Sohail Mirchandani, COO & Co-founder, Ekostay
Sohail  Mirchandani is the COO & Co-Founder of Ekostay, a homestay company – that believes tech is the foundation of every sustainable business model.  He defines and manages the vision as well as making sure the company sticks to its core of having a great backend strategy and team, acing interpersonal relations to ensure every client at Ekostay gets a  personal touch and has the best homestay experience possible.



Travel keeps you alive and lets you create memories that last forever. A famous quote by J.D Andrews says, “It’s a big world out there, it would be a shame not to experience it.” The travel sector has faced challenges and has seen a dip in volumes post-Covid, but fortunately hasn’t faced complete closure of operations. A crisis forces you to come out of the box and synergize your operations by evaluating your strengths and weaknesses.Covid-19 has forced the travel sector to minimize the human touch and adopt interactive and useful technology that allows business to continue. Business and information technology have always complemented each other beautifully but the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of myriad emerging technologies. A technology trend is a development or shift of operational practices. Let’s explore and take a closer look at the emerging key tech trends in the Indian travel industry post-covid-19.

Artificial Intelligence

AI has largely impacted the advancement in the travel industry and revolutionized operations drastically. AI is a branch of computer science where a machine is used to imitate or simulate human intelligence.AI driven technology is widely used in the travel sector and is contributing to a hassle-free travel experience. It is widely used as a facial recognition system and scanning security devices at airports.AI assistants assist you in contactless travel bookings, flight forecasting, identifying valuable data analytics, analysis of sentiments through social media tools, price tracking for hotels, personalized travel planning, and smart baggage handling. The most commendable and exciting development of AI is the Chatbots and online customer service where there are powered chatbots on social media platforms. These chatbots provide valuable information to customers in absence of human travel representatives and are operational 24*7. The responses are accurate and instant and allow businesses to deliver timelines that are impossible for humans.

The internet of things (IoT)

The internet of things is simply a system that is interconnected with different objects that collect, store and transfer data on a wireless network where human interaction is zero. The IoT is a powerful tech trend for the travel industry and has the potential to change operations and enhance customer satisfaction. The most widespread use of IoT is personalization within hotels and flights. It enables customers to have comprehensive control by choosing their preferences through a centralized device like a Smartphone. They can regulate the air conditioner temperatures or change the lighting with just one click. It also provides seamless travel experiences by using sensors to locate baggage at airports and easy check-in processes with electronic key cards. Organizations can use IoT for communicating location-related information to their customers gather data at the same time. IoT application is helping industries all over by smartly serving as an energy-saving device. Smart energy saving is possible with the incorporation of sensors that enable temperature adjustment and lighting.

 Augmented reality

The travel and tourism sector is leveraging the benefits of AR and has experienced exponential success by using AR-enabled applications. Augmented reality enhances the viewers’ perception of a particular physical surrounding on a smartphone device. The major benefit of AR is that it has the potential to enhance and beautify the view of the traveler by providing real-time information. The different ways in which augmented reality can be integrated with the travel sector are as follows.

  • AR location-based apps that enable AR-based location tours or navigation applications
  • Object recognition AR apps provide in-depth information about the object that you click on the smartphone. The object can be codes, images, or physical objects.
  • AR 360 degree visual tours and 3d display of view enable guests to navigate the location and property and be assured of their decision.
  • AR based tourism apps can facilitate interactive tours of ancient and important landmarks. It also helps by pointing out a new restaurant and instantly being provided with food reviews and a digital menu.
  • AR navigation apps enable easy navigation for new locations and provide travelers with real-time information.
  • AR apps help overcome language differences by translating foreign languages which makes it easy for you to read directions, signs, menus, and other crucial information.

Contactless payments and check –INS.

Contactless payments have become extremely widespread after the outbreak of Covid-19 and are becoming increasingly popular with the travel sector. A contactless transaction lets a person avoid using cash and cards and instead relies on wireless methods using RFID technology. It is quick, easy, secure and the most hygienic and safe option to make payments. The travel sector can leverage different contactless payment systems like Google Pay, Fitbit Pay, and Samsung Pay as a secure way to make payments. Contactless check-ins on the other hand let the customer use mobile check-in services to have access to the property without a traditional key.

Virtual reality

The term virtual reality is synonymous with visualization. Virtual reality is a powerful technology tool for the tourism and travel sector specifically post –covid. It is powerful because it uses interactive images and videos to explore a location or scene. It captures attractive destinations in a unique way that lets the customer travel virtually and experience the location with the use of a computer or smart device. Virtual reality enables travel brands to create in-store virtual content for prospective clients instead of brochures. It allows a client to travel virtually or lets them visit a place virtually after which they can decide to travel. The beauty of virtual tours is in creating memorable experiences for the user and brand engagement for the brand.

The Indian Travel and tourism sector has been more than accommodating to adopt digitization at all levels for successful operations. Time will tell how things will look when we come out of this pandemic. For now, the travel industry is definitely heading in the right direction. Technology is here to stay and transform!

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