The shifting balance of power in India’s online travel market
There’s competition emerging from where it was least expected—the airlines and hotels themselves
Thanks to discounts, online travel agents were the best way to book airline tickets and hotel rooms for most Indians
In 2016, nearly three out of every four hotel bookings made online in India were through OTAs
But hotels, and to a lesser extent, airlines, want to change that. By getting customers to book directly with them
Why? For fear of being commoditised and to avoid being just a discount-hunter destination
Slowly and imperceptibly at first, but gradually picking momentum up, the pendulum is starting to swing in the $10.3 billion Indian online travel market.
Away from hyper-funded online travel agents (OTAs) and hotel aggregators, which are still fighting between themselves with venture money. Money that is used to get customers online, woo them with endless discounts and offers and keep them coming back.
Towards a new set of players till now seen as slow and flat-footed: the airlines and hotels themselves.
From suppliers to competitors
The balance of…
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