TravTalk - India

Experience­s to push travel in 2024

- Suhani Sood

Flipkart owned Cleartrip has a lot of expectatio­ns from 2024 keeping in view the increasing demand for domestic and internatio­nal bookings. Ayyappan Rajagopal, Chief Executive Officer, Cleartrip, says there are several new things that they are planning to do in terms of flexibilit­y, value and affordabil­ity to meet the expections of customers.

Cleartrip saw an uptick in 2023 and is geared up with plans and strategies for the upcoming year. Ayyappan Rajagopal, Chief Executive Officer, Cleartrip, said that he would like to summarize 2023 as a “learning year”, whereas in 2024, there will be a lot more pushing and demand for internatio­nal air business, hospitalit­y and itinerarie­s providing experience­s and packages.

“From our perspectiv­e also, there are a lot of new things that we are planning to do in terms of flexibilit­y, value and affordabil­ity. In all these facets, we want to differenti­ate and disrupt the space,” he said.

Emphasizin­g on technology, Rajagopal said, “We can make travel a lot more seamless with the use of technology, and that is our aspiration for the next year. That is the way we will internally look at.”

He said that people in the age group of 18 to 25 years are travelling a lot more. “Some of our anecdotal data points clearly show that their (of youth) first internatio­nal travel earlier used to be largely for the honeymoon. But now it is like people are not waiting for the marriage or honeymoon; they are going with their friends. Typically, Indians love to go to Thailand and Dubai. These used to be the two largest visited places. Now, Vietnam has been added to it. Bali and Sri Lanka are also growing really well. There are other destinatio­ns, not so regular sort of places that Indians ventured into,” he said.

Collaborat­ions must to sustain

Rajagopal underlined the importance of tie-ups for sustenance in business. “Collaborat­ions and networking are extremely important as per my personal experience. It is a huge learning curve in the travel space because for one person to do anything and everything is super tough. And hence collaborat­ion and working with multiple players and multiple partners is the right way to go, because it's a digital inventory and not a physical inventory. You can connect and work with multiple partners so that you get that informatio­n seamlessly, you get a better price, you get better offers, all of that as and when you have a larger partnershi­p,” he said.

He said there are certain offers and discounts that are time bound and if you do not avail them within the specified period, they are likely to lapse. “In that case, I cannot sell the product since it is a perishable inventory,” he said. He cited an example of seat availabili­ty in flights to prove his point.

Planning in advance? Not anymore

People now want to book just ahead of travel. Now they don't want to plan months in advance. “And we believe that is s going to continue. That started during COVID and continues because that is a new trend,” Rajagopal said.

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 ?? ?? Ayyappan Rajagopal Chief Executive Officer Cleartrip
Ayyappan Rajagopal Chief Executive Officer Cleartrip

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