Gaurav Gupta

Gaurav Gupta, co-founder and CMO

1- What does hellotravel.com do? How is it different from other online travel portals ?

hello-travels-logo

AnsHellotravel is a holidays marketplace aggregating travelers and agents to make planning & booking trips easier and convenient. Travel is very personal and is different for each individual / group. We ensure that you travel the way you want to.

Layers between a traveler and local travel agent / Destination Management Company increase the overall cost of a package. Whereas using us, travelers get access to the most competitive rates for their trip, and travel agents can customize the deals. We have created a marketplace of more than 14,000 travel packages & holiday deals aggregated from 5000+ travel agents.

So effectively we don’t book a package, but assist travelers in booking the right package. Travelers get customized itinerary suggestions and competitive quotes free of cost.

Online travel portals sell their services after adding their margins which puts a dent in consumer delight.

2- How many travel agents you have on board? How do you link the agents and tourists?

Ans – We have 5000+ paying travel agents, from 50 countries, on board. Given such a wide network, our users get best prices for virtually any place in the world.

Travelers can get great quotes from trusted travel agents by simply filling an enquiry form, free of cost. Travel agents, on the other hand, can actually customize the enquiry and reply depending on their requirements thus making it more effective for the traveller to plan, and the agent to customize.

Hellotravel, in effect, creates a link between the trip and the plan.

3- Why have you associated with the travel agents ?

Ans – We want Hellotravel to be one-stop-shop for travelers for all their travel needs. Be it Visa, Ticketing, Accommodation, Sightseeing, Car Rental, Tour Guide or any other travel related service; travel agents provides all of them.

Secondly, booking with local travel agents ensure competitive pricing for travelers.

Thirdly, travel is a very local experience. Traveling through a local travel agent, who has first-hand insider knowledge on the destination, ensures that travelers gets what he is expecting from the destination and not a standard itinerary usually sold to them.

4- Do all your bookings come through the agents ?

Ans – Yes



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5- How has been the feedback on the website ?

Ans – Every day we receive hundreds of feedbacks from travelers about their trip and the type of service provided by our agent.

80% of our agents have received more than 4.2 / 5 rating on their overall service. We strive to ensure the quality of agents available to travelers through us.

Over 70% travelers travel with an agent connected by hellotravel. This underlines the strengths of our match-making platform and the trust people place in us.

6- What areas are you currently focusing on and which states/packages are doing best currently?

Ans – We are currently focusing on domestic/outbound sector in India. Our focus is to add agents from all zones within India. However we also have a dedicated team which is building a base of International Travel agents. Currently we have aggregated 900+ international travel agents. Some destinations that are attractive for us right now are:
Domestic (Enquiries received in last quarter):
Kerala – 8435
Manali – 7217
Shimla – 6523
Darjeeling – 4854
Goa – 3944

Outbound (Enquiries received in last quarter)
Thailand – 2775
Dubai – 2478
Singapore – 2136
Mauritius – 1889
Maldives – 1771
Indonesia – 1501

7- What is the main idea behind hellotravel.com and what are your future plans?

Ans – As avid travelers ourselves, we know the effort that goes into planning & booking a holiday. We want to ease that effort and ensure a great experience.

In the coming days we hope to be synonymous with Travel Planning and would like to focus on ensuring growth of travel agents by helping them find their clientele.

We are taking an offline to online (O2O) approach by aggregating packages from travel agents across the world which can be marketed to travelers online, thereby providing a level playing competitive field for every agent, irrespective of their size and reach.

8- What are the challenges being in the travel industry ?

Ans
a. High involvement: Traveling particularly in India is still very nascent. Travelers needs multiple reassurance before deciding to book a package particularly because it involves purchasing a high ticket item.

b. Time to maturity: Quote generation, quote editing, supplier follow-ups, all are time consuming process for the travel company. It is a long drawn process from sourcing the lead to processing it.

c. Market clutter : Travel agencies and their businesses in India have traditionally been seasonal and unorganized with pricing variations that are unimaginable . We are trying to sift through that clutter and also working on lend some element of credibility to these businesses for the travelers, while at the same time ensuring a sellers’ market for the agents.

STATS OF WEBSITE

APP:
Monthly Active Users: 2.5 million
Number of Packages: 14,800+
Facebook Fans: 10,80,000+
Enquiries: 2,50,000 per annum
Connections made between traveler & agents: 6,50,000 per annum
Facilitated annual GMV: Rs. 175 crore
Connections through app: 50,000 per annum