Pooja Yadav

Booking.com reveals latest philosophy behind its recent campaign

The country manager, Booking.com, talks about the latest campaign, association with the ICC, and the latest travel and marketing trends in India.

Booking.com recently launched a campaign, titled 'Unforgettable experiences start with a booking', featuring three cricketer - Suresh Raina, along with Australia's Pat Cummins and England's Jos Butler. The launch of the campaign coincides with the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia. 

Booking.com is the official accommodation booking partner for all ICC events. The brand has a five-year exclusive global partnership with the ICC - from 2019 to 2023. 

During a conversation with afaqs!, Santosh Kumar, country manager for India, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Indonesia at Booking.com, talks about the campaign, association with the ICC, and the latest travel and marketing trends in India.

Edited excerpts:

Can you briefly talk about your association with the ICC?

Booking.com is the official accommodation booking partner for all ICC events. We have 28 million reported listings in over 1.5 lakh destinations worldwide, including everywhere ICC events take place. We are in a unique position to facilitate incredible cricket-inspired travel experiences for fans across the globe.

The opportunity to experience an international cricket tournament in person, is a compelling reason to travel for Booking.com customers around the world.

What is the philosophy behind ‘Unforgettable experiences start with a booking'?

The philosophy behind the Men’s T20 World Cup partnership, is that life’s greatest experiences start with a booking. Whether it’s your first trip to see a cricket match or the 100th time you have been on the road with your team, whether it's a world-class sporting event or a cricket match in your home country or around the globe. 

The campaign is about how ‘It starts with a booking’. Unforgettable experiences happen when you make a booking. A son surprises his dad with a booking to the Men’s T20 World Cup, which results in him having one of the most unforgettable experiences of his life.

Through this campaign, you can see that a travel experience is characterised as much by the unplanned, unforgettable and unexpected things you experience along the way, as much as the sport you travelled to see originally.

What are your thoughts on signing Raina as your brand ambassador? What value does Raina bring to your brand? 

Raina, along with Cummins and Butler, are well-known international cricketers. All three of our ambassadors have travelled the world and played in various matches, which have produced many memorable moments. All three have their own kind of standing in the sport. 

Raina, like the others, is very well-travelled and has represented India well. Also, he has a very strong connection with our brand, as he has got a base in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) and travels to Europe frequently. He also uses our platform quite frequently.

How different is India from other global markets that you cater to? 

When we look at India's positioning, the country has come out from the COVID pandemic quite strongly. It is not just reflected in travel, but the overall economy as well. The overall economic indicators are quite strong. Our GDP growth is one of the highest and, so, Indians are quite confident, when it comes to travelling.

Earlier this year, Booking.com unveiled a survey, titled 'Travel Confidence Index', where out of 11 markets (Singapore, Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam), India came out on top, both when it comes to confidence and sustainability.

As per the survey, 78% of Indian travellers consider leisure travel as important, 87% feel comfortable about the country reopening its borders to international travellers, and more than 93% agree on the importance of making sustainable travel decisions. 

One key and unquestionable insight that has come out of the research, is that across the region, the desire to travel, is back.

What are your expansion plans?

On Booking.com, Indian travellers can now book different elements of their trip, from renting a car, arranging a local tour to booking the perfect stay, whether that’s a holiday home near the beach, a traditional houseboat, a five-star hotel or a city apartment for a weekend getaway. 

We want to be there for everyone. We want to make it simple for people to discover, plan, book and manage their entire trip in one place, including coordinating itineraries among travel service providers, automatic rescheduling/rebooking, and more.

We are providing Indian customers with a broad choice and easy experience of comparing flights from hundreds of airlines. There are unique product features that are only available when booking directly with the airline, such as increased flexibility, customisation and control.

Have news to share? Write to us atnewsteam@afaqs.com