COVID-19 dealt a body blow to the travel and tourism industry. But as the effects of the pandemic start to wane, Manoj Sharma CTO, Cleartrip.com talks about how technology will be a game-changer and how it will pave the road to recovery.
With the novel coronavirus COVID-19 sweeping across continents and fatalities climbing every day, it was only a matter of time before countries closed their borders to contain its spread.
In the wake of this decision, travel and tourism, the linchpins of many economies, were among the worst affected.
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the COVID-19 pandemic caused a 22 percent fall in international tourist arrivals during the first quarter of 2020, and could see an annual decline of between 60 percent and 80 percent when compared with 2019.
The impact on the economy and to livelihoods that are dependent on tourism and hospitality has been significant. Prior to the pandemic, the outlook was quite different. Research by UNWTO in 2018 estimated that India would have 50 million outbound tourists by 2020.
Technology was also set to play a huge part in that growth. A Google Travel study showed that 74 percent of travellers were planning their trips on the Internet, and technologies like AI, IoT and VR were all set to be key trends this year.
Now, as borders slowly reopen and travel restrictions are gradually lifted, technology could once again be the game-changer. Manoj Sharma CTO, Cleartrip.com spoke to YourStory about the industry’s road to recovery and how technology will aid that journey.
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