Different Ways Technology Is Changing the Way Indians Travel
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Today, travel is more accessible to Indians than ever before. Between rising consumable incomes and shrinking travel costs, travel quotes are everywhere, travel planners are everywhere, people are everywhere. According to the UN World Tourism Organisation, 50 million Indians traveled abroad in 2019, up from 23 million in 2017.
Rising disposable incomes and better connectivity are among the primary driving forces. Travel has changed drastically over the years and so have travellers. The industry has been at the cusp of innovation with tech driving the change as a nation of 600 million young people is more than eager to see the world.
Let us have a look at how travel tech is changing the way Indians travel.
Internet and digital technology have single-handedly transformed travel all over the world. There’s more information available than ever at one’s disposal which has made it easier to plan trips, book tickets and accommodations, and even activities in advance. Printing tickets before travel and carrying documents is a thing of the past. People can just carry documents electronically and enjoy seamless travel. All bookings have virtually shifted to mobile applications and you are always a few clicks away from your next destination.
‘Post-it or it didn’t happen’, social media has changed the face of traveling across the world. Check-in became a thing; India has over 70 million Instagram users who share millions of pictures, clearly indicating our appetite for pictures, which perhaps is influencing our travel decision. Wanderlust is a social media-fueled life moto. Travel influencers on social media are guiding people on how to plan trips. Social media-fueled tourism is on the rise; more and more people are hiking, skiing and going to destinations that were never heard of, of course, because somebody just posted pictures of that.
WhatsApp, Skype and iMessage too have incredibly eased travel as you can travel to your dream destination and still stay very well connected to your family and friends as they’re always a call away, show them the greatest monuments on calls and who has not seen these video calling folks around.
The support of apps such as Google Translate has virtually ended the times of struggle when interacting with locals and made essential communication almost easy negating the need to learn a foreign language before going to a destination.
While maps and globes were always a traveler’s treasure, GPS and mobile phones flipped the game as no destination remained alien anymore. Commute in other countries became easy, self-driving and hiking, among others, became extremely comfortable and it gave a sense of confidence in an unknown land. People can calculate distance from point A to B in seconds and for those who have traveled will know, what a blessing that is.
Travel and hospitably has been the fertile ground for a shared economy. Around 10 years ago, staying in someone’s home would have sounded strange and now Airbnb is almost synonymous with the term holiday. Car rentals around the world, such as Uber and Ola, have saved travelers from the hassle of negotiating with the locals. Hostels have sprung around the world, which is youngsters’ delight as it saves the most essential thing on a trip—money. In this day and age, one can virtually rent out anything from cameras, shoes and jacket, among others.
Technological innovation like multi-weather shoes and clothes, compact luggage and gadgets such as kindle and smartphone have eased the traveler’s burden of carrying multiple gadgets and the weight of many books. All travelers these days prefer to travel light.
One thing which makes me wonder the most is how people traveled before ATMs for that almost seems indispensable, but then when was the last time I myself visited an ATM. The payment system across the world have become more efficient and faster. Tools such as Apple Pay and mobile wallets sync with your watches, scans the codes and you’re good to go.
Indians are traveling abroad more than ever and this is a sign of changing times and demography as a never like this before connected world and tech is shaping this trajectory. Various start-ups in the fields of medical tourism, easier visa access, customized planning, etc. are emerging in order to cater to another traveler making up her mind to search a new destination.