BY A CORRESPONDENT
March 12, 2007: India, where the travel and tourism
sector is already booming, has more good news: The
country is predicted to be Asia’s fastest growing market
for online travel retail by 2010.
According to global market analyst Euromonitor
International, online travel retail market in India is
expected to get a boom over the next five years, with
internet-based travel retail transactions increasing by
a whopping 271% between 2005 and 2010.
Euromonitor International, presenting is forecast about
the growth of online travel retail in the Asia-Pacific
region at the Travel Distribution Summit Asia 2007 in
Singapore the other day, predicts that online travel
retail sales generated in India will exceed US$2 billion
in 2010 alone.
This record growth in India’s internet travel retail
transactions will be fuelled by a number of major
factors, which are also affecting other key Asian
markets, including Vietnam, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
Primarily, the rapid growth of the urban population in
India, expected over the next five years, will provide
the perfect setting for travel retail companies with
online operations since more and more Indians wishing to
travel will have access to the internet.
Parita Chitakasem, Asia-Pacific Travel and Tourism
manager at Euromonitor International says: “A strong
correlation has emerged between the highest computer
ownership rates and the largest urban populations, as
they provide the ideal infrastructure for internet
services. With double-digit growth forecast in the
number of urban households between 2006 and 2010, India
is showing great potential for online businesses and as
a result, great potential for online travel retail.”
The Indian government’s support is the second crucial
factor in the development of successful online
penetration. As the Indian government enhances its
support of internet usage, particularly in education,
Euromonitor International predicts that this will be a
key driver of the online market, offering a wealth of
opportunities for online travel operators.
The South Korean government has already set an example
by actively supporting internet-based companies. The
result: South Korea is now one of the world’s most
advanced countries for communication technology, having
the world’s highest user ratio of broadband. South Korea
also has the second largest internet travel retail
market in Asia, behind Japan.
Euromonitor International also predicts that online
travel companies in Asia will benefit from a recent
shift in demographic usage of the internet, to include
increasingly older travellers.
The over-65 generation in Asia is becoming more adept at
using the internet. As such, they should be a target
consumer group for all online travel companies,
particularly as over-65s typically have high disposable
income levels to spend on expensive or long-awaited
At present, Japan is leading by offering internet
services tailored to its ageing population. On this,
Euromonitor’s Chitakasem says: “In Japan, there has been
a rise in computer schools that specifically cater to
people over 60, plus a growing number of websites aimed
at senior bloggers.
“Though it is only early days in Asia for this emerging
trend, it is clearly not a development to be ignored,”