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Booking.Com prepared to fund-raise to take on challenges in India

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With the use of deep discounts and heavy sales, Indian based companies are putting worldwide travel site Booking.com on the ropes, and they recently states they will begin changing their business model to keep up with the business realities in India, even if that means changing their company beliefs.

"Where we are being challenged is that we operate on a model where we take a rate and availability from a hotel/property partner and that is what we display. So the aggressive couponing and discounting our Indian peers adopt is not something that we've a core capability to do yet because of our model.

"But in environments like India, I think without doing it will be very hard," Booking.Com senior vice-president and chief marketing officer Pepijn Rijvers told reporters here during a global media interaction.

The Netherlands-based travel giant had reported roughly 38 per cent operating profit in 2017 and considers India to among the top 5 growth market for them.

"That in itself allows us to compete also on the discounting front. Whether we want to do that is questionable though," he added.

The Indian travel market is pegged at USD 12 billion and is rowing at 30 per cent annually. Of this, online space is 20-25 per cent and is also growing at a similar percentage.

Admitting that discounting gives quick access to acquire new customers, he however, does not believe that this will help the rivals build consumer royalty in the long term.

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