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Friday, 27 January, 2017, 12 : 25 PM [IST]

Towards a better Tomorrow

disha In the wake of the demonetisation announcement, business has slowed down across various segments, with travel being majorly hit. Tremors have been felt in the travel & tourism industry, which continues to be one of the highly unorganised sectors in India. In stark contrast, while the move offered ample opportunity to OTAs, it dealt a body blow to the offline agents, who constitute a major portion of the industry. Leisure travel in India is still considered a luxury and not a necessity, which means people travel for holidays or pleasure only with disposable income. This surplus earning is normally in the form of cash and unaccounted income, which was hitherto very easily disposed off for travel and travel-related purposes. The abrupt drop in offline bookings led to unprecedented business for OTAs as consumers started adopting means other than cash to make payments. While more and more OTAs started accepting plastic money, leading to a surge of over 50% in bookings, the traditional agents were the worst hit with lack of cash in hand to confirm travel plans.

While the announcement of going cashless still has to find favour from a major section of the population, the single-most ramification of demonetisation will be a regulated business environment. It is the final wakeup call for the unorganised players of the industry to adopt a more structured method and streamline the payment process, so that money can be accounted for and reflected in the resultant revenue. This will not only ease the process to calculate the worth and track the progress of the industry, but also increase its overall contribution to the country’s GDP. Although the aftermath of demonetisation has led to a sudden lull in business for traditional agents at large, hotels and cruise liners have also been hit in the short term, however, business is expected to bounce back in the next three to four months.

Disha Shah Ghosh
Chief Sub-Editor
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