19 September 2006

Is it Too Early...??

Off late there have been speculations on how the Online Travel Industry is on the verge of a paradigm shift. I was reading an interesting article on the rise of the Travel Startups.

Some how it looks like too many startups in too less a time. Not to disagree with the experts, on the contrary having been through "The Dot-com Bubble-Burst" - the scenerio of todays Online Travel Industry stands to differ in most aspects.

In the first place, the terminology of a bubble does not seem to be appropriate.The era of the big travel start-ups like Expedia and Travelocity, the only two truly huge players- Orbitz was an airline backed venture at the start and today it seems to have a past.

Apparently, in the last few years traditional travel companies, especially in Europe have entered the online market and compete strongly with them. What many people consider travel start-ups, like Kayaka, FareChase, Mobissimo and the like, are not really travel companies but advertising revenue based meta search outfits.

So, to speak of a bubble in online travel is not appropriate.It might not be a bubble yet, but it’s certainly an attractive market.What each of these operators is doing is playing into the hands of smaller, more nimble, eager-to-please websites.

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