Experts on Tuesday noted that keeping pace with the development of technology and global trend, the Bangladesh travel market is expected to experience exponential growth in online management of customers' travel needs.
However, they opined that this new phenomenon, Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), need policy support and strict monitoring from the government for its proper and healthy growth, said a press release.
They were speaking at a seminar titled 'Travel and Technology: Emergence of OTAs in Bangladesh' arranged by aviation and travel publication – The Bangladesh Monitor with support from City Bank, Eastern Bank, Sabre, Galileo and Amadeus at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in the capital.
The Bangladesh Monitor Editor Kazi Wahidul Alam in his keynote paper noted that Online Travel Agencies started coming up in Bangladesh in 2017 and presently over 50 OTAs are functioning in the country.
"According to a prediction made in 2019, OTAs market share is supposed to be over 45% by 2025. Today OTAs are not only providing ticket booking services but hotel booking and visa processing and other relevant services as well," he said.
Wahidul Alam opined that with a population of 164.5 million, 58 per cent internet penetration, USD 2 billion worth e-commerce market, 1.90 million bank transfers a month, 685,000 daily card transactions, 40,000 online orders per day, USD 97.4 million digital payment a year, 9.5 million of transactions per day through mobile financial services with a total transaction amount of USD 173.5 million per day, OTAs are expected to flourish exponentially in the coming years.
The day-long seminar was held in two sessions and was addressed by Biman Bangladesh Airlines Director Maj Gen (Retd) Ibne Fazal Shayekhuzzaman, DCCI President Rizwan Rahman, ATAB President Monsur Ahmed Kalam, HAAB President M Shahadat Hossain Taslim, BASIS President Almas Kabir, and e-CAB President Shomi Kaiser among others.