In yet another sign of growing consolidation in the domestic online e-commerce space, two of India’s prominent, home-grown, online hotel aggregators have joined hands to boost their cumulative market presence. In a recent development, likely to have an impact on the market share dynamics, Yatra.com has joined hands with OYO. The tie-up is expected to add substantial weight to each-other’s offerings, providing a much larger gamut of choices to their consumers.
It is important to note that OYO has made a significant foray into the budget segment – as per company’s own admission, it currently boasts of 70,000 strong inventory, much of it located in the tier-2 and tier-3 cities. On the flipside, Yatra has focussed on strengthening its experiential segment with a major push towards bringing more homestays options on board for consumers. With both of them joining hands, now, an enlarged inventory is likely to pose a stiffer challenge to Makemytrip- Goibibo combined – which had come together almost a year ago in a high-profile merger and continues to garner a lion’s share of the travel e-commerce market pie.
With the new arrangement in place, Consumers can directly book OYO hotels on Yatra’s platform, besides making changes to their reservations and can also reach out to Yatra’s customer service, if needed. This move is seen largely as Yatra’s bid to expand its reach in tier II & III markets in India.
Commenting on the development, Dhruv Shringi, Co-founder & CEO, Yatra.com, spoke of evolving customer needs and preferences. “They seek newer and more interesting ways to make their travel bookings seamless and cost effective. We, as a company, are focussed on being innovative and providing a differentiated experience to our customers. Our partnership with OYO is a firm step in that direction and enables us to deliver a unique proposition to our customers allowing them to choose from an unmatched variety of travel and accommodation options in India,” he said.
Ritesh Agarwal – Founder & CEO, OYO said, “Through this partnership, OYO’s quality-assured hassle-free offerings will be accessible to millions of discerning travellers who book on Yatra.com. We welcome them to avail our economy and mid-market offerings that deliver the right balance of price, location and quality. Our mission is to bring high-quality living spaces to all Indians and this alliance will help us penetrate deeper into emerging travel markets.”
Only time will tell whether the new arrangement is able to bring in incremental business to these two entities, however, the signalling is loud and clear. Taking into account changed dynamics post the MMT-Goibibo merger, this development unambiguously indicates that an increasing number of e-commerce players are open to the idea of pooling in their resources to remain relevant in the marketplace.