Travel Uncharted Bangladesh: Digital Insights
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Contributor Written by Contributor on August 30, 2014


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Anybody investigating the travel industry in Bangladesh is in for a surprise. In recent years as the world is looking more closely at South-East Asia as a great potential to fill out gaps in the global economic scene, a great surge in enterprise has come from Bangladesh. More people are venturing into Bangladesh, and more importantly, more people are venturing out. Who are these people and what is the reason behind this sudden influx of travel?

Before we can dive straight into the matter a greater understanding of the situation is needed to make that dive smoother. First we have to understand the cause before we can take advantage of the great potential available at our hands. Why is the travel hub booming all of a sudden now? There are plenty of factors, big and small, that have come into effect at almost exactly the same time. Globalisation is a big one. The shift to Asia is inevitable. As more enterprises (both large and small) emerge more global trade is encouraged. More trade means more money, and what do people do if they have money? They travel.

Google Searches for Holiday

 

This is the scene that now presents itself- more opportunities for global businesses are here now than before, which means more people are traveling for business, and also a sizable chunk of those “business travelers” find a vacation every odd season very rewarding. Multinational companies have a big presence here in Bangladesh and they have allowed a gateway to be opened that lets Bangladeshis have a small taste of the big world out there.

The internet has played no small part in this either. True, Bangladesh may be a little behind the majority of the world with only the arrival of 3G but internet is here and it is big. It’s in our phones, our tabs, computers and laptops and the country has taken full advantage of it. With many other avenues of access to internet and its potential uses still in the fetal stages in Bangladesh there’s a lot of work to be done here but the beginning of it is starting to take shape.

Many companies find it hard to acquire the capital to have a physical presence so they have a large and loud online presence. This is the future and it is the core of the issue at hand. Technology, travel and the internet- all interconnected to let a flow travel into and out of Bangladesh happen. Information is priceless and they way it comes to us is so significant. This is not the age where people go looking for information but rather it comes to them. Online social networking has become a part of life and these platforms, along with a little sophisticated targeting that digital marketing agencies make use of, lets us have little nuggets of information of all kinds without going through the hassle of searching the vast sea of information available on internet.

This uncharted and ever growing sea of information on the internet is so crucial to the travel industry in Bangladesh. What’s so special about it? Data. Digital marketing agencies like WebAble Digital in Bangladesh have the upper hand here. They can take all that data, screen it, filter it, cut, size and tailor it and then deliver it to the masses with such an efficient targeting strategy that travelers who want to travel with receive the information they only want and need.

There’s so much information available online it’s necessary to customize it. A bridge needs to be built above that sea of information that will safely lead the people who provide and engage in the travel industry to those who want to travel. It’s also very important to keep track of this transient data. Its always changing, peaking with the trends and falling ever so suddenly. All that information you have this week will be useless in the next.

For instance, the average monthly search for “Malaysia” in Google from Bangladesh was 4400 in January 2013 while it jumped to 9900 in March 2014. People are looking

It also helps to know how the niche market works. The greatest travel activity that happens in Bangladesh is Eid- people travel within the country and out of it too. For any market, there’s also at least one peak in the year for smart entrepreneurs to make their move. The continuously shifting data tells a story- who is the target market? Is it the young populace or the corporate one? Compared to all the years when do they move about more? How much are they willing to spend on their trip? This information would help any travel service agent tailor their packages and services and get the most out of a large number of people.

What can agencies and small business that offer travel services do to make more money and understand and make use of the statistics available? The starting point is knowing who your  target market is. There’s always a group of people who are travelling out of Bangladesh throughout the year inspite of the misconception that travel only happens for corporate purposes and during Eid. True, travelling goes up around that time but collectively  there’s a larger market out there.

What should travel agencies do to reign in the eager travel fanatics that are emerging from the youth? Firstly they should understand the youth are young explorers with a thirst for adventure. Creating typical packages with visits to museums and scenic locations are in no way attractive to the youth. Many young people, like to travel not just for the beaches or the shopping spree but to have a unique experience. There’s hiking, trekking, visiting ethnic cultures, surfing etc. Unfortunately, there aren’t any travel agencies in Bangladesh that arrange for such activities so there are a large number of tourists roaming abroad without any travel agencies offering a package they like. The best suggestion for travel agencies is to create packages that have more exciting youth oriented activities.

An important thing many businesses, entrepreneurs and agencies alike forget is to have a vision. Building the company and what it stands for around the vision of the company creates a fail safe plan around what the business plans to do, who the business is for and how to do it. This ideology creates a firm foundation for confused agencies and is also the first stepping stone of creating a loyal community. It provides the image that the company is in the industry not just  to make a profit but to offer something special to people. This is what Bangladesh travel agencies need to do at the core to become the best in the game- have a niche, create some unique travel experience for their targeted consumers and maintain an image of being what they stand for.