Technology and the third wave

Sanjay Ghare, Founder & CEO at Vervotech, shares his views on the scope of new travel technologies in the wake of the pandemic in India. He believes travel startups and new technologies introduced into the market will play a key role in the revival of the industry post COVID-19.

It is difficult to predict when this industry will truly be able to recover. However, certain factors such as, risk mitigation strategies, effective recovery plan and direct investments into the sector, will definitely help companies find their footing in the wake of the third wave. With ‘revenge travel’ becoming a trend and almost 28% of Indians planning to travel during August-September (as per a survey conducted by online platform, Local Circles), it seems the fear of a third wave is quite justified.

New standards in data distribution

This renders travel companies in a very precarious scenario – do they make the most of the renewed interest in travel and risk a third wave or do they play it safe and absorb their losses?

One of the main challenges faced by travel companies at present is managing their distribution channels and ensuring that the data being presented to their audiences are correct and updated. With many hotels and travel providers closing their shops in the wake of the pandemic. It was quickly recognised that there was a need for new standards in data distribution and management, a system that is able to identify, process and sort through large amounts of data quickly and without errors. It was also essential that booking engines provided their customers with additional information regarding local restrictions and laws, the policies of the hotel during the pandemic and other additional risk mitigation strategies so that the service for the customer can be made as safe and clinical as possible.

This led to an increased demand in newer technologies that travel start-ups were more than happy to provide. The leaps of innovation that was witnessed in the last two years are particularly striking. Travel agencies are now able to provide a plethora of information.

This has not only helped consumers regain trust in the service providers but also pushed demand in these sectors.

Need to be faster, more agile

As digital nomads are choosing to work remotely and staycations are becoming popular choice among patrons, traditional accommodation providers have adopted newer technologies to remain relevant. Services such as property mapping, content distribution, deduping, market analysis and predictions that historically depended on archaic systems witnessed a major overhaul with travel tech startups providing cheap, efficient and alternate solutions to these. AI/ML and cloud-based services are fast, agile, and accurate and require minimal intervention in terms of monitoring.

It is still to be seen whether such advances will help in preventing the third wave in India given the general population’s eagerness to travel. However, these are at least making the environment safer for travellers.

 

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