May I Help You... Virtually?
Travel+Leisure India|August 2020
May I Help You... Virtually?
In the absence of patrons, Indian hospitality players have begun to offer brand experiences online. Could this be the future of travel? RIAAN JACOB GEORGE probes.
RIAAN JACOB GEORGE

THESE DAYS, IF YOU LOG in to Instagram or Facebook between 5 pm and 7 pm, you come across a bunch of live sessions on an array of subjects. These real-time video sessions range from counselling chats to tutorials offered by bloggers and cooking demonstrations. Hospitality players haven’t been left behind, aggressively publishing innovative content on social media. The majority of these online experiences are in the form of Instagram and Facebook live sessions, but there are also webinars, Zoom calls, YouTube videos, and what-not available for free consumption to India’s cyber citizens. While hotels, airlines, and other businesses wait for normalcy to return, many are banking on such ancillary experiences on the Internet to drive engagement with patrons.

DIGITAL EXPERIENCES

The Ritz-Carlton, Pune (ritzcarlton. com) conducted a home photography campaign in collaboration with Goa-based narrative photographer Maria Philipose as part of their Pause for Possibilities campaign. People were asked to share their home photographs that were related to travel in some way, and tag the hotel, thereby generating traction. While there is no explicit connection between home photography and the hotel’s offerings, Vineet Mishra, general manager, tells me that they wanted to “make the diverse community capture unique perspectives of this extraordinary worldwide lockdown, which is a shared global experience.”

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August 2020