infectious growth of the Information Technology (IT) industry at
about 60% will soon accelerate the growth of the Electronic Global
Distribution System(EDS) sector in a big way to redefine the demography
and paradigm of the Indian tourism industry. Already a $4 billion
industry, the IT industry in India has been predicted to grow to
$50 billion by the year 2008. Impact of such an enormous growth
will encompass every sphere of the Commerce including travelling
and hospitality. However, we are not able to quantify IT growth
in the Tourism segment, through qualitative changes.
Hospitality professionals have estimated the current IT growth in
the Tourism Industry to be with the tune of about 10%, where GDS
and CRS's have played a major role. Only 9% of the 55 million tourists
in India get their booking done through Travel Agents. Hence there
is no fear for Travel Agents to get marginalized, provided they
evolve ways to tap their potential customers from rest of the 91
%.Technology is there to benefit Travel Agents.
Those who would refrain would get left out, but I do not see any
reason for undue apprehension among agents. However, experts are
unanimous that there is going to be shakedown that will eventually
eliminate non serious players. It is true that, the Indian market
is not oriented to Internet use, however, a time may come in a decade
or so when customers will book directly though Internet.