Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd has acquired a stake of close to 17 per cent in Bangalore-based Leisure & Lifestyle Information Services, constituting both equity and convertibles.
LLIS is a travel media company that owns the popular holiday planning website www.holidayIQ.com. Prior to BCCL’s investment, the company had received funding from Erasmic Ventures, in which Google had recently acquired a limited partnership, and Vireet Investments. What makes HolidayIQ stand out from the host of travel websites is that it comprises feedback from travellers, which makes it the preferred resource for intelligent holiday planning. There are no business transactions that take place on this online ‘travel community’ forum.
However, the site has tied up with various online travel agents and airlines. Therefore, on finalising a holiday, a traveller can go to these online agents through HIQ. While there has been an explosion of online airline and hotel booking agents, the travel advisory space is uncontested. Now, with the rapid increase in number of Indian tourists, this market appears set to explode.
“Leveraging on its success on the Internet, HIQ plans to develop holiday offerings across books, magazines, radio shows, TV shows and mobile downloads. We could not have asked for a better partner than BCCL, which is the market leader in media,” said Hari Nair, Founder and CEO, LLIS.