Travel is a US$7 trillion industry globally. According to some sources, some 350,000 Bangladeshis travel daily. Propelled by rising incomes and a growing appetite for exploration, outbound travel is on the rise in Bangladesh. An increasing number of Bangladeshis are now traveling abroad and spending generously. In 2014, some 1.5 million Bangladeshis visited abroad, according to data from the Bangladesh Bank, National Board of Revenue, and Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies.
Outbound travel spending rose from $404.7 million in FY15 to $436.4 million in FY16, a 7.83 percent rise from the previous year. It shows a sign of the rise of a new middle and upper class in the country. These numbers are set to rise significantly in the coming years.
We are seeing an increased number of activities in the travel tech space in Dhaka over the last few years. We have seen a handful of OTAs start operations in Dhaka. The total number of OTAs, of all sizes, is now somewhere north of 50 in the country.
According to industry insiders, OTAs now control about 4-6% of the total travel market in Bangladesh. Small-scale funding rounds are also happening in the space. Last year, TBBD raised an undisclosed amount of investment. Flight Expert is also eyeing raising investment this year. Companies like Haltrip are quickly expanding, even beyond our geographic boundaries. With the growing potential, we are hoping to see more activities in the travel tech space in the coming days.
Future Startup has been following closely the traveltech startups in Bangladesh throughout 2018 and here are some of the new generation traveltech startups in Bangladesh that we believe you should keep an eye on in 2019. Please note that this not a ranking, rather merely a list of companies we deem important. The position in the list does not attribute anything. On to the list.