Skift Take

Emerging markets will shape the future of the travel industry but each region requires a unique strategy. MakeMyTrip and Despegar, online travel leaders in India and Latin America, provide distinct insights into how to succeed their respective home markets.

Skift has broken its online travel agency coverage this year into a multi-part series exploring different in-depth aspects of the business model. The first part of the series examined the advertising spend of online travel agencies in North America and Europe. The second part of the series looked at the inventory and supply aspect of these same sites. The final part of the series, below, takes a deep dive into two emerging market booking sites.

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The final installment of our series on the state of online travel agencies in 2018 is a twofer. In it, we profile two leading businesses in the developing world: MakeMyTrip in India and Despegar in Latin America. This is Skift Research’s inaugural research coverage for both of these companies.

Despite superficial and geographic differences, MakeMyTrip and Despegar have much in common. To name just a few, both are the reigning online travel champions in their respective local markets, have decades of operating experience, do business in highly fragmented markets with relatively low online penetration, and are listed on major U.S. exchanges. Plus, both have public filings, allowing us a detailed look into these businesses that would be near impossible to get for many other regional online travel agencies.

The top lesson we learn is how much care must be taken when localizing a travel offering. Both MakeMyTrip and Despegar are highly evolved to match their regional niches. What works in the U.S. or Europe cannot be copy-pasted to new markets.

In addition to detailing the key market-specific tactics, we go through a complete tear down of these companies’ financial statements and business models in this report.

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What you’ll learn from this report:

  • Extensive overviews of the Indian and Latin American travel markets
  • Corporate strategies of Despegar and MakeMyTrip, including breakdowns of inventory and gross bookings of each
  • Corporate strategies and region-specific initiatives setting MakeMyTrip and Despegar apart from North American or European online travel agencies
  • Detailed financial analysis of both companies

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Tags: despegar, emerging markets, india, latin america, makemytrip, online travel agencies, skift research

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