The old paradigm of hiring a travel consultant to plan the trip is rapidly changing due to need to access a fragmented travel supply market and sophisticated online retail and shopping experience, says a comprehensive report on trends in Indian tourism by PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association).

Citing a PhoCusWright Inc study "The Emerging Online Travel Marketplace in India", PATA in its report claims the Indian online travel industry is set to see its value increase manifold over the next two years, boosted in particular by the rise in Low Cost Carriers (LCCs) and the emerging middle class.

PhoCusWright estimates the growth in the market from some $295 million in 2005 to an estimated $2 billion by 2008.

"An influx of start-up online travel agencies is expected to have a major effect on existing travel agency business," as quoted by PTI, the study says.

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