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World Tourism Day: Decoding Tourism In The Digital Age

Indian travelers today, mostly millennials, rely heavily on social interaction for recommendations when considering a new destination and activities for their voyage

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Digital advances are, quite literally, changing the world! Technology has changed how we connect and inform ourselves. It has encouraged innovation and made the world a smaller, well-connected place. This has trickled and made its way across sectors, including tourism. It is hence not surprising that the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNTWO) elected ‘Tourism and Digital Transformation’ to be the global theme this World Tourism Day. 

Echoing the sentiment in India, Neliswa Nkani, Hub Head – Middle East, India, South East Asia, South African Tourism said, “Tourism boards are now strategically harnessing technology to innovatively promote their destination to potential travellers. In order for us to effectively reach our target audience, it is essential for us at South African Tourism to vividly bring alive the locations and experiences through virtual mediums. An apt reflection of our efforts would be the Google Street View initiative launched in November 2017, through which travellers are brought closer to our renowned national parks and reserves by accurate visual representation. These virtual initial experiences drive audience curiosity and bring alive the destination to potential visitors thus resulting in travel conversions.

Indian travelers today, mostly millennials, rely heavily on social interaction for recommendations when considering a new destination and activities for their voyage. To tap into the pulse of this growing traveler segment, we forayed into the world of social media in 2017 with a dedicated Facebook page, especially customized for the India market. We also launched our Instagram India handle early in 2018. In fact, South African Tourism is one of the very few international tourism boards in India to have a standalone digital presence in the market.”

According to a survey by Hotels.com’s Mobile Travel Tracker*, 49% of Indian travelers admit to being happier and enjoying more when their smartphones are in close proximity during vacations. The survey states that the average Indian traveler spends 90 minutes a day on social media on holiday with Facebook (96%) and Instagram (66%) being the social channels of choice for #TravelBragging to friends at home, which is higher than the global average of 65 minutes a day.

“With more than a third of Indian travelers refusing to book a hotel that doesn’t offer free Wi-Fi, there is a clear demand for Indians to be connected at all times”, said Daniel Craig, VP of Mobile at Hotels.com brand.


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