Travel portals cash in on IPL matches

Written by Shaheen Mansuri | Mumbai, May 2 | Updated: May 4 2008, 05:10am hrs
Most travel portals are cashing in on the IPL T20 matches held across the country. As the volume of air passengers to watch these matches in various metro cities is gaining momentum, travel portals are introducing offers, including discounts, to gain a hefty market share.

For instance, the travel portal has attractive deals for bookings for May 25 on the Kolkata route from any metro, where the IPL match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab is being held.

Similarly, the portal has schemes for all the important matches including the 1st semifinals on May 30 in Mumbai.

Any cricket lover who books tickets on the Mumbai route for that day can get an attractive deal. since fares start at Rs 99, exclusive of taxes.

Says Ashwin Damera, CEO, travelguru, We do not have any specific special deals for IPL audiences, but we have attractive schemes on all the metro routes this season.

Since the T20 matches are held in all the metro cities, passengers can get over 50% off if they book online through their visa cards. By introducing discount schemes, the passenger volumes go up. However, most portals sign agreement budgets for sharing the revenue between the visa card companies, the airline, and the portal.

Meanwhile, MakeMyTrip has not specifically introduced special offers for IPL viewers, but is expecting that airlines, in association with the portal will announce huge discounts a couple of days before the semi-final and finals of the T20 matches.

However, GP Gupta, chief financial officer at GoAir explains, It is ultimately the strategy that is creating a lot of competition in the online travel market.

The competition is getting tougher and tougher, since all of these travel portals are coming out with somewhat similar deals.

Another official from a Delhi-based airline explains that travel portals purchase air tickets in bulk from most of the airlines at the onset of festivals, holidays, and occasions like the IPL matches.

They sell the tickets at throw-away prices, when there is a spurt of bookings and make money, said the official.