Amit Madhan, President & Group Head, Technology & Shared Services, Thomas Cook (India)
The “word of mouth” generation has now been transformed into Instagram photos, Facebook posts and live tweets. Owing to technology and social media, there has been a multi-dimensional shift in the way people travel today, right from when they start to plan and to when they implement it.
Gone are the days when people were fixated on traveling to popular destinations and approached travel agents who filtered the information required to make a holiday decision. Technology has revolutionized the way we travel today, and millennial are cashing on this to make their own bespoke travel plans, experiences and in the process meeting and engaging with people from all over the world. Welcome to the New Age of Travel - where travelers use technology to connect to a destination’s history, people and culture.
"Owing to technology, the New Age of Travel has become an increasingly popular trend. Travel technology and hotel brands are joining hands to jump onto the experiential bandwagon to remain relevant and useful”
This is the New Age of Travel where travelers and millennial use mobiles to create a holiday itinerary and even make last minute tweaks based on social media feedback. Technology allows us to preview places we intend on visiting, get an updated booking status and compare travel options from the convenience of our living rooms.
For today’s traveler, all information can be accessed easily and quickly as a result of connectivity which gives a traveler access to a range of travel blogs, information repositories maintained by travel companies, websites, special-interest groups and so on. With the help of technology, travel companies are able to furnish crucial travel details to people allowing them to select hotels and flights at guaranteed best prices. In the Third Age of travel, the DIY traveler uses smartphones to book tickets within minutes, and avail discounts and special prices for flexible travelling dates. Through mobile apps, travelers are kept informed of deals and can choose what they want to experience in a place and not be bound by run-of-the mill experiences.
Social networking sites are acting as external stimuli, influencing travel plans. These sites are highly consumed by younger generation who can keep their friends in the loop about where they are and what they are doing. Apps allow users to update their profiles with real time comments, photos and check-in details.
Little-known tourist destinations and home-stays have become popular and are eminently accessible as a result of flight and road transport options that can be accessed round the clock. All these have given rise to bespoke tourism that can include eco-tourism, educational tourism and even rural tourism. While young travelers now want to participate in new experiences such as back-packing, volunteer tourism and working abroad, Social Media posts and travel blogs play a large role in influencing the choices of audiences who view these posts.
Owing to technology, the New Age of Travel has become an increasingly popular trend. Travel technology and hotel brands are joining hands to jump onto the experiential bandwagon to remain relevant and useful.