Bangalore Based Via Acquires TravelMasti

TravelMasti is holiday booking package service which works both in the online and offline space. The company has been doing offline operations in Dehradun, Rajkot, Surat and Jamnagar as part of its TravelMasti Lounge Network. The company was founded in 2006 and had raised capital from Bennett Coleman Company Limited (BCCL) the following year.

The company has now been acquired by travel aggregator network Via (formerly Flightraja) for an undisclosed amount, as reported by NextBigWhat. The logic behind this move by Via is to lower dependency on the flight booking business due to recent developments in the sector.

2 days earlier, the Indian Supreme Court directed all travel agents to stop collecting transaction fees on air tickets being booked through them. This includes the online sector as well and affects prominent OTAs like MakeMyTrip, Cleartrip, Yatra, Goibibo and the like. This has now spurred the need to focus on other sectors of travel bookings so that profitability remains with these firms. Thus we will be looking at strategic developments by these OTAs to diversify into other segments like cab rentals and bookings, hotel bookings etc.

For example, MakeMyTrip had already acquired HotelTravel.com for $25 million to get into the South East Asian market. Yatra is also on a growth spree through acquisitions and going to target the hotel segment. The coming weeks will give us a greater insight into how the Indian Online Travel sector tackles this new development. Travel agents all over the country are obviously not very happy about the new court ruling and will be appealing it soon.

What are your thoughts on the Supreme Court order? Share them with us.

Source | NextBigWhat

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