India's largest hotels aggregator Goibibo has announced "Reserve at Rs.0 and pay later" feature on its Android applications, which enables travelers to reserve and book rooms without making any upfront payment.
There are two variants to the feature. In case of 23,000 participating hotels, customers can reserve a room at Rs.0 and then make the payment right before checking-in. In case of 12,000 participating hotels, travelers can pay at the hotel while physically checking-in.
In both the scenarios there is zero cancellation charges. This is the largest participation from hotels on any Indian OTA for driving frictionless hotel bookings.
By launching this feature, Goibibo is solving the following problems for both the travelers and hoteliers. First, for the customers who have not yet adopted online hotel bookings, this feature will be a strong confidence generator as a result will help in moving offline to online.
Second, with the facility of free cancellation, this feature enhances the trust level amongst the customers.
Third, this feature will drive larger traffic for participating hotels across the length and breadth of the country.
"As the industry leader in the hotels category, it has been our constant endeavor to improve user experience and drive penetration of hotels on mobile and internet. 'Reserve at Rs.0 and 'pay later' feature is an initiative in this direction. This feature takes away the payment friction at the time of booking thereby increasing conversion rates and hence occupancy rates for hotels," said Founder and CEO ibibo Group, Ashish Kashyap.
"Online bookings are still penetrated at below 15 percent. This feature will catalyze hassle free bookings which in turn will help participating hotels to improve their occupancy rates. Over the last two quarters, my team of 250+ spread across 156 cities and towns in India, have worked hard to evangelize this feature to the hotels. We are glad that we now have 35000 hotels participating in the Reserve at Rs.0 feature," said SVP Lodging Partner Services for Goibibo, Parikshit Choudhury.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)