For the few non-believers still out there, here is a simple indication of where the Indian online travel sector is heading - up, and currently at a pretty steep trajectory.
According to ComScore MediaMetrix the online travel sector increased by 50% between April 2009 and 2010, reaching 14 million visitors.
And travel clearly is outperforming the general growth across the web - the total Indian web audience was measured at 38.5 million users in April 2010, a jump of 14% from 33.7 million.
In the past the Indian Railways website had dominated traffic in the country, but this is starting to change.
ComScore says apart from MakeMyTrip (39%) and Jet Airways (25%), the number two and nine travel sites in the country after Indian Railways, every other site in the top ten has added more than 50% to visitor numbers over the reported period.
The Indian Railways site increased by 46% to regularly pull in around 7.7 million visitors.
An interesting thing to note in the data is that western entrants into the marketplace are doing well - Expedia pulls in 1.7 million users a month (a climb of 70% year-on-year) and Travelocity is on 812,000 visitors a month, jump of 134% over the same period.
ComScore executive vice president for Asia-Pacific, Will Hodgman, says:
"Travel sites now attract more than one-third of India's total Internet population, as more consumers are turning to the web to fulfill their travel planning and booking needs.
"With half of all visitors to the category frequenting two or more travel sites during the month, it's clear that consumers are taking the time to diligently compare prices prior to completing their transactions. In this competitive environment, online travel agents and suppliers face the challenge of building and maintaining consumer loyalty."
One important element to take into account is that the ComScore does NOT include mobile or public computer web use.
Most visited travel sites April 2010:
- Indian Railways - 7,749,000 - up 46%
- MakeMyTrip - 2,377,000 - up 39%
- Yatra - 1,933,000 - up 60%
- Expedia - 1,640,000 - up 70%
- ClearTrip - 1,194,000 - up 73%
- TravelAdNetwork - 872,000 - up 53%
- Travelocity - 812,000 - up 134%
- IndiaRailInfo - 647,000 - up 340%
- Jet Airways - 585,000 - up 25%
- eRail - 464,000 - up 160%