Touted as a ‘budget-friendly’ service, Flipkart Hotels will be available on the ecommerce app
The service will be backed by Flipkart’s online travel aggregator (OTA) arm Cleartrip and will deploy the ticketing platform’s API to allow users to scout hotels
The Indian travel and tourism market is estimated to grow to $29.01 Bn by 2026: Report
Ecommerce major Flipkart has now forayed into the travel sector with the launch of its hotel booking service called Flipkart Hotels.
Touted as a ‘budget-friendly’ service, Flipkart Hotels will be available on the ecommerce app and will allow users to choose from around 3 Lakh domestic and international hotels.
The service will be backed by Flipkart’s online travel aggregator (OTA) arm Cleartrip and will deploy the ticketing platform’s API to allow users to scout hotels. Flipkart had acquired Cleartrip in April last year in a deal reportedly valued at $40 Mn.
“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”, said Flipkart’s senior vice-president Adarsh Menon.
The ecommerce major will also deploy products such as EMI options for Flipkart Hotels users to shore up bookings.
“For the convenience of customers and to offer a great experience, a dedicated customer care center has been set up to support customers with user-related queries”, said Flipkart in a press statement.
The move to open a separate hotel booking section within the main app could likely be attributed to heavy footfall on the Flipkart app. A permanent fixture on the portal could enable the commerce company to drive up numbers and engagement for hotel owners listed on the platform.
The ecommerce giant is banking on the post-pandemic surge in both the domestic and international hotel bookings to boost adoption.
“2022 has been a great year for the hospitality industry so far with a notable surge in demand both in the domestic and international accommodation market. 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,” added Flipkart.
The move will directly pit Flipkart Hotels against hospitality major OYO and other players such as Airbnb, Trivago and Booking.com in the highly competitive space.
The announcement came on the same day as Flipkart Health finished a 15-day drone delivery trial in collaboration with Skye Air Mobility to transport medicines to pharmacies in Kolkata.
In India, a majority of hotel bookings still happen via agents. According to Statista, online hotel bookings accounted for just 15% of the total at the end of FY20 which is expected to rise marginally to 18% by FY27. This still leaves a huge untapped market for these OTAs to explore and to cultivate newer sources of income.
The Indian travel and tourism market is projected to clinch revenues north of $14.92 Bn at the end of 2022, with the number estimated to grow to $29.01 Bn by 2026 at a CAGR of 18.08%.