Dial up a discount via the smartphone app

Nivedita Ganguly Priya Sheth Mumbai | Updated on September 29, 2012 Published on September 29, 2012


Planning a vacation? Your smartphone app can help you get better deals.

With online travel portals launching apps (applications) for smartphones on different platforms, travellers can maximise their gains in bookings. Travel portals are looking at innovative ways to tap this growing segment and offering discounts and schemes, especially during peak travel season.

For instance, travel portal MakeMyTrip is offering a discount of Rs 300 on flight bookings made through its mobile app. Its Android app has crossed one lakh downloads. The iPhone app has seen 60,000 downloads while the BlackBerry app has crossed over two lakh downloads.

Special discount

“At present, we are offering discount on domestic flight bookings via mobile apps and we will offer best last-minute deals on hotels as well,” said Rajesh Magow, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, MakeMyTrip. The portal will launch a special discount of Rs 500 on hotel bookings made through mobile app, Magow added.

Cleartrip too has dialled into the smartphone space with the recent launch of its iPhone and Android apps.

“About 10 per cent of traffic emanates from our mobile site and we expect it to accelerate,” said Hrush Bhatt, Founder and Director (Product and Strategy).

For, bookings through mobile phone app fetch Rs 5-10 lakh a day. “While this is a small percentage of our overall business revenue, we are seeing increasing traffic in this segment,” said Pratik Mazumdar, Head of Marketing and Strategic Alliance.

Travel portals say that the bookings almost double on weekends. “For Expedia, the weekend bookings on smartphone apps are very high,” said Vikram Malhi, Country Head. The travel portal has also launched iPhone and Android apps to tap into this growing segment.

Hotel bookings

However, right now apps support only hotel bookings.

The travel firm is offering 30-40 per cent discounts on international hotel bookings and up to 50 per cent discount on hotel bookings in the domestic market. Expedia has 1.55 lakh hotel inventories worldwide. “While the discounts are available on Web bookings too, we are sweetening the discount deal for the smartphone app users,” said Malhi.



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Published on September 29, 2012
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