MakeMyTrip bets big on alternative accommodation

NEW DELHI : Co-founder and Managing Director of MakeMyTrip Group, Rajesh Magow, says leisure travel in India is set to grow by leaps and bounds as the travel operator seeks to expand business launched during the pandemic, including the forex, homestays and bus and train reservations.

Leisure travel will continue to be a focus of MakeMyTrip even as Indians return to work, opening up business travel after being blocked for the past two years due to the pandemic, it said. -he declares.

“Indians will take one to two long stays a year and at least three to four short stays mainly because companies have become more flexible with their employees, giving them the freedom to travel. For such trips, people will also look for alternative accommodations like homestays,” he said.

Homestays, he said, were a brand new initiative launched by the company during covid, and today MakeMyTrip has about 30,000 properties. “What we call alternative accommodation within our company is very interesting in India and few people fully understand that it is very different from the global market. In the Indian market, since we understand the market better than anyone, we decided to enter this space and the business continues to grow,” said Magow.

He said that unlike other parts of the world, there are three or four sub-segments within the types of properties that exist in the alternative accommodation industry and not all homestays are villas. . There are also apartments; serviced apartments in business cities, which can range from apartments to hostels, which can differ from hostels, villas, cottages, tents and apartments in leisure cities.

“Several initiatives like these are helping to grow (the business) due in part to consumer flexibility. People are opting for this type of accommodation, especially millennials, etc. , and I don’t think there will be a drop in demand even if people go back to the office,” he added.

He said the industry is not just seeing pent-up demand for “domestic travel” but also pent-up demand for overseas travel. Indians travel to Southeast Asia, especially to places like Thailand, as places like Goa have become quite expensive. “Europe and other countries, although they have huge visa problems right now and there is frustration, are still willing to travel,” he said. He added that he didn’t think it would get in the way of domestic travel. “Because overall, after covid, the number of holidays or the number of short stays has increased. Now long stays can happen internationally, but when it comes to short stays it will be domestic due to the rising cost of international holidays.”

He said there would be one to two long stays per year during the winter and summer seasons and there would be at least four or five short stays, if not more, depending on the segment during d same year for the middle class to the upwardly mobile traveller. “They will also look for alternative accommodation if it’s something their budget doesn’t allow. But fundamentally, I think out of the total income, there’s more money that’s kept for experiences of different kinds.”

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