E-commerce marketplace Flipkart has launched a new hotel-booking feature, Flipkart Hotels, on its platform to ramp up its offerings in the travel and hospitality sector.

With this launch, the Walmart-owned online retailer will directly take on Nasdaq-listed MakeMyTrip, EaseMyTrip, as well as Booking Holdings, which operates travel platforms including Booking.com, Agoda, and Kayak.

This comes a year after the e-commerce giant acquired a 100% stake in travel booking portal Cleartrip.

Flipkart Hotels will provide customers the opportunity to book hotel rooms across 3 lakh domestic and international hotels, the company says in a statement.

With the launch of hotel services, Flipkart aims to offer its customers a host of affordable benefits, including flexible travel and booking-related policies, easy EMI options etc. to make travel affordable, and budget-friendly options, among others, the company says.

Backed by Cleartrip's API (application programming interface), Flipkart Hotels will benefit from Cleartrip's understanding of travel customers and sectors. "Available on the Flipkart app, this new offering provides a hassle-free booking experience, and timely communication through popular messaging apps. The platform further enables users to avail third party offers on Flipkart platform," the e-commerce firm says.

Flipkart Hotels also aims to provide improved service to its customers. For the convenience of customers and to offer a great experience, a dedicated customer care centre has been set up to support customers with user-related queries.

The year 2022 has been a great year for the hospitality industry so far, with a notable surge in demand both in the domestic and international accommodation market. New travel trends like exploring lesser-known destinations, workations, long stays, and vacation rentals are becoming mainstream. These developments are giving a boost to the travel industry. Given the 70% growth in the last quarter compared to a CAGR of 60% over the last two years, the next festive quarter is expected to be even better for the overall travel industry.

"We are excited to launch Flipkart Hotels on the Flipkart app which will provide access to affordable hotel stays convenient for the customers. Flipkart Flight is on a steady path of growth in the travel industry since we entered this space. With Flipkart Hotels, we are strengthening our commitment to provide a better experience and superior service to our customers across metros and beyond tiers," says Adarsh Menon, senior vice president, Flipkart.

"With our banking partners' financial offerings, the customers will unlock great value in this segment and enhance Flipkart's capabilities as a preferred one-stop shop for the travel booking needs of Indian customers,”"Menon adds.

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