Online ticketing to clock 271% growth, reach $ 2 billion in revenue

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New Delhi, Oct 26 (UNI) With IATA setting a deadline of 2008 to introduce e-ticketing across the globe, the ubiquity of e-tickets in India has increased manifold, clocking growths of over 271 per cent to become a two billion dollar revenue sector.

''Revenues for this year will be about 1.2 billion dollars with travel consultants PhoCusWright predicting a growth of 271 per cent,'' said Cleartrip.com Chief Executive Officer Sandeep Murthy.

The company has recently raised 11.7 million dollars from private sources to fund its needs.

''We have raised a sum on 11.7 million dollars from venture capitalist like Dag Ventures and have already utilised about eight million dollars,'' said Mr Murthy.

The travel boom, emergence of low cost carriers, proliferation of the internet and the growing acceptance of e-commerce over the last few years, are key factors that have fuelled the growth of this sector.

The company is now looking at going offline as 90 per cent of ticketing is still done through this mode. For this the company has aready set up a pilot project under which kiosk has been set up in the Kishore Biyani's 'Future Bazars'.

Cleartrip has recently joined hands with 'Future Money' to provide finance on extended monthly instalments to people who want to buy its travel products.

This facility will be made available at four Big Bazaar outlets in Mumbai.

Cleartrip will soon extend this tie-up to other 66 Big Bazaar outlets as well as 31 pantaloons. This facility can be used to pay for all Cleartrip's offerings like air tickets, hotel bookings, tour packages and railway tickets.

However, Mr Murthy ruled out any service extension in the form of telephonic ticket bookings. ''We might consider it later but at present the cost structure does not make sense and our margins will suffer.'' Mr Murthy sees revenues from international travel to be the key drivers and plans to introduce international bookings of airlines through the internet in the next three months.

UNI

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