The Ultimate Guide to the Top 12 Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) in India in 2021
India is a developing country and so is it’s travel industry. Domestic travel has grown 19% year-over-year growth, reaching 138 million passengers in 2018 and international outbound travel has grown from 4.4 million departures in 2000 to 26.3 million international departures of Indian residents in 2018. This tremendous increase of popularity in travel has ignited the growth of online travel agencies (OTAs) in India as well, who cater both to the domestic and international market. Here is the ultimate guide to the top 12 online travel agencies (OTAs) in India worth following in 2021.
Make My Trip Group, owner of the travel brands Goibibo & Redbus, caters to the needs of all Indian travelers, including flights, cabs, buses, trains, hotels, homestays, holiday packages and more. Make My Trip was founded in 2000 initially serving the US-India travel market and later started their Indian operations in 2005. In 2016, MakeMyTrip and Ibibo, India’s two largest online travel agency groups, merged to form MMT-GoIbibo. Make My Trip is a publicly traded company listed on NASDAQ. Make My Trip’s booking engine allows you to book more than 60,000 hotels domestically and more than 500,000 hotels worldwide. In addition to traditional OTA services offered, on Make My Trip´s site you can also book and purchase tourist visa services, bus rides within India, cab services within India, train travel within India and gift cards.
Cleartrip was launched in 2006 and quickly grew it´s userbase not only in India, but throughout the entire Middle East. Now, it has offices in Mumbai and Dubai as well. Under the Cleartrip umbrella you can find also Cleartrip for Business, an online corporate travel management tool and Agent Box, a travel tool for travel agents. In 2018, Cleartrip partnered with Amazon´s voice assistant Alexa, allowing Alexa users to conduct voice inquiries about air travel options via Cleartrip. Cleartrip is also the go-to website for Indian travelers who want to book activities.
Since it´s inception in 1980, Riya Travel has evolved over the decades to include; Air Consolidation, Corporate Travel Management, Retail Travel Services, Packaged Holidays, Religious Tours, Cruises and Cruise Tours, Special Interest Groups, Student Travel and Travel Technology. In addition to their leisure travel segment, they have a strong corporate travel branch.
Yatra is a publicly traded Indian online travel agency based in Harayana, India. Yatra offers a one-stop marketplace for all travel-related services, including real-time bookings for more than 83,000 hotels in India and over 800,000+ hotels around the world. Yatra also owns Travelguru, an online travel agency (OTA) from India offering hotels and vacation rentals, along with Magic Rooms, a bedbank for B2B travel agents. On Yatra´s site you can also purchase cruise itineraries, train and bus tickets as well.
Via.com (formerly known as FlightRaja.com) is an online travel agency (OTA) based in Bangalore, India. Initially, Via.com was focused on being the go to solution for the domestic Indian travel market. However, they quickly grew and are now offering travel products and services for destinations worldwide. Holiday packages, bus tickets, airport cabs and currency exchange can also be purchased on Via.com. Via.com is backed by well-known Venture Capital firm, Sequoia Capital.
Goomo is an Indian based online travel agency (OTA) with solutions for leisure travel, corporate travel (MICE) and distributing products to B2B travel companies. Goomo is the most recent Indian online travel agency in the list, since it was launched in 2017.
While Ibibo Group is part of Make My Trip, Goibobo continues to operate as a brand on its own. Goibobo was launched back in 2009 & is India's largest hotels aggregator, as well as one of the leading air aggregators. Goibobo is the number one ranked mobile app under the travel category. In addition to the traditional hotel searching offered by online travel agencies in India, Goibobo offers “GoStays” – handpicked budget hotels with amenities like free WiFi, breakfast, AC, TV, and clean washrooms, You can also book and purchase bus, IRCTC train tickets, airport cabs and visa services.
Ixigo was launched back in 2007 as an AI-based travel app that helps travelers organize, book and track their trips. They currently have over 170 million users. While their flight, bus and train search engines act as traditional online travel agencies and accept the payment, their hotel search engine is setup as a metasearch engine, referring users to complete the booking on external sites.
New Delhi based EaseMyTrip was founded by 3 brothers in 2008. EaseMyTrip is an online travel agency that enables you to book hotels, flights, holiday packages, visa services, bus bookings, cabs and more at a really cost-effective price. EaseMyTrip also has a vast B2B presence with a network of 52,000+ travel agents, 1200 franchise outlets, 640 white-label solutions, and 1600 distributors.
SOTC is a subsidiary of Thomas Cook and operates as an online travel agency and operated brick and mortar shops as well. Since it´s establishment in 1949, they have dedicated their expertise to leisure travel, including Escorted Group Tours, Customized Holidays and Luxury Holidays. They have also expanded into the Business and MICE travel segments. Their site is a true turnkey solution for travel needs, offering insurance, activities and currency exchange along with all of the traditional OTA services typically offered.
Redbus is India´s go-to platform for bus tickets, and has begun to expand internationally to Peru, Colombia, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia as well. In addition to booking bus tickets, you can reserve car pooling slots and pilgrimage packages. They serve 70,000 routes worldwide and are part of Make My Trip Group.
Ticketgoose is another public transportation-focused online travel agency. In addition to selling bus tickets, they also offer taxis and hotels. Ticketgoose offers a comprehensive visual display of seating arrangements of buses, journey durations, fares and availability of tickets to over 10,000 destinations.
India’s online travel industry is a force to reckon with. With multiple billion dollar online travel agencies in this list, India’s travel industry is making its impact on domestic and international travel.