Saturday, May 11, 2024

Tech can enhance travel itinerary.

The Reopening of Travel Post-Pandemic

Travel has undergone a challenging period in recent years, with the pandemic severely impacting the industry. The ubiquitous hospitality and airline businesses suffered greatly, but perhaps the most significant impact was felt by individuals who love to travel, such as you and me. Dust accumulated on our suitcases and itineraries were shelved, while wishlists remained as mere aspirations. However, towards the end of 2023, the world began to open up once again.

Consequently, we embarked on what was to be expected of us and resumed traveling with enthusiasm, endeavouring to make up for lost time. I consider myself a travel enthusiast who will take any opportunity to explore new places.

How AI Can Help Travelers Plan Better Trips

What roles can technology and AI play in travel, especially within the context of the pandemic? How can they assist us with organizing not only the yearly big trips but also on-the-whim excursions? As a traveler, I will attempt to answer these questions.

The Diversity of Travelers

Travellers come from diverse backgrounds, each seeking different experiences. For instance, McLeod Ganj is home to pilgrims, foreigners, backpackers, and weekend tourists. Technology’s greatest challenge has been to personalize itself for all types of travelers.

Instagrammability

A friend of mine operates a successful pub-restaurant in Goa, renowned for its beauty as a backdrop for Instagram-worthy pictures. Social currency today is as vital as our financial stability. This is where technology must begin to assess data, not solely from reviews, but from recommendations made by fellow travelers.

The Instant Traveller

Instant travel has become a new phenomenon. I know individuals who spend weekends hiking in the Aravalis, sleeping in tents, whilst working 9-5 jobs in their city. Most travel apps have failed to incorporate this kind of itinerary. At KOGO, we call this the 365/52/12/4/1 effect; 52 is the number of weekend trips a traveler can take in a year. Thus technology can match travellers with relevant nearby itineraries and experiences to cater to this rapidly expanding traveler base.

Discovery & Recommendation Vs Search & Review

Solang valley is the highest-rated attraction in Manali, according to Tripadvisor. However, most travelers I know avoid that overcrowded location. I’m of the belief that the future of travel is based on recommendations rather than reviews. Recommendation platforms ensure that what you’re about to experience is an extraordinary experience for someone else who shares your preferences and interests.

AI-generated Travel Plans

Generative AI can develop itineraries for any city worldwide, which can be useful. It is, however, based on existing data and is biased without individual context. AI is undoubtedly the future, but contextual AI for travel has some way to go before it truly works.

Technology can customize and create 365/52/12/4/1 experiences for each traveler and assemble a tailor-made itinerary to unbox and experience the planet. Perhaps, in the future, such technologies may even be gamified, allowing travelers to enjoy planning their expedition as much as embarking on it.

(The writer is CPO and Co-Founder of KOGO, an AI-powered gamified travel discovery platform)

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of www.economictimes.com.)

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About Alex Chen

Alex Chen is a tech blogger based in Silicon Valley. He loves writing about the latest trends in the industry and sharing his insights with his readers. With years of experience in the field, Alex has built a loyal following of tech enthusiasts who appreciate his informative and engaging content. When he's not writing, Alex enjoys experimenting with new tech gadgets and exploring the vibrant tech scene in the Bay Area.

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