India is known for its cultural heritage, diverse landscapes, and numerous attractions, making it a popular tourist destination that provides various services to make travel memorable and enjoyable. Tourism services encompass physical and digital channels and require analysis from different service delivery viewpoints. As the tourism numbers regain post-COVID growth rates from 1.52 million in 2021 to 6.19 million in 2022, greater investment is needed by the Indian government to support the growth of the tourism industry.
At the same time, the tourism service experience needs to be improved regarding how customers perceive and interact with these services. To explore factors impacting customer service experience with online services, a study from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi has core customer service concepts, suggesting that various tangible and intangible service delivery aspects influence tourists’ satisfaction. Based on social media discussions, the study identified tangible factors influencing the tourism service experience.
Analysing social media insights
Social media can provide perception and the central theme of discussion about Indian tourism and heritage among tourists. By examining 146,000 tweets using sentiment analysis, topic modeling, and netnography, the inference indicates traveller’s service encounters. Service providers in the travel industry should go the extra mile to meet and surpass the diverse requirements of travellers, which include comprehensive support with language, cultural orientation, and other aspects. As the industry evolves and adapts to changing times, its commitment to providing a kaleidoscope of services remains unwavering, making India a must-visit destination for a world of travellers.
Moreover, analysing social media data allows for identifying factors influencing tourist services. The findings have highlighted several pertinent factors, including affordability (in the form of dynamic pricing), local infrastructure and accommodations, tourist preferences (such as climate and attractions), security, data privacy, digital tools, and available technologies—all impacting the overall tourist experience.
Insights into security, technology, and destination preferences
The result explains several aspects, such as enhanced security measures contributing positively to customer satisfaction, making tourists more willing to pay extra for exceptional experiences, particularly when they believe their personal data and physical well-being are safeguarded. Furthermore, tourists and those in the hospitality industry seek accurate forecasts to make informed decisions regarding travel schedules and accommodation choices. A tourism firm providing accurate information can lead to an enhanced tourism service experience.
Similarly, dynamic pricing mechanisms necessitate substantial computational efforts, reinforcing the role of artificial intelligence in these processes. The interplay between dynamic pricing and service delivery enhances consumers’ perceptions. The influence of climate conditions is another aspect that affects destination choices and the timing of trips and indirectly affects the overall quality of the experience and consumer satisfaction. Nevertheless, the destination remains a more crucial factor for most travellers than the local climate.
Also, this study extracts the problems tourists face while travelling around the country. For example, dynamic price significantly affects the tourism experience of the tourists because tourists check the overall cost of the trip in terms of the cost of a stay, transportation charges, and food charges at the destinations before going on the trip. Security and safety are also the main subjects of concern for tourists when selecting destinations for upcoming trips. Therefore, policymakers, stakeholders, and firms must shift their focus to these aspects of services.
Enhancing travel experiences through reviews and technology integration
After this, the next critical discussion of the study was social media reviews. As per data, 80% of travellers read online reviews before purchasing tourism items, and social media platforms give them knowledge and awareness about the place. Since 2014, the government has shifted its focus from analogous services to digitisation, improving consumers’ sentiment level. The tourism industry is leading the edge of digitisation and will continuously grow in the coming era.
This coming era represents the various challenges faced by stakeholders involved in the tourism sector, which needs the incorporation of digital technology in tourism. For example, digitisation in booking services and digital payments has contributed majorly to the present structure and the growth of the tourism sector. Hence, the research tried to connect the above-mentioned variables and digital services to improve the tourists’ overall experience.
Addressing the gaps in the above-mentioned tangible services with technology may help make a good policy and advance services to enhance tourism in India. Based on that, this study first explores the tangible aspects of tourism by highlighting the effect of technologies on tourism. It might be advisable for the Indian government to create policies that demonstrate destinations’ relevance, values, and worthiness to visitors using intangible tools such as digital media and real-time services to people who desire to visit the destination’s appeal, which influences good word of mouth and destination loyalty.
Kar, A. K., Choudhary, S. K., & Ilavarasan, P. V. (2023). How can we improve tourism service experiences: insights from multi-stakeholders’ interaction. Decision, 50(1), 73-89. https://doi.org/10.1080/23738871.2022.2057865