The typical Indian tourist has been labelled as “lazy traveller” by many, for their trait of booking tickets and making travel plans fairly late. The online travel market as we know today is filled with players both big and small who have a wide list of hotels and travel choices on display, but there is hardly any information about these hotel, apart from just a listing of information. In such situations, the user might be often be in a fix over two similar options, especially when going to a non-Tier 1 destination.
Fixing this problem is Vikas Lakhani’s 52rooms, who has travelled extensively to three different continents and numerous countries. A banker by profession and a traveller by heart, Vikas had experienced similar pain points that a traveller encounters first hand. Coupled with his corporate experience from the past and a vision on how the travel industry can be improved he started 52rooms.
When asked about his choice of name for the venture, he says they plan to have something exciting to offer every week of the year and a name like 52rooms is both catchy and easy to remember.
So what sets them apart? 52rooms is a member only online luxury travel community offering special and exclusive discounted rates and member benefits on a selection of hand picked luxury hotels and holidays around the world.
Unlike other websites that offer you a host of options to choose from, 52rooms has limited range of hotels which they recommend based on your budget, place and time of travel. Each hotel has a complete writeup about it with even a section in the end that tells you about the best features of the hotel. With lots of photos to go along with each hotel and a tabulated list of all amenities you literally get to know how the place you’re going to stay at will be like.
Their website has a decent UI. The overall experience is great although the fact that you need to login is a slight deterrent. That being said, the feature is critical to their community based business model and the features they have to offer makes it worth it.
India is the second fastest growing tourism market, and the third largest audience online. Although there is a huge number of players in the market, the success and survival of new players is tough, with a clear differentiation and efficient customer acquisition and retention, the scope in the sector can be endless.
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