Transforming India's Tech Landscape: Generative AI & Travel Industry Advancements

Sreejith AR, technology professional with deep industry experience in Application management, Service operations and Service Delivery. He has extensive knowledge in various middleware technologies and messaging products. He has diverse experience in Infrastructure Management, Operations, Delivery, Business Development, People Management, Competency Development, Project and Delivery Management, Customer and Vendor Management

Indias technology sector is evolving to include emerging technology such as generative AI. What are your thoughts on the role of such technologies for our countrys landscape?
India has redefined its economic landscape and complimenting the same there have been significant tech advancements. As we aim to achieve the ambitious goal of becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2025, businesses across various sectors must utilize emerging technologies such as cloud, AI/ML, data analytics to accelerate progress. These solutions not only reduce infrastructure investments but also give emerging businesses a competitive advantage. Take for example, a subset of AI - Gen AI which is causing massive waves globally and an effect of it is also found in India where we have already witnessed close to 60+ startups in the domain which will ultimately contribute towards innovation in the country. Data driven insights will prove to be instrumental in understanding the needs of India's population of 1.4 billion and driving the country's growth. With this and much more India’s landscape will flourish as businesses find ways to benefit the end customer.

The travel industry is growing massively owing to various technological support and advancement. What are the key technologies accelerating the sector’s growth in India?
India’s travel industry is on a significant growth trajectory and in 2022 the contribution of country's travel and tourism sector to its economy was worth Rs 15.7 trillion. By the end of current year, it is expected to reach Rs 16.5 trillion. The industry's growth is powered by the internet revolution and the utilization of data to personalize experiences and to bring offers to travellers faster with technology such as open platforms. Another key technology for the sector is AI which is revolutionizing customer experiences by powering personalized recommendations, chatbots for instant assistance and predictive analytics for demand forecasting. Meanwhile cloud computing ensures seamless access to data and services, enhancing collaboration among stake holders and enabling agile scalability. Furthermore, digitization drives paperless transactions, streamlined bookings, and real time updates, elevating overall operational efficiency.

With predictions around the massive growth of the sector, it is no surprise that concepts such as niche tourism are gradually witnessing a rise

What role do you think technology led experience personalization plays in today’s travel sector? How relevant do you think it is in India especially?
According to a report by McKinsey, 'Next in Personalization 2021', personalization matters more than before and companies who excel at demonstrating customer intimacy generate faster rate of revenue growth than their peers. Over the years, technology driven personalization plays a pivotal role, particularly resonant in India where Millennials and GenZ prioritize experiential value and are willing to invest more for personalised journeys. While personalization might have not been a historical focal point, the industry is undergoing a transformative shift, propelled by modern retailing and technological strides. The sector has recognized this need for change and leveraging advanced technologies such as AI, ML and data analytics to enable travel providers to craft tailored itineraries, offer local insights, and creating lasting memories. An example of this is if a flight is delayed, the hotel must get to know in advance which will allow them to offer a late check in or offer other services as they deem fit. As we come closer to breaking silos, it will become a more integrated industry allowing for better personalization for the customers.

What are the key requirements when it comes to technology deployment for OTAs? How does Amadeus address it?
Online travel is becoming the most talked about and the most leveraged of all services within the industry. The online travel market in India is expected to expand to about 31 billion U.S. dollars by financial year 2025. To be successful, OTAs require robust technology backing to support the increasing demand. Collaboration with other players in the industry to understand the market and the needs of travelers is also important. For example, at Amadeus, we offer Live Travel Space allowing all travel players to connect and effectively address the need of travelers. This also allows travelers to receive seamless travel experience right from easy-to-use user interface to multi-provider solutions.

OTAs need to constantly evolve and for that there is a need to enable online shoppers to search and get their desired air content at the most affordable rates. We offer Amadeus Master Pricer which is a search solution for travel retailers that aim to provide efficiency to travelers in booking cheaper tickets over a wide choice of airlines.

Apart from technological advancements, what other factors do you believe are contributing to the growth of the travel industry in India?
With predictions around the massive growth of the sector, it is no surprise that concepts such as niche tourism are gradually witnessing a rise. This includes adventure tourism, heritage tourism, nature tourism, allowing a tailored version of travel adhering to an individual’s requirements.

India on its own is a culturally diverse destination allowing for deeper and more meaningful travel experiences resulting in overall growth of the sector. Government’s efforts towards the sector have become a key contributor towards India’s booming travel industry. Investments made towards road infrastructure have increased connectivity allowing for enhanced experience. Further, this year’s budget had plans laid out for the sector and introduced the ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ scheme, where a total of 50 destinations in the country will be selected to be developed as a package in tourism. The government has plans to transform 17 iconic tourist sites into world class destinations. With many such schemes and the rising interest from travellers, the industry is bound to achieve newer heights.