Travel is one of the world’s largest industries, and it continues to become bigger and bigger. As this new generation of tech savvy travellers continues to grow in affluence and influence, travel and tourism companies are racing to develop strategies that will better engage with and drive business with this rising new type of traveller. Adventurous, connected, and always on the move, the younger generation have become the priority number one for all travel brands.
With the advent of internet in the travel industry, customers swarmed to online travel agencies to plan and book their trips. Soon, travel was on the move- again. Travel companies didn’t just stand still. They took steps forward with mobile phones. The worldwide emergence of smartphones, tablets, and other devices has dramatically changed how we travel – while making decisions en-route and even, onsite at destinations. Travel industry has been appended more than most by digital technology. The devices have been an integral part of one’s personal life and have also become an important source of information because now they integrate various functions that previously required multiple technologies and devices. Players in the travel industry are emphasising that mobile is a core component of their business strategies, and therefore are working to make their products and services mobile-friendly.
In the past, visitors have used traditional information from sources such as information brochures and tourist guides to make on-site decisions and to plan their itineraries while travelling. The availability of on-site information has been extended by the use of mobile devices and a number of destinations have developed mobile friendly websites and apps to provide location aware information for travellers already at the destination. Mobile devices are influencing the travel behaviour of tourists. Despite the younger travellers being more spontaneous and susceptible to impulse decisions, even the elderly are quite keen to learn the technology and walk hand-in-hand with time.
Mobile devices are ideal companions for travellers, allowing them to access information, services, and book for travel-related services en-route. Tablets are emerging as a power device for completing travel purchases. Travel apps have ingenious features like cross-device services and marketing, algorithm-driven personalised local search results, innovative photo features, and the integration of travel information and data into augmented reality apps.
Travellers today are traveling and exploring new places with the mobile travel guides. One can find things to do and places to visit anywhere in the world with their phones and smartphones. No more lugging around heavy guide books. More than 95 per cent of travellers today use digital resources in the course of their travel journeys; dreaming about, planning, booking, experiencing, and reflecting on their trip. According to surveys, the average customer visits or uses a combination of 19 websites and mobile applications during the course of one trip, and many travellers use digital tools to share their experiences and reactions throughout the process.
The travel revolution played out primarily on personal computers once. Now the landscape has shifted, this time to mobile platforms. This shift presents multiple challenges. For one thing, travel companies need to address a fast-growing sales-and-marketing channel. For another, mobile usage adds complexity to the relationship between travel companies and their customers as travellers use multiple devices- starting on a PC, moving to a smartphone, then to a tablet, and back to the PC, for example- to dream about, plan, and book their trips. Mobile bookings are increasing at astonishing rates in every travel sector facet, with the exception of hotel reservations. That’s still the domain, for now, of desktops. Mobile is the driving force behind the exponential growth in online travel booking and sales. The Travel and Tourism industries are some of the most daring when it comes to working in mobile today. While, the new generation travellers harbour a special passion for travel, make spontaneous travel decisions, crave inspiration and seek unique experiences, travel more with friends and happily take trips solo. The upcoming tech-savvy generation turns instinctively to mobile technologies and social media to plan, book and manage travel, ravels more frequently with their mobile travel guides while spending much more than other renters.
The avid traveller has rapidly moved away from desktops and getting comfortable while booking all of their travel reservations on tablets and smartphones. In other words, mobile devices make our travel plans now, not the desktops or laptops.
This article is written by Manish Rathi, CEO and co-founder, RailYatri.in.