In a landmark moment for the online travel agencies (OTA) market, Cleartrip recently signed an agreement with Travelport’s distributor for India, InterGlobe Technology Quotient. Under the agreement, Cleartrip will benefit from Travelport’s travel technology solutions to further solidify its presence as a travel-tech giant in the OTA market. Read on to know more.
Cleartrip, one of India’s premier online travel agencies, has taken another step towards becoming an industry leader and has signed an agreement with Travelport’s distributor for India, InterGlobe Technology Quotient (ITQ). With a clear vision to disrupt the OTA market and provide its customers with some of the ‘firsts’ in the industry, Cleartrip will further enhance the services provided to its customers.
Under the agreement, Cleartrip will benefit from the use of Travelport’s platform to provide enhanced services to its larger customer base. ITQ, the official distributor of Travelport in India, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Bhutan, will provide Cleartrip access to its huge travel technology.
In a press conference at Gurugram, India, Ayyappan Rajagopal, CEO at Cleartrip, Sandeep Dwivedi, Chief Operating Officer, ITQ and Mark Meehan, Global Vice President and Managing Director for Global Operators at Travelport signed the landmark agreement, followed by a round of Q&A with the press. Speaking of the agreement, the stalwarts termed it a ‘landmark’ deal that will pave the way to future alliances and an enhanced customer experience.
“We believe in simplifying the travel space. This partnership with ITQ will be another step towards using innovation to accelerate travel technology. This partnership will go a long way,” said Ayyappan Rajagopal, CEO, Cleartrip.
Taking questions from the press, Rajagopal shed light on how travel post-COVID has undergone a metamorphic change and has developed new trends. “These challenges are, in fact, opportunities for Cleartrip to tap into the potential and give some of the firsts to the industry. This is where Cleartrip sets the bar high”, he added. Speaking of the firsts, Rajagopal highlighted the offerings by Cleartrip such as CT Flexmax, CT Flex, and CT Upgrade that focussed on increasing customer satisfaction by converting a challenge into an opportunity. “Cleartip has grown 3X and we will not stop here. We will be the largest OTA in the air space, simultaneously scaling up hotel accommodations and on-ground services to be an all-in-one place for our customers,” added Rajagopal.
When asked about any two trends that will rule the travel industry, Sandeep Dwivedi, COO, ITQ, shared, “Customers now want flexibility and are also looking to explore like never before. These two areas should be given maximum priority. Customers would now like flexible booking plans, instant cancellations, hassle-free refunds and an enhanced experience.”
Addressing Travel Trade Journal in the press conference on Cleartrip’s cornerstone of the strategy for 3X growth, Rajagopal spoke of the innovations that helped Cleartrip nail this experience, “The idea is to introduce one innovative idea every quarter and not look back.” With post-COVID recovery and pre-COVID demands, prioritising customer satisfaction has been the OTA’s single most focus and the center of their strategy.
Talking about the expectations from the partnership, Rajagopal instantly replied that Cleartrip would like to be the leader in the OTA space. Adding to this, Mark Meehan, Global Vice President and Managing Director for Global Operators at Travelport, responded, “India is an important market and the possibilities of innovation and scaling up in this market are immense. One has to get as creative as possible to ensure they stay ahead.”
Speaking about Cleartrip’s rebranding, Rajagopal summarised the quarter-wise innovations by Cleartrip and the sole focus on enhancing customer experience. With offerings like CT Flexmax, CT Flex, and CT Upgrade, and the CT Big Billion Days and CT Advantage, Cleartrip wants to bring innovations that the Indian OTA market deserves but clearly lacks.
On questions about changes in the aviation industry and the travel industry as a whole, Dwivedi talked about the dynamic nature of the Indian OTA space where demand is followed by supply and how the market has immense potential to offer to the travel industry. “People don’t want to wait anymore. Staycations have become a common weekend activity. Hotels have never seen a surge like this before. The industry is truly changing,” said Dwivedi.