'Technology And Social Media Are The New Age Drivers Of Tourism'
In an interview with BW Businessworld, Goswamy speaks about the Transition from offline to online, traditional travelling and more
Kapil Goswamy, MD and Founder, Bigbreaks.com, a tours and travel dedicated portal is a part of Rs 100 crore Trans India Holidays Group says that technology and social media are the new age drivers of tourism. The portal, launched in January this year to catch up the growing trend of online travelling and till now it have been successful in the venture. In an exclusive interview with BW Businessworld, Goswamy spoke about the Transition from offline to online, traditional travelling and more.
How has been the transition from offline to online? If possible then please mention month wise growth.
The transition has been smooth. To be fair, we did our homework quite well before transitioning to the online space. In fact, we conducted a close study to understand the problems that clients experience while dealing with online travel agencies.
The internet and mobile ticketing business has been increasing at a rate of over 20% per annum on a year on year basis during the last few years. Online medium is the future but currently I would say both online and offline spaces are co-existing peacefully and catering to their own clientele.
From less than 100 online transactions during the month of our launch (January 2016) we have recorded over 1000 transactions during the last month (April 2016), so are very bullish about the potential of the Online space.
What’s your take on this, “technology and social media driving tourism”?
Yes, technology and social media are in many ways the new age drivers of tourism as they enable distances to shrink, make travelling easier and ensure information sharing on a scale that has never happened in the history of humankind. Technology has made it very easy to organize tours, bookings, travel plans. It has done away with the need for unfriendly queues (remember the pre IRCTC era railway ticket booking queues?). Technology and social media have also made research easy. They have therefore imparted an infectious energy to the idea of travelling. Today social media has also become a hot spot for marketing. Also, through this travellers have got a platform to share their experiences which are further picked up by the industry.
As the traditional mode of travelling is on shrink, what is your company’s plan to thrive and grow?
Well, today I can easily see traditional co-existing with non-conventional. All sorts of people who can afford to are travelling big time today. As compared to 20 years back, more women are venturing out (without families), people are embracing different concepts such as immersive travelling. So, the new age travel agent doesn’t just need to be adept at booking air tickets, hotels, vehicles and tourist guides, he also needs to be good at offering interesting experiences and packages to the consumer. Consumers today also look for greater customization. Our strategy is to adapt rapidly to the demands of the new age travellers, and offer them more than what they have asked for.
Summer season’s round the corner. What different are you offering to your consumers?
We are offering 10 per cent instant discounts on online domestic and international hotel bookings. With this, we are also providing flat 1000 rupee off on all Domestic and international flights.
Which destinations will be most preferred in this holiday season? Has there been a change in taste among Indians in recent years, like change in countries which they used to fly most.
In domestic- Goa, Kashmir, Kerala, Darjeeling, Gangtok and Kalimpong. In international- Australia, Switzerland, Paris, Greece, Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand.
The trend remains the same in domestic destinations but in international destinations, there has been a change. Now a day’s travelers are more interested in adventures, sightseeing and immersive travel. Keeping that change the mind the destinations have changed. More Indians today are travelling to countries outside Asia.