AMIT RANJAN Paul, a 30-something marketing executive at a Delhi-based multinational company, is constantly on the move. But unlike the ‘traditional’ traveller, he logs on to the
TripIdeas app of MakeMyTrip to zero in on his next holiday destination or to ‘simply get inspired’. While waiting at the airport due to a flight delay, he opens the app TripAlong to ‘bump into a friend’, who might give him company. Once at his destination, Paul uses TripAdvisor’s travel app and clicks on its ‘Near Me Now’ feature to find nearby places of interest. Upon his return, Paul makes a ‘personal directory of his favourite places’ on Blix, which helps him record, track, save places important to him and share it only with the people he chooses to.
Call it the dawn of new-age travel or ease of technology at disposal, modern-day travellers are swearing by mobile apps and other innovative online platforms to enhance their travel experience. ‘Smart’ travellers are now researching, planning and booking vacations on their smartphones and tablets and are, in fact, finding these platforms more convenient than the traditional ones.
Mobile apps are becoming the new way of doing things—be it search, communication, buying or commuting—and the way people shop and share experiences is also undergoing a transformation, says Rajesh Magow, MakeMyTrip’s co-founder and CEO.
Recently, the Windows app store launched five apps to help travellers get the maximum out of their holidays. The five apps include IRCTC, which helps you book train tickets; Skyscanner, which finds the best deals, giving you complete information on the cheapest flight prices, hotel rates and bus/car bookings; Local Search that helps navigate a city from the nearest coffee shop that may sell your favourite cinnamon cappuccino to the closest gas station; ATM Finder, which, as the name suggests, finds the nearest ATM based on your location; and Fun Travel Deals, which has a detailed list of restaurants, attractions, hotels and even shopping areas and specialities of any city of your choice.
“Today, mobile accounts for over 19% of our monthly unique visitors and 15% of online transactions. In domestic flights, mobile bookings account for 15% of the total online transactions, while standalone hotel bookings from mobiles represent 27% of the total online domestic hotel transactions,” says Magow.
It’s not just to facilitate hotel and flight bookings, apps are also coming in handy for other value-added services like finding a friend or searching for