Flipkart Gets Into Hotel Bookings, Aims To Tackle MakeMyTrip, Paytm Travel, And More
Local e-commerce giant Flipkart has made a foray into the increasingly competitive segment of online hotel bookings, more than a year after acquiring online travel aggregator (OTA) Cleartrip as part of a a distress sale. The Walmart-owned company has launched “Flipkart Hotels,” an offering that will allow travelers to make reservations at 300,000 domestic and international hotel properties.
It is Flipkart’s second product in the travel and hospitality space after “Flipkart Flight”, which operates in the airline booking segment. Flipkart will also be rolling out a slew of easy EMI options and cost-saving travel and booking policies to lure customers ahead of the holiday season. The travel booking feature is powered by Cleartrip APIs and will also allow users to take advantage of third-party offers.
Commenting on the new launch, Adarsh Menon, Senior Vice President of Flipkart, said, “With Flipkart Hotels, we reinforce our commitment to providing a better experience and superior service to our guests across the metros and beyond. Through our banking partner’s financial offerings, customers will unlock great value in this segment and enhance Flipkart’s capabilities as a preferred one-stop-shop for travel booking needs of Indian customers.
Flipkart’s relaunch comes at a time when there has been a resurgence in travel following the pandemic lows of 2020 and 2021. The industry has seen an impressive 70% growth in the last quarter, coinciding with declining cases of Covid. Tour operators are seeing demand for domestic and international accommodation.
“New travel trends like exploring lesser known destinations, work, long stays and vacation rentals are becoming mainstream. These developments give a boost to the travel industry,” Flipkart explained in a statement.
Despite the growth opportunities, online hotel booking is a crowded segment. Flipkart will have to contend with MakeMyTrip, EaseMyTrip, Yatra.com and even Paytm Travel, which launched hotel reservations in 2019.
The size of the hotel market in India, including domestic, inbound and outbound bookings, was valued at $32 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $52 billion in FY27, according to a RedSeer report. While a majority of the segment is still dominated by unorganized travel agents, the share of online operators is steadily increasing.
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