
Internet research firm predicts that by 2009 roughly one third of all U.S travel revenues will be handled via Internet. Other parts of the world such as Europe and emerging giants such as India and China will also contribute heavily to the growth of online travel industry.
With the growing number of Internet users and the boom in travel industry in many emerging economies will continue to contribute to the growth of online travel industry in coming years.
Naveen Marasinghe is an e-marketing executive at eMarketingEye(Private) Ltd. eMarketingeEye is an Internet marketing agency offering integrated Internet marketing solutions, specializing in serving the online travel and hospitality industry.