Cleartrip has let go of 100 employees across Gurgaon, Mumbai and Bangalore, reports the Economic Times. ET cites sources as saying that this was because of ‘declining hotel and flight bookings in India’, a ‘lukewarm response to “Experiences” globally’ and Cleartrip will now focus on being in West Asia. Western Asia overlaps with some of the Middle East region.

We’ve reached out to Cleartrip, and will update this when we hear from them.

Are you an affected employee? Speak to me off the record and/or anonymously at sneha[at]medianama.com. 

Focus on MENA

In September this year, in its Travel Insights report for the Middle East for H1, Cleartrip said that it saw a 168% growth in mobile transactions and 536% increase in debit card transactions in Saudi Arabia, among other insights. In June, Cleartrip acquired Saudi Arabia’s online travel agency Flyin for an undisclosed amount to focus on the MENA region. In June 2017, Cleartrip launched an Arabic website to provide localized content. It entered the Middle East region in 2012 and claimed to have rapid year-on-year growth since the ME launch.

Some of Cleartrip’s non-flight but travel initiatives include

  • In June this year, the company launched “Magic Finder”, an interest based event finder.
  • In July 2017, it launched “Stories” about getaways and hotels etc.
  • In August 2015, launched Cleartrip Activities which operated as a mobile-marketplace with a collection of things to do in a city including tourist destinations. In June 2016, Cleartrip revamped Activities to ‘Cleartrip Local’ to focus on local experiences.
  • In July 2014, Cleartrip also launched a weekend getaway section as an extension to its Hotels product.

Competition

The Indian online travel agency space is comparatively crowded with players like Yatra, MakeMyTrip, Ixigo, Google even, Paytm, Treebo etc.

  • Yatra recently tied up with Agoda to list its hotels internationally.
  • MakeMyTrip reported a net loss of $47 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2018 (Q2FY19). Total revenue stood at $103.6 million.
  • In October, Ixigo introduced an offline mode for its trains app on Android.
  • In September, Treebo Hotels launched an app called Hero to let intermediaries sell hotel rooms directly to possible Treebo customers.

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