Cleartrip eyes new market through Local services

Online travel company Cleartrip is discovering a new growth driver in its year-old service ‘Local’, which gives users information on social and cultural activities in tourist destination cities.
According to the Mumbai-headquartered company, about 75% of those using ‘Cleartrip Local’ are new entrants, and a fifth of these first-time visitors generally start using Cleartrip for travel bookings in the next three-six months, the company said. The average age of users in this category is 25.
“Travel is a need-based product. In India, one usually books two-three flights in a year for leisure travel. So we looked at what users are more interested in for their short holidays or weekends, so that we can fill these gaps,” Suman De, product head of Local told ET. “That’s the genesis of ‘Local’, which essentially lets users find out what’s happening in their city, like activities and eateries, among others.”
With a focus on allowing discovery and exploration, the app asks users about their interests and preferable travel dates, and based on that, it recommends events planned in different cities. Recommendations are also prepared for these users based on social media inputs.
However, this market also has players like Facebook and BookMyShow, which allow users to see what events are happening around them. Taking this head-on, De said, “Solving discovery isn’t Facebook’s core. Others allow you to book tickets and go, but we differentiate ourselves with personalisation. Our editorial team finds out what’s popular, and based on user’s interests, makes a set of recommendations.”
Local is available across India but focuses on just 35 cities. While cities like Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Goa top the chart, Cleartrip witnesses numerous booking from tier II cities like Munnar, Rishikesh and Coorg. The product is also available in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
“In India, Local is growing at 22-30% every month. And in Dubai, over the last six months, we have seen 10x growth. But, since it is fairly a new product, we expect it grow in the next few years,” said De. He said the traffic usually varies depending on holidays, weekends and others. He also said that on a daily basis, an average of 2,000 “segments”, which refers to individuals or group bookings, are done on Local.

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