BENGALURU: Amsterdam-based booking.com, a global online hotel room finder, is set to add 10,000 additional properties by next year in India to meet an increasing demand from domestic travellers, Ruchi Lahoti, area manager, north-east India, Nepal, Bhutan and Afghanistan, said, reports Business Line.
“There are more young travellers in India now,” Ms. Lahoti said in an interview. “They would rather spend on going for a holiday than a date. From the 28,000 properties, we will go to 38,000 by the end of next year. That is mainly being fuelled by domestic travel.”
Tourism in India accounts for 9.6% of the GDP and is the third largest foreign exchange earner for the country.
The tourism and hospitality sector’s direct contribution to GDP in 2016, was $71.53 billion, according to India Brand Equity Foundation.
According to 2006-17 estimates, the direct contribution of tourism and hospitality to GDP is expected to register a compound annual growth rate of 14% and the direct contribution of travel and tourism to GDP is expected to reach $147.96 billion by 2027.
Priceline Group-owned booking.com competes with Google, MakeMyTrip and Expedia. Priceline acquired Booking.com in 2005 for $133 million.
“We have bookings of 17 rooms per second in our 1.4 million hotels,” Ms. Lahoti said. “In India’s north-east, where there is poor road and Internet connectivity we are planning to add 3,500 properties. The key differentiator is our different price points we offer to our customers, from $20 to $200.”
The company earns 65% of its revenue from domestic travellers in India. It plans to include lodges, guest houses and villas to its hotel list.