Is the online medium working in India? According to industry experts, not yet. If we look at the volume of business being conducted by hotels in India through the Net, the numbers are minimal. The Taj, Oberoi and Leela get a paltry two to three per cent of their business through the Internet.

According to Rajiv Narain, general manager, Taj Residency, Hyderabad and president-AP Chapter, FHRAI, "The volume of business generated through our website is not substantial owing to the fact that the number of people using the Internet in India is not huge. As for online advertising, we haven't gone for it as the whole module is still in its infancy. Newspapers and hoardings offer a much better option in terms of visibility, and finally, positive business."

Abhay Manikeri, director of sales, InterContinental, Mumbai, opined that using the online medium for brand building is still at a nascent stage in India. "Probably if we draw a 10-year plan, then we could think of using the Net as a brand building medium but definitely not now. While in the west, where maximum reservations are done through the Net, a brand building exercise could make sense, but India has a long way to go," said Manikeri.

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