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A Breed Of New Travellers: Understanding Discoveries

Travel will offset the world’s misery and digital evolution will keep people connected. The physical attributes of human touch-based connection through a handshake or a hug will certainly get an impact due to social distancing which will leave a vacuum forever. It is time to EDiT!

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Exploration has a remix trend and that discovery is everything for human evolution. The need of the hour is to understand and explore, as world post-Covid-19 it will take time to settle in. The consumption patterns will alter,  the perspectives of discovering a place will change and attention to positive sides of the destination will evolve during purchase.

The travellers will be looking for something unique all the time. The uniqueness will not come from creating something new. The destinations will not change but the usage of technology to digitally explore will revolve around tourism products. The imaginativeness of the business rationale on Experiential Delivery in Tourism (EDiT)™ will require a systems design thinking with user experience changing based on the fears, disappointments and failures. The new breed of traveller will not carry the positive sentiment for tourism till it is defined by the intermediaries as an impact on one’s self. The digital visitation will not enhance footprints and that assessing the purchase behaviour will be a challenging task for the travel service providers. The world being on a round planet, the travellers will be able to create comforting connections easily through digital media and will be influenced by people’s cultural values and social practices.

The travel industry has a big challenge to enhance EDIT through mobility, content and sensory experiences. The delivery of experiential products that was accessibility; now freshness will matter. The slowness of the times spent during immersive moments will be controlled and reality will be on individual discoveries in their own ways. The interactions will be at different levels. The chatbots in the form of avatars, the concierges working as per AI model will redefine luxury. The new luxury will not be normal. The new normal will bring chaos in the traditional way of wearing. It’s now the time and only time think EDIT.

The emphasis today is being positive on the future of travel. But how? Going paperless in past was tough, getting business online was a drastic change and now protecting humans will be new normal and old strategies will not pave the way to sell in future. Product ownership will be the key and intellectual properties will drive EDIT towards future revenues. The shared services will be doubtful and heavy penalties will eradicate the sustenance of few operators. There will be no blue ocean, it will be all green driven by financial health and secluded availability of destinations. The whiff of fresh air and time zone led discovery will set the benchmark for new experiences.

Ambiguity will give birth to new models for customer acquisition. The disciplined structure will not work and the only plus will be for people who travelled the world before Covid-19, as they will be able to translate their past experience with genuineness to entice the customer. The on destination experience will differ after corona because of all safety-related matters. The new standards of travelling will take time to form habits and new habits will curb the margin making areas for the intermediaries.

The gig economy will try everything that will garner success and may result in creating more clutter. The key differentiator will be the products offerings. The hospitality spaces will be able to create distinction on land, water, air through architecture marvels but the tourism delivery space, which includes sightseeing will never be the same again.

The customer will need access to discovery and social setting to enjoy. Their happiness will be to become normal first citizens. The visuals that depict luxury and focus on art, culture, heritage and technology will bring the experiential aspect for people to discover and appreciate human past through design thinking approach. The cultural literacy to discover the destination in a new normal will take time. The EDIT & on-ground enablement will be key to success, either through virtual rooms and everything and everyone else follows.  

The exploratory stories of Christopher Columbus and Vasco da Gama with less supplies and more on zest to find a destination will reverse into the AI bots discovering the destinations as per moods. The zone of the traveller will elevate to a digital aspirant who will take short snippets on subscription models than travelling out of comfort zone. The perceptions will become reality and being real will be a new luxury for discerning few to demystify the perceptions, similar to experience as in a night safari.

The travellers will be filed with passion and tenacity for the best experiences however the product offerings have to be aligned around EDIT to create delight. The key role of sensitization has to take centre stage to maintain privacy and non-negotiable human rights. The customer service management will matter in the non-retail (physical shop) scenarios with tech an enabler for understanding how people will react to and with different environments and initiatives.

Managing tourism impacts will be a future dependency and will be mitigated by Experiential Delivery in Tourism (EdiT)™. The businesses will cater to the new world after corona and it will be challenging to achieve sustainable developments with incredible transparency for tourism products, hospitality services and experiences.

In tourism, the promotions, destination marketing and awareness will start first. Then will come tech enablement based on traveller security and hygiene and then visitation. The visitation will depend on on-ground certified transport and guiding system (soft & hard infrastructure) availability. The new tourism consumption will lead to new infra and it will take time.

Are we ready for EDiT is the key question? From travellers standpoint yes because the more the indulgence the more experiential it is. However, from the travel trade standpoint, it will be escalating social

stress, which will be visually arresting by deploying appropriated by a large variety of artistic languages. Another phenomena that can emerge is the revisiting the place, which will happen through technology-based virtual reality models. The travellers accustomed to subscriptions will offset the visit with a marginal cost without giving an opportunity to amplify the full purchase. The travel intermediaries have to become worthy of deep thinking to innovate and deliver what is visually promising. 

The definitions and operational delivery will go under change. What is new today is old for the next moment. Human nature is bound by intrinsic nature to know, to conquer and enjoy.  Alongside, the feeling of being an independent explorer will be shadowed by support staff to keep health and safety intact. The tech being an enabler awareness in terms of a showcase of services and credibility of oneself through content related promotions is prime activity for now. And there is too much content and too much history everywhere. Which is non-comparable as every place is unique. How authentic information is disseminated with a hope to garner some future bookings is the interim way. The big opportunity is to enhance tourism service delivery performance through value co-creation. The need of the hour is to start travel operations with a improve understanding of destination offerings, its people, cultural heritage so that travellers are able to spend money to travel. 

Travel will offset the world’s misery and digital evolution will keep people connected. The physical attributes of human touch-based connection through a handshake or a hug will certainly get an impact due to social distancing which will leave a vacuum forever. It is time to EDiT!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Dr Sachin Bansal

The author is the founder & Chief Explorer of a nationally and internationally acclaimed tourism verticals, India City Walks, India Food Trails™, India Heritage Walks® under City Explorers operational in India.

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