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Concept Arbitrage: Lonely Planet & TripAdvisor

Posted on Saturday, Oct 27th 2007

The Indian Internet Travel segment is booming. Cleartrip, Yatra, Travelguru, Makemytrip – all have received substantial funding from serious names in the VC world. Their focus is primarily on looking for flights and hotels and making reservations. That means, they are focused on Search and Commerce.

The Content & Community pieces of my Web 3.0 equation are missing.

Hari Nair of HolidayIQ mentioned that his business seems to be driving towards a Lonely Planet kind of model, whereby he is sending actual travel writers to go gather information and turn them into web site content, although I don’t quite yet see great content – professionally generated or user generated – on the site. Btw, Lonely Planet was acquired by BBC recently.

Trip Advisor, on the other hand, relies entirely on user generated reviews, and is one of the most trafficked sites on the internet.

So what’s going on? Why is the Indian Online Travel business stuck in Web 1.0, while the world is moving to Web 3.0?

Another parting thought is that the enormous middle class that is getting built in India would need travel options – especially pleasure / holiday travel – that caters to a rather different budget level than what the Lonely Planets and Trip Advisors offer. This research – of the options for the middle class – is a humongous effort, and as far as I know, the content simply doesn’t exist today.

Tomorrow, you will see some statistics about the consumer population that India will be working with, to get a statistical feel for why this matters.

This segment is a part in the series : Concept Arbitrage

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Sumedh Thursday, November 1, 2007 at 12:29 AM PT

landed here from facebook… may be iam late but thought will drop my thoughts.
I consider myself lonely planet travel freak… exploring the world.

travel- yes it booming and large % of growth is towards typically tourists places(delhi, agra, jaipur) and exploring non-popular places is moving slower phase. having side that… % of travel reading before booking travel tickets are less(in %) since its must word-of-month.
i use tripadvisor but look at member data(indians) is less. if enough mess to read then writing website will pop-in. having side that- whatever data may be… i found some many good travel blogs among indian community.

hope i make sense… thanks

Yuva Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 6:43 AM PT

Can anyone tell me what is the unique user base and pageviews of and ,per month

prashant sharda Monday, March 17, 2008 at 11:58 AM PT

Check out at
It’s a travel information portal that helps both tourists and local travelers plan their trips/excursions any where in India by providing smart and intelligent longtail destination information along with unbiased reviews and ratings information.

Jayesh Wednesday, September 17, 2008 at 12:21 PM PT