If Covid-19 taught us anything, it’s that change happens, fast. And it’s true that how we now travel has been revolutionised by the accelerated adoption of technology.

From digital vaccine passports and QR codes to real-time travel notifications, technology solutions are playing a pivotal role in enabling people to travel safely again. Providing clear, current and timely updates on international travel requirements, vital information about hotel hygiene, restrictions and certifications, this data and the easy access to it, will continue to be essential to support travellers throughout their journey from the start of the planning process right through to the stay.

We have entered a new era of tech-empowered travel and the hospitality industry globally and specifically in India, needs to prepare for this radically altered travel landscape by embracing technology and innovation with even greater alacrity than the travelling public.

This is where digital travel platforms like Agoda can help hospitality partners to fast track the use of tech and data to innovate their guests’ travel experience. It’s all about winning back these travellers’ confidence, giving them access to technology solutions throughout their travel booking journey that help them to make measured decisions about how, when and where to travel. The use of AI and machine learning in these situations can prove useful in curating the best experiences based on traveller booking/search behaviour.

As borders re-open, there is an increased reliance/emphasis on ease and convenience. The perk of being able to book accommodation, flights and activities on one easy to use platform, with the best bundled rates. Customers have grown accustomed to the level of technology offered by superapps, e-commerce platforms and food booking services alike and are growing to expect that out of their travel booking experiences as well.

As travel bounces back, tech-driven data insights shared with hotel partners can be used for revenue planning and assisting in levelling peaks and troughs in demand. This allows hoteliers to adjust pricing and offers as they see fit, in response to changing traveller needs. Understanding the value of this data and a collaborative partnership that can help drive solutions will be what differentiates businesses for success. And this technology and data doesn’t have to be exclusively used by bigger players, SME owners can tap that same information to help build their business too.

For example, Agoda’s dedicated PartnerHub offers endless resources to improve their performance metrics and drive growth through tips and tutorials, advertising solutions, industry news and insights. A dedicated YCS Channel, an intranet portal for partners, is also available for property owners to make real-time changes, enable new products to help optimise occupancy and price according to changing trends.

Borders are opening at different paces, and when you are running a hotel it’s hard to keep up with the changes and where to spend your marketing dollars. Marketing optimisation and personalisation technology will ensure its possible for partners to access travellers at the right time, with the right price and product.

Before Covid-19, we took for granted the freedom to move freely around the world. So as the world reopens, more than ever, hotels need technology that adapts to changing conditions. The return to travel is going to be eventful and, in some instances, disruptive – but if the industry collaborates to pool knowledge and resources together and use technology to transform its services, we have a clear path forward.

Insight shared by Krishna Rathi, Agoda – Country Director, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka