The Rise of Travel Tech in India

Posted on May 16, 2022 by

Technology has the Midas’ touch turning every industry it touches into a golden opportunity. After the mobile data revolution ushered forth by Reliance Jio, it is on its way to updating every sector of India that comes in contact with it. A world without technology today sounds like an idea for a dystopian novel. The Indian tourism sector has also significantly benefited from technology in myriad ways.

After the devastating setback experienced by the travel industry due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the World Travel and Tourism Council has declared it mandatory for governments to invest in their digital infrastructure for upcoming tourist spots and remote areas. The Indian Ministry of Tourism is doing the same with the National Digital Tourism Mission and is working toward providing a Unified Tourism Interface. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the union ministry of Tourism launched  “Dekho Apna Desh.” It was a series of webinars that allowed viewers to explore different cities of India via their tourist attractions, history, and culture.

Virtual tourism is not new in India, and it has been on a gradual rise in India since the 90s. An alternative to the COVID-19 pandemic blues, such virtual tours can let the users experience places they have always wanted to without leaving the comfort of their homes. India’s extensively diverse terrain allows for tremendous variety in virtual tourism; all a user has to do is put on the VR (virtual reality) goggles and hold the remote control. It lets them navigate to the destination of their choice.

Tamil Nadu Tourism incorporates emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Virtual reality through VR-based booklets. It also offers laser light and sound shows at popular destinations in the state.

Back in 2016, Gujarat Tourism created 360-degree immersive live-action VR (virtual reality) videos of the incredible ancient spots of the Indus Valley, including Lothal, Dholavira, and Rani-ki-vav. In 2021, Kerala Tourism also took a step forward in the modern world of technology by bringing an augmented reality (AR) app to launch a virtual tour guide. It highlights the various tourist hotspots of the state and the obscure ones. It is a powerful real-time audio-video guide that informs its users about five attractions around their current location.

The travel and tourism industry has become a lot more organized for the consumers with the ever-increasing apps which bring all kinds of amenities to their fingertips. For example, Delhi tourism’s ‘Dekho Mere Dilli’ app allows tourists to plan their trip from start to end on a single platform, including booking all tickets. It also provides quick information on all food joints, historic places, and other tourist spots near one’s current location. Many of the famous heritage monuments of the capital city like India Gate, Mughal Gardens, Red Fort, Akshardham Temple, and Humayun’s Tomb also offer virtual walk-throughs via their websites.

Many museums across the country are doing the same – offering online exhibitions. A trend that started during the pandemic after the Indian museums, including the  National Museum, New Delhi,  Victoria Memorial, Kolkata, and Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad, took the digital route via online exhibitions. Many of these museums are committed to connecting with their patrons even beyond the physical structures, and their effort includes taking their collections online to retain their relevance.

The union ministry of tourism has also recently declared its intention to start a National level single portal to provide all the relevant information for those visiting or planning to visit the country for medical treatments. These measures are sure to benefit the tourism industry of the country.