Yatra Starts Social Net “Raahi”; Why Not An Answers Site?

The Hindu reports that Yatra.com is expanding its international airlines portfolio: they’ve signed up Lufthansa, Virgin, Gulf Air, Singapore Airlines and Thai. Dhruv Shringi, co-founder of Yatra says that the company is averaging transactions of over $5 million a month, and has a target of $120 million by the end of the year.
Yatra has also launched a social networking site, still in beta, called Raahi.com. Readers may remember a similar initiative by MakeMyTrip called OkTataByeBye.com, which began with a much publicized travel blogger hunt. One doesn’t know what MakeMyTrip did with it, or plans to do with the community.
Raahi has the usual – blogs, photos with ratings and comments; ‘themes’ seem to be the same as categories, but there are tags too. There’s also a city guide, and a listing of latest and most popular posts. In either sidebar is an option to ‘plan your trip’, using Yatra.com. Nothing new there, really.
From the travel groups that I’ve seen on social networking sites and on yahoogroups, it seems to me that they’re primarily user to plan trips and ask for help or feedback. How many people actually will sit and read 30 articles on what to do in Agra? Perhaps an ‘Answers’ model might be better than a blogging model for these sites. Also, there might be an opportunity in allowing users to form closed-user-groups for planning trips, to increase stickiness.
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