July 03, 2018

Booking.com shifts its cultural DNA as it sets sights on Indian market


Booking is looking at India to be one of its top five markets. But, as earlier players have realised to their frustration, India is not an easy market to crack.

“India is a super important market but it also is a super tough market,” said Pepijn Rivers, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Booking, while addressing a group of journalists at the company’s headquarters in Amsterdam.

Pepijn explains that it is a market known to use discounting as a model to attract customers. He says, “Discounting doesn’t exist in our culture. But our competition in India is doing it, and rightly so. Indian consumers are unlike any other across the world. They spend a lot of time online looking for different websites and then zeroing in on the best choice. And that choice isn’t just based on price. It is based on offerings at a certain price.”

The focus towards India makes sense as a report - Demystifying the Indian Online Traveller - by Google and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) states that the Indian passenger travel market is set to grow at 11 to 11.5 percent touching close to $48 billion by 2020. On the other hand, hotel revenues are expected to touch $13 billion.

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Download the report "Demystifying the Indian Online Traveller" at Boston Consulting Group (PDF 2.4 MB)