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Travel & Tourism


“Rely on us to be part of INR 75000 crore industry.”

The Traditional Way

A travel agency is a retail business that sells travel related products and services to customers on behalf of suppliers such as airlines, car rentals, cruise lines, hotels, railways, sightseeing tours and package holidays that combine several products. In addition to dealing with ordinary tourists most travel agencies have a separate department devoted to making travel arrangements for business travelers and some travel agencies specialize in commercial and business travel only. There are also travel agencies that serve as general sales agents for foreign travel companies, allowing them to have offices in countries other than where their headquarters are located.

Technology Adoption in Travel Industry

With general public access to the  Internet , many airlines and other travel companies began to sell directly to passengers. As a consequence, airlines no longer needed to pay the commissions to travel agents on each ticket sold. Since 1997, travel agencies have gradually been  disintermediated, by the reduction in costs caused by removing layers from the package holiday distribution network. However, travel agents remain dominant in some areas such as cruise vacations where they represent 77% of bookings and 73% of packaged travel.

In response, travel agencies have developed an internet presence of their own by creating  travel websites, with detailed information and online booking capabilities. Several major online travel agencies include. Travel agencies also use the services of the major computer reservations systems companies, also known as Global Distribution Systems (GDS), including:  SABRE,  Amadeus CRS,  Galileo CRS  and  Worldspan, which is a subsidiary of Travelport, allowing them to book and sell  airline tickets,  hotels,  car rentals  and other travel related services. Some online travel websites allow visitors to compare hotel and flight rates with multiple companies for free. They often allow visitors to sort the travel packages by amenities, price, and proximity to a city or landmark.

Travel agents have applied dynamic packaging  tools to provide fully bonded (full financial protection) travel at prices equal to or lower than a member of the public can book online. As such, the agencies' financial assets are protected in addition to professional travel agency advice.

All travel sites that sell hotels online work together with GDS, suppliers and hotels directly to search for room inventory. Once the travel site sells a hotel, the site will try to get a confirmation for this hotel. Once confirmed or not, the customer is contacted with the result. This means that booking a hotel on a travel website will not necessarily result in an instant answer. Only some hotels on a travel website can be confirmed instantly (which is normally marked as such on each site). As different travel websites work with different suppliers together, each site has different hotels that it can confirm instantly.

Often tour operators have hotel contracts, allotments and free sell agreements which allow for the immediate confirmation of hotel rooms for vacation bookings.

Mainline service providers are those that actually produce the direct service, like various hotels chains or airlines that have a website for online bookings. Portals will serve a consolidator of various airlines and hotels on the internet. They work on a commission from these hotels and airlines. Often, they provide cheaper rates than the mainline service providers as these sites get bulk deals from the service providers. A meta search engine on the other hand, simply culls data from the internet on real time rates for various search queries and diverts traffic to the mainline service providers for an online booking. These websites usually do not have their own booking engine.

1. Amadeus Web Site (2003). Contents Retrieved April 2003 from
2. Sabre Web Site (2003). Contents Retrieved April 2003 from
3.Galileo Web Site (2003). Contents Retrieved April 2003 from
4. WorldSpan Web Site (2003). Contents Retrieved April 2003 from
5. Galileo Web Services (2002). Galileo launches global web services platform. Retrieved
    June 2003 from
6.  Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Content Retrieved from



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