Global travel's 'Big Daddy', Expedia, consolidates India operation
Two years after it was launched, Expedia.co.in the India-specific portal of global online travel leader Expedia, has re-invented itself to aggressively address the India opportunity. Dubbing itself the "Big Daddy of Online travel" Expedia has launched a compaign, starting February 13, to showcase its world-class suite of products backed by the the world's largest inventory of over 130,000 hotels, more than 430 airline partnerships and over 5000 holiday activities.
Expedia says it currently commands the largest share of international travellers coming into India through any online travel portal, and with this launch, will offer the same great combination of great value and quality service to more Indian customers for travel in India and around the world.
As part of this launch, Expedia will be spending up to Rs. 250 million on marketing and branding activities, along with its special introductory offer of 'Zero Expedia fee' for the Indian consumer. This will provide travellers with the freedom, flexibility and value to change or cancel bookings made via Expedia without incurring any fees or charges. These cancellations or changes can be with respect to hotels, flights, holiday packages or even car hires made using Expedia.co.in.
Says Dan Lynn, Managing Director of Expedia APAC: "It's time for Expedia to say hello to more Indian customers, and introduce our fantastic range of great value products, our easy to use website, and the security and professionalism of booking with the World's Largest Online Travel Company. We have spent the last two years really understanding how Indians want to book and travel, and are excited today to be offering our "Zero Expedia Fee" offer as we launch our brand campaign. Not only will the Indian traveller get the security of booking with the World's Largest Online Travel Company, but they'll also get a cheaper way to book online travel than ever before!"
“Handling over 31 million transactions, we are not only in the unique position to provide our customers with the widest range of great value travel options, but are the only site who can give them the reassurance of a worldwide network supporting them through their travel. We expect this brand launch to result in an increase of over 150% shoppers on Expedia.co.in over the coming year," added Lynn.
A consumer segmentation study to understand the Indian traveller base and its unique needs told Expedia that the Indian traveller could be segmented into the family focused recreational traveller, the cautiously independent experimental traveller and the extremely adventurous experiential traveller. Expedia has decided to bypass family travellers and target the experimental and experiential traveller in India which contributes to 65% of the market.
Manmeet Ahluwalia, Marketing Head, Expedia.co.in adds : "We will target a group of travellers who like more control over their itinerary, exercising the power of personalizing their own trips; from choosing their flights, to deciding the duration of travel, hotels as well as the holiday experiences that they feel are relevant to them. Our 'Build Your Trip' packages provide all this and much more including best in class pricing, and the widest choice of inventory"
The 'Build Your Trip' solution, gives Indian consumers the flexibility to design their own holiday packages. This unique product produces typical savings of up to Rs. 9000 or approximately USD200 per trip.
In addition Expedia offers permanent travel tools - 'Big Daddy's, Big Deals' - around the year and special offers like: 72-Hour sale: Best-in-class deals and discounts of up to 50% off hotel reservations. These hot deals are available for 72 hours on selected destinations . Last minute deals provide travelers with 20% to 50% off, or free nights, at top quality hotels. Travellers planning to travel within the next 21 days love these offers. Deal Hunter which gives travellers a chance to receive upto 70% discounts on hotel tariffs. Valid for travellers who are planning a long term trip, outside 21 days
Expedia currently operates over 85 offices around the world and has more than 8000 travel experts worldwide. ( www.expedia.co.in )
The Indian online travgel business is deominated by 'desi' players MakeMyTrip.com, Yatra.com and ClearTrip.com.