IT and Tourism

The 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.

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