US based online travel search engine, Mobissimo, has formally launched its Indian operations through the site www.mobissimo.in. Mobissimo is the first international travel search engine to specifically target India.
Mobissimo, which means 'ultimate in mobility' in Latin, is basically a meta search engine which searches 157 different travel sites in 30 countries, including major global airlines, low-cost carriers, consolidators and hotel/car rental sites, to find the best fares and rates online. It provides choices to the travellers across travel portals, but the ultimate booking happens at the preferred airlines or travel website's end.
"India is a large, rapidly growing travel market driven by an expanding middle class and a booming global economy," said Beatrice Tarka, Mobissimo's CEO. "We have seen dramatic growth of users from India searching for domestic and international travel, and have seized the opportunity to become the first major US travel company to enter the Indian market," she added.
With the launch of its Indian site, Mobissimo will be providing Indian consumers up-to-the-minute travel deals from Indian specific online travel agencies, major air carriers, low cost airlines, car rentals, and hotels.
India's domestic air travel market is forecast to grow 20 per cent a year over the next five years (TravelMole, January 2006). Spending by Indians on outbound travel increased by over 50 per cent in the first three quarters of 2005 (Source: World Travel Org - UNWTO)
Mobissimo searches prices directly from 157 different travel suppliers across the world, based on visitors' search criteria. It covers a complete array of travel options in India, including local online travel agencies like MakeMyTrip and airlines serving Indian domestic and international markets, like Air France, British Airways, Emirates, Jet Airways, Kingfisher, Singapore Airlines, SpiceJet, and Virgin Atlantic, among others.
Mobissimo is also planning to launch an SMS service through which users can send their travel requests via SMS and receive information on airline itinerary and available price on their mobile phone. This service will generate a significant amount of traffic for operators and give them access to higher income international travelers, who use their phones for more than just voice calls. Mobissimo's SMS service also creates a new advertising opportunity for mobile operators and travel partners to exploit.
Mobissimo is currently seeking an Indian partner. It has shortlisted Mumbai and Delhi as its headquarter destination and would be setting up the Indian office within six months time. It is also planning to make India its headquarter for Asian operations. After India, it is planning to launch in Malaysia and Thailand.