Chairman & CEO | 06 May 2004
In the four years since inception, our website has recorded over four lakh unique visitors a month. Out of these, a majority are registered members. I would say corporate Indians and Net savvy people are our target.
An exponential increase in inbound and outbound tourism in the country has spawned the growth of a large number of tourism websites providing information on travel destinations across the globe. Usage of Internet for tourism is over 50 per cent in countries like the UK and the US and now even Indian corporate tourists are following suit. Making a mark for itself in this niche segment, Delhi-based Internet travel site JourneyMart.com sees vast opportunity in this business. The website provides information on all aspects of tourism including airlines, hotels, travel agents, tour operators, car and coach rental companies, train companies, cruise lines, dining, entertainment establishments, sightseeing attractions, foreign exchange dealers, travel insurance agents, tourist offices, etc. Gautam Chadha, Chairman & CEO of the company feels tourism in India has come of an age and Indian tourists need to keep abreast with the latest tourist destinations. Websites like theirs is a virtual travel mall which caters to both B2B and B2C needs of visitors. In an interview with Ranjana Gupta of exchange4media.com, he speaks out his online experience and future plans. Excerpts:
Q. Do you think the Internet has come of an age in the country and how do you look at tourism as a business on the Net?
Internet penetration has certainly increased in the country over the past few years and corporate India has been the biggest witness of this change. Tourism industry is witnessing an annual growth of over 15 per cent just as sectors like pharma, telecom, retail and the like. As far as business on the Internet is concerned, there is certainly a growth of over 30 per cent in this business. Competition in this segment is stiff. However, we are trying to be different by providing the consumers a choice of information on multiplicity of sellers. I would say that it is a virtual travel mall. There is convenience of choice and visitors have been well categorised. I think being different in the style and mode of communication will certainly fuel business growth on the Net.
Q. Who is your target audience?
Look, as far as Internet usage is concerned, the latest surveys have shown that people logging on to specific websites certainly have the necessary capital to utilise the services. In the four years since inception, our website has recorded over four lakh unique visitors a month. Out of these, a majority are registered members. Still I would say corporate Indians and Net savvy people are our target.
Q. What kind of revenue generation are you expecting from this venture?
At present the turnover of our company is Rs 1 crore which according to me is a meagre amount considering the amount of business in this segment. At present we are providing space to around 115 registered sellers. Our goal is to take this number to over 500 in the present fiscal. Indian travel industry is highly disorganised till date and this fragments the revenue in the industry. However, with greater professionalism the revenues will increase.
Q. How do you plan to fight competition?
The USP of our website is that a visitor gets information on all aspects of tourism right from the destination to dining at the right place. The complete information under a single umbrella sets us apart. Other websites do not offer such comprehensive information and this has given us an edge over competitors.
Q. What are your future plans?
In order promote tourism over the Net as I discussed we have a unique set-up wherein at present there are around 115 sellers on the website. In future there will be a considerable increase in this number. Besides these, recently there was a tie-up with moneycontrol.com; this association would offer depth of travel to the educated investor who is looking for best value coupled with quick access to information. Associations like these would take place in future and JourneyMart.com will continue to develop as a complete tourism mall.