New Delhi: Online hotel room aggregators have witnessed one of the fastest growth rates of around 50 per cent in night bookings during the first quarter of this calendar year against the same period a year ago. During January-March, online travel saw daily night bookings growing to 150,000 against 100,000 in the same period last year. Fulfilled daily room night bookings went up to 110,000 against 73,000 in the year-ago quarter, as per the data from RedSeer Consulting.
“This is one of the fastest growth rates we have witnessed in recent times. There are several factors that have contributed to the growth. Basically, the penetration of online travel bookings is growing,” said Ujjwal Chaudhry, engagement manager, e-tailing, RedSeer. Online travel providers also increased their inventory by 37 per cent in the quarter against the same quarter last year. Daily sellable room nights went up to 197,000 in the said period as compared to 144,000 in the same period last year.
Some of the players like Oyo moved from a partial inventory to full inventory model, thereby increasing the number of rooms offered.
The online travel space is also witnessing an aggressive competition for market share with the emergence of full stack hotel chains like Oyo and Treebo. Most of the players, including online travel agencies, were seen offering high level of discounts to attract customers.
“The full stack hotel chains are grabbing market share from online travel agencies (OTAs) in the online travel space,” said Chaudhry. Full stack hotel chains increased their share of online-booked room nights to 46 per cent in Q1 of 2018 calendar year from 39 per cent in the year ago quarter.
High growth rates of some of the full stack hotel chains too contributed to the growth of the online travel space. Oyo recorded 120 per cent growth in bookings during the first quarter. Despite having a higher base, some of online travel agencies also grew by around 20 per cent, as per RedSeer.
Further, the low base effect of demonetisation too had its impact on the entire travel industry. Travel during last year was hit by the disruptions in the economy. The first quarter was mainly affected by the liquidity crunch post demonetisation. In Q1 of 2017 calendar year, online travel had grown by around 15 per cent.
According to Chaudhry, the low base effect of last year will support growth in the subsequent quarters of this year....