Here's How Travelling is Easier in the Digital Era
Today's traveler has the option of doing research on their own and planning their trip with a local travel agent or complete the booking online
A traveller today has several options to plan their travel. When one decides a travel plan, the first question that comes to the mind is how do we organize the trip? Least one would need in advance is ticket and accommodation for a domestic trip whereas people with international travel plans have to ensure that they have valid passports, obtain visa, travel insurance in addition to the standard tickets and accommodation.
‘Digitization’ has shrunk the traveller’s world as had opened up tremendous opportunities to the traveller’s to choose from. In the digital age, we have seen increase in traveller’s planning their travel on the go and online. There is a different segment of traveller’s who prefer to connect with a travel company to enhance their travel experience as they prefer a human touch to their planning.
Today’s traveller has the option of doing research on their own and planning their trip with a local travel agent or complete the booking online. Traditional travel companies attract customers with human touch and add substantial value to their offerings as compared to the online travel agents.
Convenience: Traveller’s can do their research in comfort of their homes / offices and once they decide on the plan, they can make their arrangements on their own using different sites.
Time: Planning a trip online to suit your preferences is a time consuming affair as one starts with researching on the destination, cities, hotels and finally the sightseeing. The entire process takes time and if one approaches the offline travel agents, one just needs to give a short brief and the companies would give them suggested plans to suit their preferences along with different options.
Cost: It is a myth that the online travel companies offer cheaper rates, if one does a apple to apple comparison for services, ideally both would be similar in pricing. While evaluating the prices, one needs to check the inclusions such as Breakfast / meal plan, if taxes are included or not etc. to make a correct judgment. If one puts a value to his own time, the total cost of the trip increases substantially.
Human Touch: Digitization has not managed to replace the human touch in planning travel, Offline travel companies still continue to cater to retain clients with human touch and offering value added travel services which online travel companies fail to offer.
Custom travel: Online travel gives ease to book a hotel or a air ticket, it is difficult to completely customize a trip on a single platform, there are limitations on planning a completely customized travel itinerary online and one needs to go to different sites for different parts of the trip.
Visa Services: Online travel companies will need to have a manual counters / offices to cater to visa requirements of their customers whereas the regular offline travel companies have this service offered to all their customers booking trips with them, this gives a substantial benefit to the travellers.
Personalized service: Offline travel companies have always excelled in providing customized service, online travel companies fail to do so. With Online companies, one needs to call the call canter, wait for their turn and then give all the details for the call centre executive to recognize the customer and give solution to their problem. The call centre will always have limitations. The offline companies give their emergency contact details to clients and easily recognize the client and can give faster solutions to on trip issues as compared to online companies.
Conclusion: Digitization in the travel industry had brought a tremendous change in the way people travel and plan their vacations, the offline travel companies have given started learning to evolve by bringing out their expertise and niche products with added human touch adding tremendous value to the traveller, Digitization fails to offer added human touch to travel.
Jay Kantawala is the Founder of WIYO Travel.