Virtual route to travel

It was a powerpacked panel at the Digital Nomads: How online companies are shaping the travel plans’ session where the discussion ranged from how millennials are choosing to travel to the way they seek technology to enhance their travelling experience.

Smartphones have revolutionised travel, said Rajesh Magow, CEO and co-founder of MakeMyTrip while explaining how the real change for this travel portal started somewhere in 2006, when they relaunched and bought convenience booking at one’s fingertips. Today, there is a ton of data available and we are looking at using artificial intelligence to give a personalised customer experience, said Magow while discussing how online companies are creating a comprehensive end-to-end user experience. With 40 million transactions so far at Make- MyTrip, Magow, said the sector will see robust growth in the coming years.

Reiterating how data is being used, Nikhil Ganju, country manager, India, TripAdvisor, said that users are now relying on reviews even while they are at their destination and not just while planning the trip. So the data can help us in sending a notification like your favourite cuisine is available half-a-kilometer away or about a jazz concert in that city.

With millennials taking six holidays a year, every speaker highlighted the challenges of the sector. Mandip Singh Soin, founder president, Ecotourism Society of India, commented on how awareness needs to be created towards responsible tourism. Even online companies should encourage users to be responsible. We need to create awareness on how to transact and travel with a lighter footprint, he said.

Michael Lyngdoh, co-founder of Tripoto India said online portals could enhance transparency from both the supply and demand ends. Travellers are embracing hyper-personalised experiences that the online companies are offering.


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