18.5 Million People Visit Online Travel Sites In India In April, 2011

comScore Inc., an internet marketing research company,on Friday released a study of the online travel industry in India. The study is based on data from its comScore Media Metrix service and according to the study there has been a 32 per cent increase in the number of visitors to travel sites in the past year. The number of visitors has reached the 18.5 million mark, clearly showing the increase in the online booking trend.

comScore Inc. was founded in August 1999 by Gian Fulgoni and Magid Abraham. It is an Internet marketing research company that provides marketing data and services to other companies by surveying and studying online behaviour.

Kedar Gavane, comScore Director for India said "The online travel category continues to show strong growth in India. The convenience of booking trips and locating travel information online continues to appeal to many users, especially among India's young Internet population. As the online travel industry matures it will be important for brands to provide increasing functionality, ease of use and security to its users to effectively compete in this growing market."

18.5 million online users above the age of 14 visited travel sites in April this year. Out of the 18.5 million visitors, Indian railways got the most number of visitors with 8.4 million visitors, an increase of 8 per cent from 2010. MakeMyTrip had around 3.9 million visitors with a 63 per cent growth; ClearTrip.com had more than 2.1 million visitors with an 80 per cent growth; but Yatra online recorded relatively faster growth, 82 per cent increase from the previous year with 3.5 million visitors. The US-based Expedia Inc. also got 1.8 million visitors and saw a growth of 12 per cent.

Out of the 7.1 million visitors between the top three online travel agent sites (OTAs) MakeMyTrip, Yatra Online and ClearTrip.com, 29 per cent (more than 2 million) of the users visited two or more of the three sites in April 2011.

The remaining 71 per cent of visitors displayed brand loyalty by sticking to just one of the three sites.

Earlier this year MakeMyTrip had generated a net profit of $4.82 million for the year ended March 31, 2011, compared to a loss of $6.2 million in the year ended March 31, 2010. While the Gurgaon-based Yatra Online Pvt Ltd had raised funds to the tune of Rs.200 crore to rev up its hotels and holiday booking business.

Cleartrip on the other hand has hit troubled waters with a criminal case filed against the top brass of the company based on the allegations made by the online travel agency Travelocity. To know more read here.