Ola nabs another tourism gig


India’s mobility giant Ola has received another seal of approval, signing a deal with tourism authorities in the state of Andra Pradesh (APTDC).

Andra Pradesh is on the southeast coast of India. It is the eighth-largest of India’s 29 states and with a population of just under 50 million it is the tenth most populous. At just under 1,000 kilometres, its coastline is the second longest in India.

The deal between Ola and the tourism authority comprises four elements, each of which suggests that serving tourists is a way for Ola to expand its reach and open up more business for its drivers. In 2016, the state welcomed 100 million visits, mostly domestic.

The deal includes a revenue share with the tourism body, which will be placing Ola booking kiosks at its various helpdesks at airports, railway and bus stations.

APTDC also owns and operates a number of resorts in the region, Haritha Hotels & Resorts, which will also have an Ola booking kiosk installed on site.

And in a nod to the “media model” Ola will start promoting the delights of Andra Pradesh across its platforms.

Drivers will be trained up to serve as tour guides, and there will be fixed fares for getting to and from the various attractions. The pair are also be working on new packages visiting different sights as part of the same journey.

Ola recently signed a similar deal with the tourism authorities in Maharashtra. Official tie-ups between taxi apps and tourism authorities in India reflects the generally positive relationship mobility providers have with regulators.  And with Airbnb also having a good working relationship with the Indian government, the sharing economy’s relationship with travel could reach its full potential in India

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