For digital travel platform, Agoda, part of Booking Holdings, India has been one of the most important markets in the APAC region and the brand has gradually grown its focus on the country starting from 2021. In the last two years, Agoda, through its business and marketing strategies, has targeted Indian travellers with an integrated outreach, via multiple stories, based on their search data and booking data, conducted extensive surveys dedicated to the Indian market, executed extensive campaigns, and even launched their first digital ad in India, featuring Rashmika Mandanna.
“India is one of the most exciting markets at the moment because it’s booming! There’s crazy growth in domestic travel, the value of outbound Indian travellers is expected to increase by double digits in the next few years, and India also has the potential to attract more inbound travellers. Looking at Agoda’s search data, domestic, outbound, and inbound all more than doubled in 2022 compared to 2019,” says Omri Morgenshtern, CEO, Agoda.
Morgenshtern says that India has a good cultural and strategic match with Agoda. “If you look at what made Agoda successful internationally, it’s undeniable focus on tech, localisation, and focus on price -- getting the customer the best deal. Those are values that are all important here,” he says. As per Morgenshtern, Agoda will continue its India-specific marketing activities, add more payment solutions that work in the country, and continue to recruit more tech talent here in India.
And is India different from other countries in the APAC? “In terms of differences, it’s not a difference with other APAC markets per se, but Indian customers have higher than usual standards for customer service. That’s only a good thing, I value that,” he says.
Morgenshtern is bullish on India. “What’s very interesting is that we see a step change in the share of online travel. The TTV (total transaction value) of online travel in India was already bigger in 2022 than it was in 2019. Meaning online bookings are becoming more important. The growth of online travel TTV in India is even outpacing APAC levels,” he says.
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