Mo­bile to fuel on­line growth

While India’s emerg­ing dig­i­tal mar­ket is ex­pected to see a 35 per cent in­crease in 2017, mo­bile adop­tion can be key in driv­ing busi­ness in the in­dus­try, says Si­mon Lehmann, Pres­i­dent, Pho­cuswright.

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Travel re­search com­pany Pho­cuswright’s In­dian edi­tion drew to a close with over 400 at­ten­dees in the gath­er­ing. The two-day event held from Fe­bru­ary 28-March 2, 2017, fo­cused on Asia Pa­cific as the fastest grow­ing re­gion for travel and brought to­gether the big­gest names and dis­rup­tors in the in­dus­try. The con­fer­ence re­lies heav­ily on the rel­e­vance of the con­tent and brings forth de­tailed in­for­ma­tion on the lat­est drifts and in­cli­na­tions in travel, re­it­er­at­ing the fact that con­tent is in­deed king. On this, Lehmann com­ments, “Pho­cuswright has so much con­tent to share and this is what all the guests take in. All the dif­fer­ent top­ics we bring to the in­dus­try and our re­search top­ics cover the most rel­e­vant and on­go­ing top­ics in to­day’s world. We are cre­at­ing a good value for the at­ten­dants but what we need to work on more is driv­ing aware­ness and reach­ing out to a larger au­di­ence.”

He hopes to dou­ble the at­tendee num­bers in the next cou­ple of years and aims to achieve the tar­get by mak­ing a few tweaks in the next edi­tion. “If we want to grow, we’re go­ing to have to make some changes. From an over­all per­spec­tive, there is not much we will re­ally change in the pro­gramme but there will prob­a­bly be a dif­fer­ent venue. We just need to make sure that the per­ti­nent de­vel­op­ments in travel are

brought out in the spot­light,” he ex­plains. Evolv­ing on­line land­scape

This year, dis­rup­tors based in India with the likes of Paytm, Ya­tra, MakeMyTrip and ibibo Group, to name a few, were on Cen­tre Stage where they elab­o­rated on their plans to make their pres­ence even stronger, but with the on­line mar­ket still at a nascent stage in India, it’s go­ing to take more than a hand­ful of play­ers for the coun­try to be a front-run­ner.

In agree­ment to this, Lehmann adds, “First of all, the mar­ket is very frag­mented. Se­condly, it is still very tra­di­tional when it comes to dis­tri­bu­tion. The op­por­tu­ni­ties here are huge and the mar­ket will prob­a­bly be un­der more pres­sure by the in­ter­na­tional OTAs and not just the lo­cal ones. One more op­por­tu­nity in terms of travel tech and dis­tri­bu­tion is the mo­bile pen­e­tra­tion. The more smart­phones are out there, the eas­ier it be­comes to reach to the cus­tomers.” A 35 per cent growth in the In­dian on­line mar­ket for this year has been pro­jected and is still an emerg­ing mar­ket for mo­bile, with China lead­ing mo­bile adop­tion in the APAC re­gion. Trend takeaways

The talk at Pho­cuswright India was the en­try of the voice in­ter­face in the travel in­dus­try not just as a search op­tion, but as apps and a cus­tomer in­ter­face that is ex­pected to be the next big dis­rup­tor. How­ever, it has not seen a high adop­tion rate in­di­cat­ing more com­plex work to be com­pleted in the area. Lehmann says, “Voice has a huge po­ten­tial but that tech­nol­ogy is not re­ally where peo­ple think it is. They want to ap­ply voice, but it hasn’t seen that adop­tion yet and we see voice as a new cus­tomer in­ter­face for book­ing as a huge po­ten­tial. This is a very com­plex tech­nol­ogy es­pe­cially with all the ac­cents, which is an is­sue that has to be re­solved.” Other such dis­rup­tors are in the spot­light is ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and the ways it can be ap­plied to im­prove the search re­sult as well as cus­tomer per­son­al­i­sa­tion. “The whole self­driv­ing is­sue where Uber and Google plans to push into will po­ten­tially im­pact travel as well,” he adds.

op­por­tu­nity in terms of travel tech and dis­tri­bu­tion is the mo­bile pen­e­tra­tion. The more smart­phones are out there, the eas­ier it be­comes to reach to the cus­tomers Si­mon Lehmann Pres­i­dent Pho­cuswright

Si­mon Lehmann Pres­i­dent Pho­cuswright

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