MSN India is one of the latest to enter the online travel business. The portal has tied up with Desiya Inc, a New Jersey based online travel company, for its newly launched online travel services channel, www.msn.desiya.in. MSN India will now offer its users services like travel bookings, including air tickets, hotel bookings, car rental, holidays within India as well as other countries.
The MSN travel page will now feature Desiya.in. Users can enter their travel details like destination, number of passengers / rooms, check in and check out dates, class, type of hotel, airline / hotel preferences, one way or return tickets, view fares of all airlines and several hotels and make payments by credit card online.
Users can also rent cars of their choice and have airport pick-ups or drops by entering their flight details. Holiday packages have been customised for every kind of holiday – adventure, beach, honeymoon, religious, romantic, cultural, trekking, sporting and leisure. Each service is available with additional search options allowing the user to customise their travel plans.
Amit Taneja, CEO, Desiya.com, said, “Desiya was born to address the travel needs of people looking for an avenue where they can plan and book their travel to India from just one place. We are excited about our association with MSN India, as this offers us an opportunity to deliver the best of online travel services to a large number and fast growing Indian online population.”
Taneja further said, “The key objective of Desiya’s tie-up with MSN is to address the needs of people who are avid travelers and like to plan their holidays in an unhurried and convenient manner. We believe in giving our consumers the power to choose.”
Rajnish, Head-Digital Marketing Revenue and Strategic Business, MSN India, said, “There has always been a vacuum when it came to a convenient one-stop solution for all travel related services. We believe that together, MSN India and Desiya will be able to bridge that gap and address the needs of the growing traveling population. Travel is today a popular form of leisure. The number of working people who travel has been substantially increasing year after year. Travel enthusiasts on MSN India can now do all their travel enquiries and bookings at www.msn.desiya.in.”
Rajnish added, “We have seen a dramatic boom in the travel market since last year. Indians are suddenly discovering the joy of traveling, particularly because of the robust economy. Desiya’s tie-up with MSN was also important as people who want to know about a certain place before they visit it usually get their information through the Internet.”
Niraj Dutt, Executive Vice-President, NDTV Media, the sales partner of MSN India, said, “India has always been a travel destination for people from around the world and Indians who have settled abroad. With more working professionals and their families opting to travel for their holidays, what matters most when they travel is convenience and hassle free travel services. Desiya is the ideal partner for MSN India in addressing these needs of our users who look at traveling abroad or within India.”
Commenting on NDTV’s partnership with MSN, Dutt said, “Our partnership is primarily a role of responsibility and NDTV’s ideologies matched with those of MSN’s. The Internet has been growing significantly more than other mediums. MSN was bold enough to understand this medium and take it to the next level. Also, a medium is not just about ad spends. A medium should be responsible enough to establish a connection between itself and the consumers.”
He further said, “NDTV is constantly promoting the online space. We (NDTV and MSN) are looking at tying up with more partners to promote online shopping and other segments.”
But with a plethora of online travel sites, it is critical for Desiya to have a competitive advantage. Commenting on Desiya’s marketing, Taneja said, “We will decide on Desiya’s marketing plans a little later. This is because Desiya already has three distinct advantages – control, choice and user interface. We will benefit through our partnership with MSN as the portal has a lot of users who can easily log on to Desiya when they are on MSN’s travel page. Our site also will actively use travel blogs and referrals to help consumers make a better choice of the places that they would like to visit.”
Speaking on the larger picture of the NDTV-MSN partnership, Dutt said, “The Internet is central in this partnership. NDTV has TV as backward integration and mobile as forward integration. NDTV brings all this together. One thing that NDTV believes in is content creation. This is the core business model because mediums will change, but content always has and will continue to drive all mediums.”
Agreeing with Dutt, Rajnish said, “There is a lot more that people can expect from the NDTV-MSN partnership.”