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