Please forgive me for writing this post quite a bit late and to be honest, in haste. As I am caught up in a lot of stuff that require my attention as and now I try to “peacefully” string up a few thoughts to put 2008 in perspective. Actually there are quite a few things to share about the year that was 2008.
The first thing that comes to mind is the Sales figure. As compared to 2007, we have registered almost double the sales. Considering the times we are in this is a remarkable feat! Surprisingly December, (Post 26/11) the fag end of the year was our best month that gave a boost to our sales.
Conversion of the leads is another area that has shown a tremendous progress. Our self made itineraries really caught on the attention of FITs (fully independent travelers). As a result conversion percentage is better and the numbers doubled.
Talking of Packages, there is a paradigm shift in the way they were organized. Better research, more budget hotels, and better places and voila! The results are just astonishing. We sold Kerala, like never before. Varkala, Bekal, Munnar, the Backwaters went on a spree. LTC packages for Port Blair and North East, a relatively late entrant (starting August) have also brought us as a significant player in these regions. We consolidated on our traditional stronghold of Bangalore and Chennai weekends, along with Honeymoon and Pilgrimage packages all showing an upward trend.
With 20 travel guides already live, Content is moving into new realm. Written from a budget traveler’s perspective the focus is on hot selling destinations. To encourage community participation there are options of photo uploads and comments on each page. The destinations virtually crisscross India with Katra, Corbett, Varkala, Manali etall. The year also marked the opening of our first retail outlet at Rawatbhata Kota on 26th October. Our travel voucher as a product has been established in the market.
Internally IndiaHotelReview.com – IHR has made quite a few structural changes, the UI of the site has been given a new look with more value additions. QnA with city experts and local guides has really taken off. Inspite of our limited branding through SEO, share of the market pie is getting better and bigger. Customer Support service is much organized now with transparency and increased level of customer friendliness. There is a drastic change from 2007 when we were just 1 year old.
Last but not the least the ambitious plan of Business development initiatives taken in 2008 harvested rich dividends. Not only we could get in the photographs of the hotel accommodation but it also helped in assessing the exact position and improving the communication with the hotel fraternity. This sums up our gains in 2008.
Looking ahead 2009
For the year ahead IHR plans to grow stronger and more focused. If 2008 was all about Sales & Community, 2009 could be the year of Community and sales in that order. Finally, you are as good as your team and that is what separates the boys from the men. Best Website of the year in pocket, Team IHR is the winner and that’s what I wanted this post to be all about.