Digital is the future of travel industry, says experts


Kochi: Travel and tourism businesses in India risk losing ground unless they keep pace with digital technologies and adopt marketing tools that are reshaping the industry worldwide, according to experts.

Ahead of India’s first ever conference on travel technologies taking place in Kerala’s capital Thiruvananthapuram from June 7-9, 2013, tourism professionals and marketers say it is time that the industry sits up and takes note of the explosion in internet and mobile connectivity.

According to a recent report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International, digital commerce in the country is expected to touch Rs.62,967 crore in 2013, up 33% from last year. A mammoth 73% share of this is cornered by online travel transactions, amounting to Rs.34,544 crore; and this is projected to grow by 30% to Rs.44,907 crore by the end of this year, demonstrating just how powerful and lucrative the digital medium can be for tourism businesses.

“Why should you pay attention to social media, mobile technology and digital media? Because that is how your market – your visitors, guests and customers – are researching travel, planning travel and booking travel,” says Sheila Scarborough, a US-based travel writer and speaker. “To get in front of your market, you have to be where they are, and today that is online.”

The International Conference on Travel Technology (ICTT) India, organized by the Association of Travel Trade Organizations, India (ATTOI) with the support of Kerala’s Department of Tourism, will offer a platform to discuss evolving technologies and opportunities.

“More than ever, the Internet is increasingly influencing people’s decision on where to travel and how to share their experiences with others,” according to Chad W Wiebesick, Director of Social Media & Interactive Marketing at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “This conference will share tips, tricks and best practices utilizing social media and the latest web technologies to promote destinations to tourists.”

Talks and presentations at ICTT India will feature speakers including leading social media and online marketing specialists and entrepreneurs from around India and abroad and will focus on changes taking place over the web space, travel-related software, mobile applications, marketing and sales trends.

Kerala IT News


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