Expedia has entered into a partnership with MSN India to power the travel section on the portal, which is one of the most trafficked sites from India. The partnership aims to offer MSN India users with access to Expedia’s inventory of travel products. MSN India users will be able to read independent reviews from fellow travelers and use maps, weather forecasts and 360 degree virtual tours of hotels through Expedia.
The two companies have worked together to create a co-branded travel section on MSN, which will also be reinforced by an Expedia branded travel search wizard on the MSN homepage, which will direct people to the Expedia website.
Daniel Lynn, Vice President and Managing Director, Expedia Asia-Pacific, said, “We believe the Indian traveler can benefit immensely from the global experience and widest choice that Expedia has to offer. This partnership is a very important step in our endeavour to move even closer to the Indian consumer. Going forward, we will continue to make key investments that help us develop localised travel products as well as gain greater access to Indian travelers.”
According to the Third Edition of the PhoCusWright Indian Online travel overview, published in September 2010, the Indian travel marketplace totaled $15.8 billion and online leisure/ unmanaged business travel accounted for 21.1 per cent or approximately $3.3 billion in 2009. By 2012, nearly one-third of the travel industry gross bookings are likely to be completed online. Additionally, the Indian travel market is expected to grow by 12 per cent to $17.7 billion in 2010, reaching $22.8 billion by 2012, representing an impressive 44 per cent growth between 2009 and 2012. With this tie-up with MSN, Expedia plans to tap into this burgeoning market and cater to the specific requirements emerging out of India.
Sanjay Trehan, Head, MSN India, Consumer & Online Business said, “Expedia is one of the world’s leading online travel sites and we are very happy to partner with them. With this association, we are taking the consumer experience to a whole new level by positioning MSN travel as the complete travel guide in terms of searches, bookings, ticketing and reservations with the best in the business.”