Expedia backed Trivago, a price comparison site for hotels eyes Indian market

Trivago, a Germany based price comparison, search and information website for hotel booking has silently expanded its operations in India, after launch of its India centric website, Trivago.in.

Founded almost eight years ago, Trivago has grown into a consumer champion for hotel accommodation featuring search results from over 600,000 hotels across 150+ booking sites in over 30 countries in 23 languages.

Expedia had recently completed its acquisition of a 61.6% equity stake in Trivago for approximately 434 million euro (or  USD 564 million) in cash. Trivago is believed to enter the Indian market via Expedia.

For Expedia the deal was to allow further boost to its corporate travel portfolio and expand into the European online travel market.

In Context of India, Expedia already has a decent presence in the country allowing Indian travellers to book flights, hotels and attractions across the globe from its worldwide inventory of 160000 hotels, 400+ airlines and 7000 activities.

Bringing in Trivago could be seen as a step to further boost revenues from the local market, which is beneficial for both the companies of the group. Expedia was launched back in 2008 in India.

Trivago lists hotels from various websites such as Expedia, Makemytrip, Hotels.com, Venere.com and charges advertisers listed on its website, with a cost-per-click revenue model. As per the company its revenue has profitably doubled each year since its launch in 2008. It does not offer any promotional space or offers of its own.

To make best out of the potential online hotel booking industry in India, Trivago had already started with its TVC campaign in the country to spread awareness about its entry in the country. It already runs TVCs in the USA, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, the UK, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and few others with its main focus markets being Germany and Spain.

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Online travel and hotel booking market can be categorised as a sector under limelight as multiple players have expanded their offerings with Hotel bookings in recent years making the market more competitive.

Also according to PhoCusWright, a global travel market research company, revenue generated through online hotel bookings in India had increased by 28% to INR 3,369 crore in 2012 from INR 2,634 crore in 2011. For most big hotels, online room bookings are growing almost 100% year on year.

Makemytrip, which is one of the biggest travel player in India clocked revenues from Air ticketing and Hotel & packages of $60.9 million and $164.1 million respectively in FY13 with Hotel booking revenues witnessing 40% increase from the FY12. This might highlight the speed by which hotel booking sector is gaining acceptance online.

The launch of such meta search providers might further boost sales, but may eat up margins in Hotels too. As Trivago is positioning its brand a synonym for ‘Hotel’ in India too.

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