Booking.com is focusing on India as a priority market due to the country’s booming travel industry. Laura Holdsworth, Managing Director and Vice President of Asia Pacific at Booking.com highlighted India’s potential, given its population of over 1.4 billion people, with a particular focus on the younger demographic that prioritizes travel. Indian travelers rank second in the Asia Pacific region for confidence in their travel plans, with 86% expressing optimism about future travel, according to Booking.com.
The company is actively investing in India to address friction points and enhance user experience. Initiatives include launching flights on the platform to attract new travelers, with a quarter of Booking.com users being young travelers. Holdsworth emphasized the importance of investment in India, not only regionally but also globally. The platform introduced Hindi language support in Q1, and it remains a key market focus for Booking.com, competing with other players like MakeMyTrip and Cleartrip.
Globally, Booking.com has observed changing travel trends post-pandemic, with a shift in destination preferences, travel times, and modes of travel. In 2022, the platform experienced a 52% increase in room bookings compared to pre-pandemic levels, contributing to a 13% rise in revenue. The company witnessed a surge in demand for leisure travel in Q2, with a 40% increase in room night growth in Asia.
Holdsworth highlighted the changing seasonality and the rise of offbeat travel destinations, particularly in Tier 2, Tier 3, and Tier 4 cities in India. The company aims to capture these trends and continues to work across the country to offer travelers a variety of options at the right price. Expectations for the upcoming festive and winter seasons include a significant increase in bookings, especially as Indian travelers tend to book at the last minute.
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