1 Minute View: Travel portals must reinvent or perish

02 Jul,2013

Travel portals are apparently upset with Google planning to get into flight search. Many years ago, news portals too felt similarly aggrieved. Even the mighty Rupert Murdoch was reportedly not too pleased with Google News.


But that’s unfortunately the nature of the business. And if travel portals go beyond plain vanilla ticketing, they are sure to attract more eyeballs. We have also seen recent reports on how airline websites offer bigger discounts, so travel portals have to contend with the hotel bookings and holiday packages business for making money.


Travel portals must reinvent, just as various other enterprises have had to in the past. They must remember that their launch too caused hardships for brick-and-mortar travel agencies.  Now did the agents go cribbing to the Competition Commission of India (CCI)?


Complaining to the CCI or any such body is of no use. A Google is not a public service search company that it cannot not play favourites. That’s a decision it needs to take and figure whether by doing so it will upset its core search user constituents. It’s like, say, a certain newspaper doesn’t carry news of a news channel or FM radio station because it runs its own. It is well within its rights to do so, but of course if it does so it will expose itself.




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