Compare India's tourism growth with the growth on its online economy and you will see a clear business case for the large number of travel web portals, which have sprung up.

Today, according to Ashwin Damera, CEO and co-founder of Travelguru.com, the Indian online travel business is worth $ 350-400 million and is growing 40-50 per cent year on year.

The growth is not surprising, given that the country's online population totals 25 million currently, and is projected to increase four-fold to 100 million by 2007.

However, the scope for growth is immense. While 63 per cent of the tickets are sold online in the US, online sales account for only one out of 10 tickets (9.7 per cent) in Asia Pacific, says Bruce Hanna, COO, InterGlobe Technology Quotient. The company provides solutions for the backend of the websites of many low-cost-carriers in India.

No wonder most companies are posting healthy growth rates. MakeMyTrip.com has been growing sales at about 20 per cent month-on-month, for the last four months, selling 1,400 tickets a day on an average, according to Keyur Joshi, co-founder and COO.

Travelguru, on the other hand, is still a comparatively smaller player, selling about 500 tickets a day today, though it plans to take it up to 1,000 by the end of this year.

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