Cleartrip announces online travel booking with IRCTC

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Kolkata, Oct 23 (UNI) Cleartrip.com, countrys first online travel agency here today announced partnership with IRCTC to consolidate its cutomer base in the eastern region.

Addressing the media Ashish Dhruva, Head Rail Product, Cleartrip.com said the travel industry in the country is estimated to grow at 8.8 per cent every year positioning itself as one of the fastest growing travel markets in the world.

He maintained that some of the key drivers steering growth in the travel industry are constant GDP growth, increasing disposable income and internet penetration, convenience of purchasing online and secure payment mechanism.

By launching a search-only service in February, Cleartrip has steadily improved its offering based on feedback from thousands of users which has increased from 3000 customer base to 15,000 in a short span of six months, he asserted.

He said while internet penetration is growing prolifically, it still covers only a small percentage of the overall population, showing tremendous potential for sustainable growth of the online travel industry.

He further informed that Mumbai is the most sought after destination as 24 per cent of the total online travel booking from Kolkata is made for the city followed by Delhi at 19 per cent and Bangaluru at 18 per cent.

When asked about the dip in the aviation industry, he said, ''travel industry is not going to be affected by that. Instead we will come up with more aggressive plans to face the challenge.'' Responding to a query on what are the provisions if a customer books the ticket online and faces challenges like cancellation of trains following some disturbances like the ongoing violence to disturb movement of trains in the eastern railway, Mr Dhruva replied, ''we will follow the norms given by IRCTC as we are the trvel partners.'' To another query on its growth rate Mr Dhruva said the turnover for the current fiscal so far is Rs 859 crore as against last fiscal's Rs 650 crore.

UNI RH PL KLC1608

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