Expedia Expands its Loyalty Program and Business Presence Across India

Expedia expands their presence across India Hotel and travel industry loyalty programs consist of some of the most enduring and best-known marketing initiatives in existence. It can almost be argued that airline miles and free night hotel stays have almost formed the cornerstones of the entire loyalty program industry.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Expedia has just announced plans to launch a loyalty program in India later this year. In fact, if anything, the only surprise is that Expedia, a global hotel and airline travel booking company, hasn’t made such an announcement sooner.

Slated for the final quarter of 2015, Expedia will implement the loyalty program to aggressively increase its engagement across this market; one the brand feels it has not focused enough on in the past. To help, Expedia is also hiring 400 additional employees to facilitate research and product development across the region.

The overall objective of this endeavor is to focus on long-term growth through customer acquisition and retention. In this respect, Expedia seems to want to avoid the short-term benefits of basic price-cutting.

"Other companies in the space are quite aggressive in discounting. But I do not think this is sustainable in the long run,” said Vikram Malhi, Expedia Asia Managing Director. “We are not chasing market share and instead we are investing in products and technology features. We are investing in our mobile app and are growing at a three digit rate in India."

Expedia expands presence across India

Expedia’s larger focus on greater hotel distribution, which accounts for almost 80% of its total revenue in India, also gives the brand an additional competitive edge. And growing this aspect of its business is also a priority.

The brand believes that the expansion of its loyalty program, Expedia+, will help in this endeavor, and for good reason. Similar and recent loyalty program expansions have already seen success in other areas.

"We have recently launched loyalty programs in Japan and Singapore and we will launch it in India in fourth quarter of 2015 and this will allow Indian customers to earn and redeem points for 

transactions on Expedia and avail of special deals and discounts," Malhi said.

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