BENGALURU: Online travel agency Cleartrip has launched an Arabic website to target natives in West Asia as part of a plan to increase its market share to more than 70% in the region.
The company , which had launched operations in Gulf Cooperation Council countries about seven years ago, said it has grown 40-50% year-on-year in the region, with the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia emerging as its biggest markets.
Chief marketing officer Subramanya Sharma said the decision to target the Arabic community is in contrast with the company's earlier focus on the English speaking audience. With the offline to online market now growing and low-cost carriers entering the market, this is the right time to penetrate further into this market, he said.
Furthermore, card payments have also been growing in GCC which is leading to increase in online bookings, says Sharma. The company believes that such developments will lead to the next phase of its growth in the region. We expect to quadruple our revenues by next year.
Meanwhile, the company has also strengthened its technology front in India. Leveraging on the data collected by the platform, the company has added few new features like pay alerts and tag-based recommendations.
Pay alerts informs its users a day or hours before an airline drops or increases its prices. Based on customers’ past bookings, the platform learns the interested destinations and airlines and keeps the customers informed.
On the other hand, tag-based recommendations allow users to find convenient hotels while booking. For instance, if you are travelling with an infant, the platform will recommend hotels that will be convenient for you noting that an infant is travelling along.He further added that the platform will continue to bring more features based on local market needs.
Commenting on the domestic market, Sharma said, The aviation market is growing at 20% and we expect to double our growth in the next one year. On the hotel bookings front, offline to online is still growing in India and discounting plays a critical role. However, we expect to grow upto 60% depending on the discounting strategy.