How digital transformation is revolutionizing travel as we know it
All great revolutions start with a single idea. Booking bus, ferry and train tickets is now available online and enables you to plan less and experience more.
History's greatest revolutions started with a single idea that spread across various industries and ended up changing cultures and perceptions forever.
Another notion that not only stands the test of time, but also becomes even greater as technology develops and makes almost everything more accessible, is our curiosity and passion to explore the world we live in.
With the internet, social media, and Industry 4.0 transforming the world as we know it, the travel industry slowly aligns with digital innovation in ways that are bound to change the way travel is planned and even thought of.
An adventurous heart
Not too long ago, traveling to the far ends of the world was considered a journey in and of itself, which was sometimes even more exciting than the actual destination.
The trip included unknown factors such as when a ferry, for example, will depart from a traveler's current location to its next destination, the fascinating enigma of what type of ferry will the traveler encounter, and what will happen if monsoon season suddenly hits and sailing will no longer be a valid travel option.
These questions and more were definitely not something for the faint of heart as sometimes transportation, especially in developing countries, could include livestock in the form of passengers. Moreover, travelers would often embark on lengthy journeys that lasted around 10 hours, sometimes more, without realizing in advance the amount of time they'd have to spend on the road.
Luckily, these days have passed. In some parts of the world.
A new type of traveler
The fact that travel is catching up on innovation is only natural as today's travelers were basically born with a keyboard (hey millennials!).
As a new generation of travelers now roams the earth and expects everything to be super accessible and available with the click of a mouse, the traditional method of traveling has to change accordingly. While the western part of the world quickly adapts to changes and trends of innovation, in developing countries the issue of online everything becomes a bit more challenging.
Take Thailand, for example. Traveling across the Southeast Asian country was once done by super spontaneous travelers who simply arrived in Bangkok and strolled its busy streets from one travel agency to another in order to book their ride from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Koh Phangan or any other popular Thai destination.
The ultimate vacation planner, however, would heavily research and would most likely contact local agencies from afar or make the arrangement through their domestic agency, only to end up paying way above the standard rate for a travel ticket.
It's 2020, time to get with the times
We know, it's almost 2020 — we have Siri and Alexa in the world, how is a bus ride from Manila to Banaue not available for online booking?
As it turns out, the sheer possibility of booking bus, ferry, or even train tickets online is rather new. With advanced thinking and excellent user experience, online booking websites like Bookaway allow travelers to book ground transportation online without the need for printed tickets and without cash payments.
Interestingly enough, 95% of travelers are not even aware of the online possibility and are physically walking from one local agency to another in an attempt to search, compare and eventually book ground travel tickets, not knowing that the online possibility exists, would probably cost the same as the local agency, and have a world of benefits.
Moreover, opting to book travel tickets online can be done from the comfort of a hotel room or hostel dorm... or even while sipping cocktails at a bar! The last thing travelers want to do is waste valuable travel time spending hours finding reputable local agencies and negotiating ticket costs.
The thing is, traveling to the world's best locations doesn't only have to be for the faint of heart.
As travel tickets are becoming available online, companies are adding aspects of customer care such as 24/7 support, flexible cancellation policies, pick up and drop off requests, and much more, just to make sure travelers won't suffer from any sort of travel-related anxiety and to fully experience the joy of traveling.
Travel is still travel
Yes, ideas spread and change the world.
We grow, we develop, we evolve — but curiosity and the desire to devour the world and explore its endless beauty is something that is so basic and is assimilated in the fabric of our being that we should feel grateful to exist at a time when doing so is not only possible, but also accessible with the click of a mouse.
Keep reading: 7 jobs you can do while traveling as a digital nomad