How Travel Industry Is Redefined By Latest Digital Trends

Nishant Pitti, CEO & Co-Founder, EaseMyTrip.comFounded in 2008, is known for unique travel solutions and competitive air-tickets pricing and emerged as a trustworthy travel partner for many. At present, EaseMyTrip has 1200 Franchise Outlets, 1800 Corporate, 1600 Distributors, and 640 Whitelabel solutions across the globe.

1. Many companies are striving to develop digital capabilities to appeal to customer satisfaction. Explain how Digital Transformation is challenging in Travel, Hospitality Industry?
Digitalization brings an exciting opportunity for the travel and hospitality with the potential to unlock the doors for its target audience. Travel and hospitality industry has been on the top position of the digital innovation, which is why it is considered as the leader of e-commerce industry. Due to the digital trans-formation and technology trends, travel industry has witnessed several challenges. Since travel sector has adopted the digital technologies much earlier, it keeps on updating and faces several challenges in meeting the growing expectations of the customers. Digital platforms and cloud-based solutions have largely replaced the existing structures and processes of the travel industry. This is the reason; old systems are no longer considered apt for the new digital world. So, adaption of digital transformation is not optional for this industry but really crucial to be competitive and serving to the growing demands of the customers.

2. Changing consumer expectations will continue to force travel businesses to adapt in coming years. What can we learn about the impact of consumer mindsets on the travel and hospitality industry?
Travel brands have still not met the high expectations set by the non-travel brands. Great travel experiences are truly valuable and memorable. Consumer mindset creates great impact on travel industry and if any travel service provider doesn't have loyal customers, lesser number of social likes & shares or word of mouth recommendations, consumers don't want to opt for their services. Experience is really important for the core travel product offerings. So, everyone from travel industry should learn to create experiences worth sharing on different platforms to capitalize on the enormous exposure offered by them. Travelling is not so frequent, which means almost all of us travel for maximum 3 to 4 times in a year but most of the travel brands have realized that by making a traveler feel special and appreciated can be really impactful for their brand. If consumers will like your services, they are definitely going to recommend about you, which is one of the most important things for travel and hospitality industry.

3. Technologies like artificial intelligence, mobile applications, and the Internet of Things (IoT) role in enhancing Travel Industry
The travel industry has reached to this level only due to artificial intelligence, mobile applications, and the Inter-net of Things. Various travel service providers have started deploying artificial intelligence to deal with social media queries. Artificial intelligence can also analyze guest reviews and provide assistance on flight schedule
and hotel booking along with human assistance. Mobile applications have been proven as a great resource for booking flights, hotels and holidays or utilizing other benefits like mobile check-in or cab booking. Internet of Things is reorganizing the end-to-end operations of the travel suppliers and companies by connecting smart devices and systems. With the help of the IoT technology, travel industry has enhanced its operational efficiency and wonderfully made users' experiences more personalized. All these techno-logical advancements have given us real-time information about various travel segments and streamlined day to day operations of travel.

4. In the future, IoT sensors will allow travel and hospitality companies to integrate advanced analytics and machine learning to adapt to customer behavior in real time. What is your opinion on this?
IoT is still in its initial days and is expected to transform the travel industry by integrating advanced analytics and machine learning to become accustomed to customer behavior in real time. I think it will definitely help the tourists in not just locating their travel destinations but also monitoring the performance of airlines. This way, travel entities and agencies can improve their customer services and revenues along with taking measures for customer retention. I also feel that Internet of Things will help us in collecting huge quantity of data along with providing all the information required for investing into the right technology and people to draw actionable conclusions. Future developments in IoT are going bring more challenges for the travel industry and travel companies will incorporate IoT for more benefits.

5. Explore the latest travel and hospitality industry trends and how that will impact travel in future?
With every passing year, travel and hospitality industry is witnessing growth as number of travelers is increasing. Mobile integration is one of the latest trends in travel and hospitality industry of India. Using mobile applications; travelers can easily perform various tasks through phone, including airport check-in, hotel booking, cab booking, flight booking or much more. Integration of mobile applications made everyone planning their entire trip by sitting in their room. Artificial Intelligence and chat boats are other trends that allow the travel suppliers providing all essential information. One more development that we are witnessing nowadays is people being influenced by social media. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram create great impact on travel sector and millennial of the house take decisions about planning holidays and they are the ones who choose everything for entire family. Current travel industry is witnessing that how people are eager to spend on their vacations. Travelling has become the most common trend and an important part of every-one's life. People love to take breaks and visit places. We are seeing a complete new phase of travel and hospitality industry that is driven by more number of travel enthusiasts who are passionate about holidaying and aware of the constant changes in the industry. These trends are going to make travel industry more digitally advanced and challenging.

6. What critical issues are CEOs within the Travel and Hospitality sector keenest on addressing?
CEOs from Travel and Tourism industry are always eager to talk on issues like liberalization of Visas, impact of globalization of travel business, Bleisure, and safety issues for the travelers. They are keen to speak on how reducing on boarder control formalities can open the doors for more foreign tourists visiting different countries. Safety and security is another critical issue that travelers face often during their journeys and everyone from the top management of travel business feel the need to discuss about it. One more thing that CEOs of this industry want to discuss about is growing competition and new challenges coming on way due to technical advancements.

7. Explain the Contribution of Big Data and Mobile Technologies in Travel Indus-try to shape personalized services
Both of these, Big Data Analysis and Mobile Technologies, have played an important role in travel industry. With the use of Smartphone and tablets, travelers got more empowered to become global tourists and were provided with more flexibility, options and liberty. With the help of mobile technologies, travel agencies are able to understand the requirements of the travelers according to their searches. This way, travel agency is streamlining its operations and offering services in a cost they are looking for. As far as Big Data is concerned, through the analysis and usage of Big Data, travel industry has learnt about the preferences of smaller segments and even individuals in various cases. This is how they are able to create special promotions, deals and experiences more specific to them. Big Data analysis also allows the travel industry determining the reason behind the customers choosing particular service providers and help travel suppliers improving their services. So, Big Data and Mobile Technologies have great contributions in shaping the personalized travel services.