‘Tech’ing the road to innovation

The digital revolution has created opportunities and the need for new technological advancements in travel to suit the demands of the Indian traveller.

Abhijit Mishra, Country Director, KAYAK India

Planning a holiday today is often even easier than expected due to the availability of high-speed Internet connections, enabling travellers to make the flight, hotel, and other bookings for their trip within seconds. Simply put, the digital revolution is bringing consumers a never-before-seen plethora of choices, which helps explain why people are travelling more than ever before. New technology has also given travellers more in-depth information about the destinations they visit, allowing them to go beyond the guidebooks and top tourist attractions to find truly unique and memorable experiences.

Changing consumer behaviour

The ever-changing technology has created a new, competitive environment in the hospitality and travel industries. With the increase in information comes an increased demand for transparency and low prices. Consumers today are more aware of price variations and know that their best chance of finding a good deal is by making smart decisions on the Internet.

As stated in a recent BCG report headlined ‘The New Indian: The many facets of a Changing Consumer’, the Internet is an increasingly pervasive factor in India’s commerce with its influence only set to expand. In the past three years, the number of online buyers has already increased sevenfold, rising to 80-90 million, an amount expected to triple within the next decade.

With the explosion of online consumers, travel service providers are now racing to perfect their online distribution models to bring their product straight to the traveller. As the travel industry is largely information-driven, the Internet is ideally suited as a medium for travel service delivery, and it is hardly surprising that online travel services have developed into one of the world’s largest e-commerce domains.

The face of the travel industry has changed drastically by the introduction of a new concept called Travel Hacking. The concept has helped travellers save money by finding the best deals online. This has opened doors for some travellers to discover a magical world of free travel upgrades and elite status. KAYAK incorporates several hacker-style tools in order to provide better services to its users and allows them the power to customise their travel to their specific desires. KAYAK provides flight search results including a forecast of whether the prices for a destination are likely to rise or fall within the next few days or months. The feature analyses KAYAK’s database of over one billion annual queries performed on KAYAK sites and mobile apps. With every search made, KAYAK collects more data, allowing it to improve its algorithm and forecast accuracy over time.

(The views expressed are solely of the author. The publication may or may not subscribe to the same.)

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