What a shake up India’s travel sector has undergone since this time last year. For the broader industry, it is still a market that promises so much, however, some recent developments suggest that this golden chalice of a market has been slapped with a grim dose of reality.
Consider the relatively slow shift to e-commerce by the positively booming middle classes, the drop in average hotel room rates to what some call “truer” values, the withdrawal of airline routes due to unreasonable costs, the zero commission model stalemate with powerful/stubborn agencies, and a general tourism infrastructure that doesn’t reflect India’s standing as a top global destination.
This is a stark removal from the kind of opportunities that we have become accustomed to associating with India’s burgeoning industry.
But regardless of these hindrances, India remains packed with potential and is easily the most tantalizing platform for travel e-commerce growth.
This year, EyeforTravel’s annual “Travel Distribution Summit India” challenges travel companies to step outside their individual ambitions, throw down their rose-tinted glasses, and confront these issues and opportunities as an industry with a united goal.
Leading proceedings on October 6 is Glenn Fogel, executive vice president of corporate development for priceline.com, with an insightful and animated look into India’s online travel environment and some predictions for what to expect next based on his many year’s of experience. Key local players will be offered the chance to retort in what promises to be a revealing analysis.
Online networking through social media channels has become an extremely important means of communication to acutely targeted market segments. As more consumers form India log in to social channels, marketing potential will be unfulfilled if social networks are not receiving some dedicated attention, as will be discussed by TripAdvisor and Orkut.
As always, there is plenty for the revenue managers as discussion on both event days dips in and out of the analytical side of sales. Industry veterans Puneet Mahindroo (Taj Hotels) and Gautam Bhandari (Marriott) unravel some of the issues surrounding price discounting to stimulate demand and the possible implications this may have on a brand.
The event will continue its tradition of drawing upon global perspectives to help benchmark India’s position within the market. This year sees Marnix Fruitema (Air France KLM) confront the zero commission argument, while Frank Tietjen (TUI AG) applies some of his global experiences to shed light on changing consumer e-commerce behavior.
2009 looks set to be another excellent forum for any business in India’s online space and one not to be missed.
The “Travel Distribution Summit India” is now into its 4th year and will feature 35 industry-leading presenters; October 6-7, 2009; Taj President Hotel Mumbai. More information can be found at www.eyefortravel.com/tdindia or by emailing [email protected]