By Heena Akhtar, Founder, TripXOXO
TripXOXO is a one-stop-shop for travel enthusiasts who are looking for fun-filled activities & trips, interesting experiences and more. It offers over 5000 travel experiences and 25,000 trip ideas across 100+ categories. The platform provides an array of distinguished support to travelers which include ticket bookings, local assistance with multi lingual support.
Digitalisation has given us choice in a big way. No industry is left untouched by technology, and travel being one of the most lucrative industries has also faced a technological explosion. The Internet, and now phone based applications, has revolutionized the way travel was planned. More people are travelling than ever before and the industry is enjoying this phase. As per a recent survey report, the travel and tourism industry in India should rise by 6.5 percent per annum over the next 10 years to Rs.4,337.8 billion in 2025 or 6.9 percent of the total. It is one of the largest sectors generating employment opportunities, and has the potential to contribute 46 million jobs to the India economy by 2025.
The technological explosion in the industry has opened doors to innovations and possibilities. Decision making of today`s traveller is predominantly influenced by internet and travel applications. The choice given to customers to plan and book expeditions as per their convenience and specifications is a major game changer that empowers travellers to choose their itinerary, right from air-tickets to experiences. For ex, travellers can check for tree houses in Africa or experience northern lights in Iceland or Norway in one click.
Travel companies are encouraging younger people to travel and explore sooner and are devising cost-effective deals and ways for them. Thanks to technology, everyone has all the required information readily available than ever before. In fact, it’s a generation of DIY travellers who plan, manage and book travel online.
Technology has changed a lot in this industry. Search, sort and book methods have totally changed from what it was till internet boom happened. Tour operators took the maximum shock from this transformation, but pulled themselves up and embraced the online and mobile channels in order to stay competitive. The key players in the market are constantly innovating to give the best travel deals and memorable experiences to woo the customers. Experiential tours are taking up a notable share of the market and marketing strategies are devised to reach the niche set of travellers. Counter to traditional hotel stays, the millennia are preferring homestays & BnBs to get a step closer towards living the experience. Digital payment wallets have replaced debit cards and traditional money, thus saving a traveller of fraudulent activities.
Virtual reality is also a new upcoming trend which is taking the industry by storm. From choosing travel destination and selecting hotels to booking a flight, virtual reality travel experiences will change the way travel happens. There are a few travel companies who have adopted this technology to offer their customers virtual reality travel experiences of destinations in select stores. It’s a great way to attract customers. From in-flight experiences to on-board cruise liners, virtual reality platforms allow travellers to view and know what to expect at the venue. Virtual reality travel experiences will never replace visiting a location, but it’ll only help travellers to make informed decisions.
Digital technology has also transformed the hospitality industry and has changed the way they connect with guests, creating a 24/7 relationship in and out of stay. Personalization at every step is what the industry is gearing up to. And since travel is inherently mobile, travellers expect to use their mobile devices to enrich their travel experiences. Even though the business models have changed, the key factor to client servicing still remains the same – 24/7 customer service support systems for that human touch.
The future of travel industry will be dominated by personalised services. The next few years will see travellers requiring personalised services and companies will be able to deliver them customised products on the basis of their profiles and past behaviours. With many travellers already seeking a more customised and ‘local’ experience, truly personalised trips are already beginning to take off.