Booking.com regional head reports booming domestic business in India
Angel Mancas, vice president and managing director – A-Pac, Booking.com
Booking.com, the Dutch company claiming to be the world’s largest online travel agency (OTA), says more and more Indians are using its services to book domestic accommodation.
Booking.com, a Dutch company with a massive international reach, claims to be the world’s largest online travel agency (OTA).
Operating since two decades, it has been in the Asia-Pacific hospitality market for 11 years, and launched its operations in India back in 2012.
Angel Mancas, the company’s vice president and managing director for the region, recently discussed with DNA India the company’s business in India.
We find out more.
Booking.com in India
“India is a very important market for us,” Mancas said. “In the past years, we have grown very fast and at very healthy rates. We also expect that the momentum will continue in the future.”
Booking.com boasts four offices in India, one each in Bengaluru, Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai, with its Indian operations employing 100 people (the number in the Asia-Pacific region is around 2,000 employees.)
“Asia-Pacific today is a key engine of growth for Booking.com as a whole and in that piece, India is playing a very important part not only because of the volume, but also the potential,” Mancas stated.
Domestic business rising
Mancas noticed a changing trend when it came to Indians using Booking.com. While initially Indians were primarily using the OTA to book international accommodations, over the years, the pattern changed to booking more domestic properties.
So much so that more Indians today use Booking.com to book domestically than international, Mancas said, adding that this explosion in domestic transaction had been noticed in the past three to four years.
More than just hotels
Mancas said users were turning to Booking.com’s marketplace for more than just hotels.
“Accommodation facilities form a major part of our business,” Mancas said. “So people come to us looking for different types of accommodation, anywhere across the world and at across price ranges. That’s the requirement we cater to and that’s what we want to deliver.”
“Majority of our supply has been traditional hotels, but we’ve worked with alternative types of accommodation since the very beginning. Lately, we have seen that there is a growing interest in customers to go for alternative accommodations like apartments, guest houses, hostels and even boathouses,” he added.
Mancas mentioned attractions were also being added to the platform, which have been rolled out in over 100 destinations/cities. These include an event or activities guests would like to do after arriving at their destination.
“In the future, we are also planning on expanding transportation and other products. But today, a majority of our business is accommodations,” he said.
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