Dynamic approach adopted by the players in the travel and tourism industry in India

From the ancient Egyptian bazaar and the Greek agora to the virtual and online shopping experience, marketplaces have evolved and come a long way. The marketplace is a platform where vendors can come together to sell their products or services to a curated customer base. The idea behind a marketplace is to enable the owner to bring together the right vendors and the right customers to drive sales through- an exceptional multi-vendor platform.

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Sellers have a place to gain visibility and sell their products. No doubt further innovations are waiting down the road for online marketplaces, but they are already tremendously powerful tools for both large and small retailers to gain massive success by increasing their customer base and profits.

Over 60% of sales already happen through marketplaces, and some of the most successful companies worldwide (Airbnb, Amazon, Uber) operate under this model.


On the surface, it may seem like marketplaces are much more complex than other, similar businesses, due to their nature as multi-vendor platforms. The truth is the marketplace model is surprisingly lean and scalable for new startups. 

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The online marketplace definition comes from their common point: they all are online platforms where multiple sellers and multiple buyers can meet and proceed to transactions without the intervention of the parent brand. For example, Amazon does not intervene in relationships between its vendors and buyers on its platform.

Free Vector | Tiny people customers with bags shopping online with  smartphone. mobile based marketplace, mobile e-shop app, online e-commerce  marketplace concept illustration 

Even if every marketplaces deal with different markets and offer different products and services; they all have the same objectives:

  •  Connecting buyers and sellers
  •  Building relationships between users
  •  Accelerating finding partners
  •  Providing new opportunities for buying and selling
  •  Making Business
  •  Facilitating transactions


Becoming part of an online marketplace or multiple marketplaces is perhaps the most sensible, feasible, and simple recipe for sustained success. The most arduous part of any product’s marketing is access to the right markets and potential customers. Online marketplaces provide this access on unprecedented levels, helping businesses reach wider and further than ever before to enable them to sell to customers on a global scale.

In India only 6% of the travel market is online which stays dominated by the aggregators at large generating revenues in billions, the rest 94% is offline. Even before the pandemic, the local car owner and car fleet owners were struggling. And for those who entered into the aggregator market had to surrender into letting go around 25% of their income to the commission. Much of the heat was borne by customers in terms of inflation and surge in pricing but the partner car owners have taken an equal hit. With the introduction of companies like gaadibooking , savaari, gozo, etc the local cab owners are getting an opportunity to revive.

According to the business wire, Consumers in general avail themselves both online and offline sources of information for booking their journeys, among which 12% of the consumers prefer to use offline sources for research, 57% believe that the online channels give them better deals and find it more convenient to book online. With the advent of the internet and the emergence of artificial reality (AR), the online travel industry in India is changing rapidly due to which a growing number of Indians have turned to the convenience of the web for better travel prices.

With the advent of the internet and the emergence of artificial reality (AR), the online travel industry in India is changing rapidly due to which a growing number of Indians have turned to the convenience of the web for better travel prices.

 As smartphones have progressively become ubiquitous, mobile applications have emerged as the most critical point of interaction with consumers for any travel business, and a number of niche offerings such as outstation cab rental by a local cab owner and various other types of tourism and travel are expected to create more demand for traveling and provide a boost to the industry.

According to CXO Today, Online is a significant source of research

 Elucidating the planning journey of Indian travelers, both for business and leisure, the report calls out five phases of a customer journey – Interest, Research, Booking, Experience, and Sharing. The report states that during the key research-heavy phase of interest, research, and experience, digital plays a pivotal role with over 86 percent of consumers being influenced by online channels. During this phase, travelers spend their maximum time on search, travel tour provider websites, price comparison websites, and travel articles. Online video plays a significant role with 21 percent of travelers being influenced by this platform. In the booking and sharing phase, the report states that nearly 60 percent of customers book transport and lodging online, and over 50 percent share feedback online with social media being the dominant platform.

Talking about the market opportunities for online travel players, Vikas Agnihotri, Country Director – Sales, Google India said, “New users perceive that online channels are geared towards the more frequent travelers and experience-oriented travelers, and existing travelers research online but the lack of trust in payments and booking experience make them end up booking offline. If travel players tap these online users through personalized marketing, messaging, and travel plans, they can further augment online travel bookings. This can be done by adopting digital technologies to influence customers early in the journey and moving from one-time engagement to ongoing relationships to have a positive impact.”

Road Ahead

The report cites five major shifts that marketers need to make to market to the online travelers – First, alleviate consumer concerns by improving the booking and payment experience to build a trusted brand and increase adoption. Second, they need to address the negative customer perception issues by mass customization to drive higher share in the segment. They also need to utilize consumer technology to penetrate mass segments (standardize, enable sharing), reach non-transactors (build offline presence), and create new user access.  Moreover, they need to find innovative and frugal ways to package the experience to increase both adoption and retention.  Finally, they need to create a robust digital back end to adapt to customer needs across the purchase journey

“The contribution of travel and tourism’s spend in India has reached developed market levels, from 6.7 percent of GDP in 2013 to 9.4 percent in 2018. This growth, combined with a rapidly growing internet user base and adoption of online bookings will lead to $24 billion in incremental revenues through online channels by 2021.


Blog Added On : 22-Apr-2021