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Travelocity.com eyes India market, buys out Travelguru

Travelocity.com eyes India market, buys out Travelguru
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First Published: Tue, Aug 18 2009. 09 28 PM IST
Updated: Tue, Aug 18 2009. 09 28 PM IST
Mumbai: Texas-based online travel agent Travelocity.com Lp on Tuesday said it has acquired a 100% stake in the Mumbai-based online hotel agent Travelguru.com for an undisclosed amount.
The acquisition, which was nine months in the making, will give Travelocity, owned by Texas-based travel marketing and distribution company Sabre Holdings Corp., Travelguru’s travel agency site, as well as its supplier and redistribution relationships across the country. Travelguru.com, which was funded by venture capital firms, such as Sequoia Capital India and Battery Ventures, distributes a portfolio of at least 4,000 hotels across India.
Roshan Mendis, regional vice-president of Travelocity Asia Pacific, said Travelguru.com will continue to operate as a stand-alone business and brand, focusing on increasing Indian hotel demand, hotel supply and a wide distribution network.
Ashwin Damera, founder and chief executive officer of Travelguru.com, said he was excited with the deal and would want to replicate the story in other Asian countries. Damera, who will continue as CEO, did not divulge the turnover or other financial details of Travelguru.com.
According to Mendis, the total online travel market in India will be $11 billion (Rs53,570 crore) in 2012, of which online travel agents could be as much as $2.5 billion, up from the $657 million in 2008. “The deal clearly indicates that you need to have a presence in the entire value chain of flights, car and others,” said a travel industry analyst who did not want to be named. “However, the deal does not make any sense to Travelocity as it could have created this hotel base organically,” he said, adding that Travelocity will now have to take care of call centres and the retail outlets of Travelguru.
Himanshu Singh, managing director of Travelocity in India, said the firm hadn’t taken a final call on the retail outlets. But Damera said the firm would retain the retail outlets because of the Indian market.
Dhruv Shringi, chief executive officer and co-founder of Yatra Online Pvt. Ltd, agreed with Damera, saying the Indian market requires some offline presence as well.
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First Published: Tue, Aug 18 2009. 09 28 PM IST