Increasing population of working women is changing the dynamics of online ticket booking, especially in IT-centric cities such as Bangalore.

A recent survey conducted by a travel site found more women from Bangalore booking tickets online. “This is because there are a lot of women in the IT sector. Internet penetration among women in Bangalore is higher than in other regions,” said Ashish Kashyap, Chief Executive Officer, goibibo.com, which conducted the survey.

Another factor is that overall online bookings have gone up. According to Internet and Mobile Association of India, online air ticket bookings went up by 82 per cent to 16.7 lakh in May 2012 as compared to May 2011 and this has naturally seen a spurt in travellers, both men and women. “More women booking tickets online is something that is happening all over India. In fact, it has increased from 13 per cent to 16 per cent over the last one year,” said Pratik Mazumder, Head - Marketing & Strategic Alliances, Yatra Online.

This has to be seen as part of the larger trend of women buying things online, said Aurvind Lama, Co-founder and Director, Travelyaari.com. Lama said that according to studies in the US, the number of overall online women buyers has gone up from 30 per cent in 2003 to 60 per cent in 2012.

In India, he said that many women are booking tickets from his company on bus routes like Bangalore - Hyderabad and Delhi - Jaipur. "Women prefer to be at home or office rather than go out and stand in a queue for tickets," he said. According to a survey that he said Travelyaari.com conducted, he said that men look for discounts and low prices, while women prefer convenience and trust.

But Manmeet Ahluwalia, Marketing Head, Expedia India has a different take on this and doesn't want to look at this as a zonal or a gender-based issue. "Thanks to late marriages and greater disposable income, people are looking at engaging in experiences by themselves," he said.

balaji.n@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on August 20, 2012)
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