KPMG and FICCI released a report titled ‘Expedition 3.0: Travel and hospitality gone digital’ which said the travel and tourism sector is generating 25.9 million jobs and GDP of Rs 141.1 billion. Mobile applications, big data, AI, VR and AR will shape the future of the travel industry. As per the report, India was projected to have accounted for 3.7 % of the global digital travel sales — making it the third-largest market by value in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.
Jaideep Ghosh, partner and head – transport, leisure and sports at KPMG in India, said: “Digital revolution in the travel space is on. Brands are embracing technology to transform themselves into experience platforms while automating operations. Corporate and consumer travel boundaries are already blurred. Incumbents are adapting swiftly to the emerging bouquet of travel start-ups. Creative digital business models will continue to reshape the future of travel.”
According to the report, rising smartphone and internet penetration, rising participation of millennial travelers in terms of numbers and expenditure, with 34% of millennials spending Rs 6,000 per night or more in the past year, as compared to 22 % of those aged 55 plus, leisure travel contributing nearly 95% to the direct travel and tourism spending in India and rising business travel are contributing to the growth of the travel and hospitality sector in India.
The report enlists and expounds upon six key focus areas to win the tech-friendly traveler: Marketing to the modern-day traveller- through Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), following a mobile-first approach, leveraging social media, providing personalised offers and utilising User Generated Content (UGC).
Personalising services, deemed as the future of travel, enabled by insights from analysis of big data analytics, AI and machine learning, pushing towards direct bookings, automating operations for end to end applications across booking, customer service and even operational aspects of travel and hospitality businesses are cited as the other focus areas, leveraging UGC such as customer reviews and partnering with the sharing-economy players are cited as the other focus areas.