"We are focusing on ROI marketing spends": EaseMyTrip's Nishant Pitti

The company is looking at aggressive marketing only when market returns to normalcy.

NEW DELHI: The travel industry had come to a standstill until domestic flights resumed. co-founder and CEO Nishant Pitti shares that the situation for the travel industry is slowly improving with a daily increase in the number of passengers for domestic travel. 

“The fear of the virus is depleting, and people have started to accept the condition and travel ensuring precautions. We expect that a new normal shall emerge within this quarter itself and to remain constant till a cure for COVID2019 is developed, post which the whole sector will quickly grow to pre-COVID2019 level and further continue its growth from there,” he says.

After the recent call by prime minister Narendra Modi for the 'Vocal for Local' campaign, the brand is aggressively promoting its localisation vision with the help of celebrities like Kangana Ranaut, Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi and Gautam Gambhir. The 12-year-old Indian company has over 8.81 million customers and a strong B2B network of more than 52,752 registered travel agent partners and 10,477 corporate customers.

Pitti says, “Many top celebrities, realising the need for VocalForLocal, came together and supported EaseMyTrip for being 100 per cent Indian which took the internet by a storm. With a huge reach through celebrities, the brand has been able to reach out to millions of people who will definitely consider supporting EaseMyTrip in all their future travel bookings.  This has further strengthened the trust of our customers on EaseMyTrip and given us an opportunity to attract new customers and retain them with our customer service and offerings.”

While flights have resumed, customers are apprehensive about hotel stays. “The need of the hour for the whole industry is to understand the apprehensions of the customers and adopt processes that would calm their anxiety. Hoteliers should go the extra mile to ensure the health and safety of travellers at every touchpoint by adopting practices that would ensure maximum precaution from the spread of the virus. EaseMyTrip feels that there is a major role that OTAs will play in driving responsible and sustainable practices in the tourism industry,” he says.

Pitti affirms that marketing plays a huge role in educating customers as well as staff members. He says, “Marketing mediums like digital, TV, newspaper, radio, etc., help in reaching out to the wider audience and alerting them with the required information to curb the spread of the virus. In addition to mass media, focussed marketing through audio-visuals for customers and staff can help in wider retention of information towards safe practices.”

However, the brand has restructured its marketing plans for this year. Pitti says, “The travel market has reduced significantly, with only a percentage of bookings taking place. Our marketing spends have always been proportional to the revenues earned by the organisation and hence, we have restructured them with a greater focus on high ROI marketing spends.”

Pitti feels until like last year, the festive season will not be the same for the tourism sector, though it will bring some positivity in the sector. “There will be an uptick in transactions, but this uptick would be very small in comparison to the splurge that was seen during the festivities of pre-COVID2019 times.”

The brand has plans to come up with big campaigns once the travel sector is back in shape. The medium for the campaign shall be a mix of both digital and offline sources, with a focus on digital platforms.

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