How Technology Startups are the New Face of Travel?
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Travel tech has lead to a rapid change in consumer behaviour. From the days where we used to rely solely on travel agents for suggestions and booking a fixed itinerary, today we have moved to discovering travel content online, visualizing the destination with VR, dragging and dropping attractions in our itinerary and ultimately, experiencing a destination like a local with an extremely simple process of discovery and booking - all enabled by tech.
The Indian Trend
The last few years have been a very interesting time for travel-tech startups, filled with mammoth rounds of funding, high-profile acquisitions, and dramatic examples of young startups stealing the show.
Today India has close to 3,000+ travel startups and many of them are solving very interesting problems in travel tech space. While many are bootstrapped, there are many who have raised multiple rounds of funding. Some have a focused approach towards a particular problem while there are some as big as OYO, which is today valued at close to 6B$, and into multiple categories like budget hotels, homes, luxury resorts, co-working spaces, and even student living spaces.
When it comes to packaged tours market, which continues to dominate the outbound India market coupled with explosive growth, travel tech startups have made a name for themselves, giving a solid fight to the traditional larger players. Both these startups have addressed and solved the problems differently, using technology.
If we talk about online travel content discovery, today there are many players dominating the market. These new age companies are understanding the way millennials absorb travel content and have a focused approach towards it.
In the recent years, tours and activities have been the hottest new thing in travel, with large funding rounds happening globally. As per reports, millennials and more affluent class travellers prioritise tours and activities over the place to stay or food. Today in India, 8 out of 10 tour operators do not sell their products online and many do not even have a website. This brings a great opportunity in this space for building a distribution network and there are many startups who are making a dent in this industry with tech play and are, in a way, becoming regional online DMC’s (Destination Management Companies).
Looking for the off-beat holidays is now becoming the norm with there being startups addressing different needs like pet-friendly vacations, above 50+ travel, women-friendly trips - all easy to discover and book online.
The Recent Behavior of the Customers
A recent digital report analyzed the behaviour of 90K+ customers, figured out that millennials in India are taking 5-7 breaks per year depending on the industry they have been working in. Also with the increased flight connectivity across Asia and simplified visa policies, more people are willing to travel internationally than before. In fact, we saw a 150per cent jump in one year for bookings of international activities.
Indian travel tech is at a pivotal point in its growth and development. The industry is changing faster than ever and also bringing in a lot of opportunities for startups. Very soon we will see a few more unicorn travel tech start-ups emerging out of India.