Online travel portals counter fears with sops | india | Hindustan Times
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Online travel portals counter fears with sops

india Updated: Dec 10, 2008 21:32 IST
Ruchi Hajela

With free gift vouchers to discount coupons for buying branded products, online travel portals are trying innovative schemes to boost consumer interest as most people are holding back their New Year travel plans on fears of losing jobs and concerns after attacks in Mumbai.

“We are negotiating extra benefits and value-adds at last year prices,” said Mudit Khosla, head of strategic alliances at “Hence, effective prices would be 7 to 10 per cent lower than last year.” has partnered with brands like Dominos and VLCC amongst others to offer vouchers on health packages, electronic gadgets and even pizzas to those who book domestic air tickets on the website.

“We hope to clock 15 per cent more sales over last year,” Khosla said. has partnered with leading banks to offer booking discounts and gift vouchers to consumers. For instance, MasterCard holders can get a 7 per cent discount on the base fare for booking domestic flights on MakeMyTrip, while ABN Amro users are entitled to a free gift voucher worth Rs 1,500 for booking a flight between December 15 and March 15.

“Foreigners visiting India on leisure or work have cancelled in large numbers and industrywide there has been impact between 20 to 30 per cent,” said Keyur Joshi, co-founder and chief operating officer MakeMyTrip. “We believe we can mitigate the losses to almost 100 per cent by pushing domestic tourism, which has traditionally been expensive during this time of the year but would be affordable this time due to the availability of rooms.”