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Travel Industry Post-Pandemic Trends

The themes emerging out of this is technology been used extensively to make traveler feel safe as much as possible and in areas which were never thought of before.

Recently, we’ve read articles on how the Travel Industry is reinventing itself as the devastating impact of COVID-19 continues. It is however, encouraging to witness major players in this industry investing in new concepts of travel. Honestly tough times calls for creative approach. It shows the confidence in the industry to rebound soon. That said not everything is a new concept, it is also how the industry is adopting newer ways to keep travelers safe and engaged. 

For example, IATA has introduced digital Travel Pass app for those who have been tested and vaccinated which would be going live soon. This for sure will make travel much safer in the coming days. Similarly, Online Travel Agencies (OTA) have started providing more information about the destination ground status so that customers are aware of the ground realities when they are planning travel or bookings. In this current situation of contact-less, self-check-in into hotel rooms is also gaining momentum and it is very interesting to see how customers would react given that they don’t have any personalized experience in doing it, but safety is paramount at present and I am sure hotelier will come up with ideas on making it a personalized experience offline. 

If you look at the big picture of innovation in travel industry, my vote goes the new concept of “Flying Taxis” which is gaining lot of interest across all travel sectors especially Air. Many industry leaders have invested billions of dollars in this for some time. Recently in the news was a leading US airline company investing about $2.2 billion in a startup which deals with “Flying Taxis”. To think of it, this is going to be a big challenge for Airplane manufacturing companies across the world as these are going to impact Airplane sales due to lower air ticket sales. According to me “Flying Taxis” will be a big hit in the corporate travel business as it gives a lot of flexibility in terms of time and logistics. Surely cost savings in a long run. At the same time the impact would be felt by the Online Travel Agencies (OTA) who will have to step-up to handle this new line of business very soon as their corporate customer will demanding for it. Corporate/Business Travel is a $1.28 trillion business (2019) and all Online Travel Agencies(OTA) want a slice of it.

The themes emerging out of this is technology been used extensively to make traveler feel safe as much as possible and in areas which were never thought of before. This will be a good opportunity for technology providers like Virtual Reality(VR) industry and Robotics industry come up with innovative ways to make it happen. In all these the Online Travel Agencies(OTA) will have to own the part of educating the traveler on these innovative technologies when they are ready to travel.

This pandemic has opened lot of opportunities to make travel safer in a different way compared to what was done historically and bring in more efficiency across all levels of operations in a very different way. Technology and Online Travel Agencies(OTA) companies have a golden opportunity to make the most of it if they act fast in understanding the right areas to focus on and build solution which are cost effective and gives the satisfaction to the customer/traveler about their health safety.

So, like they say time will only tell how things will be different once we come out of this pandemic. Surely say that the travel industry is heading in the right direction. Keep fingers crossed.

Source: Business World

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