Mumbai, November 28, 2015: After being offloaded by online travel agents like MakeMyTrip, Goibibo and Yatra, budget hotel aggregators are seeking exclusive tie-ups with major offline players, like Thomas Cook and Cox & Kings, to broaden their distribution models.

Hotel room aggregators such as Oyo Rooms, Vista Rooms and Zo Rooms are on the verge of forging tie-ups with brick and mortar travel agents to give a fresh impetus to their distribution channels.

The largest budget hotel aggregator, Oyo Rooms – with prices pegged below ₹3,000 – expects Thomas Cook to include it as part of its travel products portfolio, which will help it penetrate new markets. “We realise that the offline travel market has always been bigger. Being the largest player in the budget space with 3,500 hotels in 150 cities, we will now get included as part of Thomas Cook’s travel products,” says Kavikrut, Chief Growth Officer, Oyo Rooms.

Offline still ahead

Others like Zo Rooms, with about 1,000 hotels across 50 cities, are waiting to use the distribution platform of offline players by forging strategic partnerships.

“In India, only 20-25 per cent of hotel bookings come from the online space, while majority of the business is still offline. Therefore, offline travel agents will help us in get deeper into the country; we are in talks with the top 8-10 players. We expect at least 15 per cent of our business to come from this channel,” Paavan Nanda, co-founder, Zo Rooms. Vista Rooms also planning to ride on the offline travel distribution model. “We are in discussions with offline travel companies, as they have better distribution channels, while we have the supplies of budget rooms. Unlike OTAs that see budget room aggregators as a threat and want to de-list us from their sites, we help offline players in fulfilling their budget room requirements,” says Ankita Sheth, co-founder, Vista Rooms.

‘Better reach’

Meanwhile, offline travel agents expect more budget aggregators to come on board. “It is a recent phenomenon of budget hotel aggregators to tie up with brick and mortar agents, as reality has hit them that we have the reach in every nook and corner as compared to online players,” observes Anil Khandelwal, Chief Financial Officer, Cox & Kings.-BusinessLine

Corporate Comm India(CCI Newswire)