Homegrown e-commerce giant Flipkart has forayed into the increasingly competitive online hotel bookings segment, more than a year after it acquired online travel aggregator (OTA) Cleartrip in a distress sale. The Walmart-owned company has launched ‘Flipkart Hotels’, an offering that will allow travellers to make bookings across 300,000 domestic and international hotel properties.
This is Flipkart’s second product in the travel and hospitality space after ‘Flipkart Flight’ which operates in the airline bookings segment. Flipkart will also roll out a bevy of easy EMI options and budget-friendly travel and booking policies to attract customers ahead of the festive season. The travel-booking feature is powered by Cleartrip APIs, and will also enable users to avail third-party offers.
Commenting on the new launch, Adarsh Menon, Senior Vice President, Flipkart, said, “With Flipkart Hotels, we are strengthening our commitment to provide a better experience and superior service to our customers across metros and beyond tiers. With our banking partner’s financial offerings, the customers will unlock great value in this segment and enhance Flipkart’s capabilities as a preferred one-stop shop for the travel booking needs of Indian customers.”
Flipkart’s new launch comes at a time when there’s been a resurgence of travel post the pandemic lows of 2020 and 2021. The industry recorded an impressive growth of 70 per cent in the last quarter coinciding with declining Covid cases. Travel companies are seeing a demand for both domestic and international accommodation.
“New travel trends like exploring lesser-known destinations, workations, long stays, and vacation rentals are becoming mainstream. These developments are giving a boost to the travel industry,” Flipkart explained in a statement.
Despite the growth opportunities, online hotel booking is a cluttered segment. Flipkart will have to contend with the likes of MakeMyTrip, EaseMyTrip, Yatra.com, and even Paytm Travel, which launched hotel bookings in 2019.
The hotel market size in India, including domestic, inbound and outbound bookings, was valued at $32 billion in 2021 and is poised 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 on a steady rise.
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