Yatra Online Pvt. Ltd has joined hands with Sify Technologies Ltd to increase penetration of travel-related services, including air tickets, hotels and travel packages at retail level, through Sify’s 7,000 retail points across 220 cities in the country.
The alliance will act as extended retail points to offer Yatra.com’s travel services with an integrated offline cash acceptance model of Sify. Customers who are more comfortable with an offline payment mode and do not have access to credit cards, or are wary of using their credit cards for e-commerce transactions, will be able to avail the services that Yatra.com currently offers online. Through the tie-up, Yatra.com hopes to enlarge its customer base by tapping these customers, which account for roughly one-third of all air travellers in India. Customers will also have the ease to book all domestic airline tickets, and over 1,500 hotels and resorts across 220 cities in India, with instant confirmations.
Online travel market is expected to grow from $ 796 million in 2006 to $ 2 billion by 2008. Online hotel sales account for 6 per cent of total sales and are expected to increase to 10 per cent by 2008. While travel market in India is flourishing, needs of the Indian travelers are still under-served. It is difficult for Indian travellers to find, compare and select best hotel packages and deals, and make reservations at the lowest cost and finest service.
According to Dhruv Shringi, CEO and Co-Founder, Yatra Online Pvt. Ltd, said, “At Yatra.com, we are constantly looking at ways to be more accessible to our customers and help them choose the cheapest air ticket and best hotel package. This alliance will play a significant role in strengthening our commitment to make traveling smart and simple for customers. Sify’s expertise and its pan-India reach will help Yatra extend its services to mass consumers in smaller cities and non-metros who are still not familiar or comfortable with Internet and credit card transactions. They can now book tickets and pay by cash over the counter.”
Akashdeep Singh, Vice President, Sify Technologies Ltd, said, “Sify iWay and broadband partners will help Yatra.com to instantly extend reach to more customers. With our network expansion plans this year, we hope to be the largest value-added service partner with Yatra.com. Customers can avail a complete range of services through our centres. The tie-up will offer greater accessibility of Yatra.com services to a larger section of the market and help satiate the growing appetite of travel by Indian consumers.”