December 30 2014: Rajesh Magow, Co-founder & CEO-India, MakeMyTrip suggests these travel & tech tech trends for 2015:
· Mobile will continue to drive the growth of the Online Travel industry. Mobile bookings will soon overtake bookings through other devices. SMS/messaging-platform based booking services are taking off in China, and perhaps a developer or entrepreneur will find a way to create a market for this in India. Mobile Technologies will propel eCommerce and travel buying experience in the coming years. Today, over 33% of our traffic comes from mobile apps.
· Wearable Technology will enhance the traveller experience, enabling them to find “just-in-time” deals and handy information when they land in a city.
· Vernacularization will take centre-stage in 2015, in line with the philosophy of offering customized service and experiences. There is tremendous potential in vernacular content and MakeMyTrip is also investing in creating vernacular travel-booking services. In October, we introduced India’s first flight-booking service in Hindi on our mobile site and we will extend these vernacular services to other languages such as Gujarati, Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam in 2015.
· Personalization will be a big part of eCommerce moving forward as customer expectations for more personal experiences are on the rise. Personalization will play in key role in all forms of travel whether business, leisure or activity oriented.
· Greater segmentation/personalization on flights: Visatara has already taken the first step by introducing new segmentation across categories, and more Airlines may follow suit depending on traveller response.
· With e-Visa being introduced to 43 countries in December, we can expect inbound tourist arrivals to increase significantly. This is a new opportunity for OTAs in India.
· Majority of online travel services in India currently target the young/urban consumer, but we can expect a lot more segmentation in offerings and communication – some examples would be women travellers, corporate travellers, back-packers.
· Government’s intent to develop new airports in Tier I and Tier II cities through public-private partnership models will provide tourism sector a much-needed boost. The Rail budget also announced an outlay of Rs 1000 crore for rail connectivity in North-East region which will expedite tourism-related infrastructure development in the region. The Government has further demonstrated support for the Travel & Tourism industry by allocating Rs. 100 crore for development of archaeological sites. Executed and then marketed rightly, this will undoubtedly attract a new set of inbound tourists to the country.
· The goal will be to provide travel experiences and services that have a lifestyle appeal, not just specific functional benefits. From a holiday destination perspective, with the new-age Indian tourist preferring an active vacation that offers sightseeing, good food, shopping and great photo-opportunities, we recommend Turkey, Bali, Cambodia and Seychelles as the must-visit destinations in 2015. On the domestic front, we expect segments such as Pilgrimage and Luxury to grow in 2015 and we will be adding new domestic destinations such as Lakshadweep, Arunachal Pradesh and Odisha.
MakeMytrip is a leading Indian online travel company.