Go online, use digital space to expand business, Travel experts


Trivandrum: Travel and tour operators in India need to go online and use the digital space to expand and manage their business. This was one of the key takeaways from the International Conference on Travel Technology (ICTT) that concluded at Kovalam on Sunday.

Himmat Anand, CEO of Jaipur-based Tree of Life Resort & Spa, urged the participants to leverage the power of digital space through online video marketing, creating partnerships with bloggers, engaging through social media to promote themselves.

Avijit Arya, CEO of Internet Moguls, pointed out that as much as 85% of hotel business can be lost due to poor online reviews. His advice to hoteliers was to see reviews as a constructive platform for feedback, respond in a timely manner and use search engine friendly content on the internet.

Sheila Scarborough, a US-based writer and speaker specialising in tourism, said that the social media space must be seen by businesses more as a platform for social interaction than simply a medium for promoting themselves. “You are still the same business, just having access to a powerful communication medium. Act the same way online and offline and give yourself bigger ears to listen to the customer and respond accordingly”.

Social Media was among the most discussed topic at the three-day conference with speakers elaborating on how the power of the internet could be leveraged by the travel industry.

UK-based social networking entrepreneur, Philip Calvert said people are in the ‘Do It Yourself’ mode and social media is the best platform to creatively engage with them. He spoke on the trends in social media such as powerful imagery and visuals, short content, visualisation, and engagement and emphasised the importance of using infographic tools.

Elaborating on the new revenue slogan SoLoMo (Social, Local, Mobile), Siddharth Dabhade, Industry Manager Travel for Google India, spoke about the convergence of social, local and mobile mediums. “

Karthick Prabu, GM – Asia, Tnooz, India, a thought leader in the travel technology space spoke on mobile application for service industry, its need and value generation.

Speaking on how and why it is important to distribute a hotel online, Namrita Sehgal, Director of internet marketing at Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces, said, “Cost reach and trust get better online and therefore distribution is getting more and more online”.

ICTT India was organised by the Association of Tourism Trade Organizations, India (ATTOI), with the support of Kerala Tourism.

Kerala IT News