Shifting Trends in Travel Industry due to Technology Disruption

Prachi Garg, Founder, Literally synonymous to ‘roaming around’, Delhi based offers the much needed flexibility to travelers. An online portal for the contemporary backpacker, it offers quick and efficient travel solutions irrespective of the location and itinerary.

Technology has impacted vividly all the areas of our life. With recent innovations, its impact on Travel & Tourism industry has been huge and positive. Like early days, most of the folks have started including travel budgets in their yearly financial planning. Needless to say, technology has enabled travel industry to reach to more people, has streamlined the players to collaborate and work in sync as against silos. Industry has seen major shifting trends and their impact can be analysed in the following ways.

Ease of Booking
Booking a trip, a decade before and doing it today has come a long way. Currently, as a prospective traveler, we have the liberty to be DIY customers, where -in we can customize our travel and this has been particularly possible due to the entry of digital players in travel agency as against monopolized travel agencies available offline. Everything is possible in a click now and this is what is resonating with the current customers’ needs'. These digital players have been working consistently to transform all the phases of travel industry- From booking a flight ticket to finding a hotel to, checking its review before even going there and so on.

Seamless User Experience
Visuals are always known to enhance experiences. With augmented reality entering into Travel domain, visuals have gone one step ahead, where-in users have the flexibility to experience the amenities virtually. Many of the travel brands are embracing this technology to run their services through their clients. Showcasing the venue, the services, via 360 videos is also very popular these days to engage customers as they tend to respond more positively towards the items where-in they can try before buy. These AR/VR technologies plays a decisive role while a traveler plans to book his/her travel especially international travel where-in he/she would not only like to compare the location but also amenities that two different properties will be offering at similar pricing.

Needless to say, AR/VR has made the planning process seamless, interactive ever before.
Impact of Social Media
Social Media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram are playing key role in inspiring people to travel. It is not only exposing the world to unknown destinations, but also let the information flow across. Be it via Facebook live, or by Instagram live or via photos, recommendations, reviews etc, these platforms are being used extensively by marketers from major travel brands to promote their products. This mode of communication is often helpful for the prospective customer to plan their future travel as by watching a simple you tube video, a user is lured to travel to a particular place and is aware what to expect.

Though concept of shared hostels, rooms, couch-surfing is not something new, but technology has made it accessible to all and streamlined it there-by, pushing the millennial generation to be an instant backpacker

Content Marketing
Content is the key these days and their impact is evident across industries. The basis of big data, analytics, search engine optimization, targeting is the content. Marketing strategies are being defined in a way to keep content as the centre picture. Also, technology has changed the definition of content as well. It is just not defined as piece of blog or an article but videos, pictures, infographics also constitutes the modern-day content through which organizations can talk about themselves. The more the engaging content is, more is the audience gets inspire to travel. Based on user’s surfing patterns, organizations have started targeting them with right set of keywords, which is helping them in larger conversion as in this case user is constantly being reminded of what they were looking, and eventually they go for it.

Instruments of Cheap Travel
With so many key players in market, each of them want to retain their customers and this is where several loyalty programs are in place and users have wide choices to plan the cheapest travel. Folks do not have to wait for that particular time of the year when there shall be promotions or discounts, as with many digital players in the market, travel has become dearth cheap. Though concept of shared hostels, rooms, couch-surfing is not something new, but technology has made it accessible to all and streamlined it there-by, pushing the millennial generation to be an instant backpacker. Not only this, availability of online market-places is also helping customers to pick and choose the vendor based on the budgets. Market-places are win-win for both local vendors and end consumers. They help in streamlining and keep up the demand and supply in sync along with bouquet of options.

Mobile Technologies
Increasing Mobile Technology and growing mobile applications have further boosted the tourism industry. Organizations have started spending in omni-channel strategy, where-in they would want to ensure their visibility through mobile, tablet, desktop or via call-centres.

As we get into the intricacies of the technological advancements, it shall be interesting to see how travel brands shall be taking advantage of these trends, there-by boosting the overall industry as tech has definitely lot of potential to make it easy.The next few years shall be witnessing more personalized or local services for travelers and the players who are coping up or open to embrace this change will be able to survive, as technology has lot to offer in upcoming years and end-user is completely prepared to channelize his financials towards travel in case he is provided with options as needed.