Social Outage and Dysfunctional Opportunities: Sachin Bansal

In tourism business it is important to understand that ‘one size does not fit all’ and that is the key to success writes Sachin Bansal, Founder and Chief Explorer, India City Walks.


In today’s virtual world, in-person communication has changed. The many ways of virtual communication are still far away from connecting us to the real value chain of human interaction. Of course, if communication is not right, then the desired outcome can also not be in the right frame. The combination to understand meaning and create a socialisation process is unique to evolved souls known as human beings. Initially it felt that the world is healing, the planet is recuperating but when we look into the details, we know that the planet needs much more time to revive and some damages are irreversible too. Similarly, the human mind in this current phase is trying to  catch hold of every opportunity, even though they might have arrived through a dysfunctionality.

The fundamental scenario in the travel sector across world today is all about socio-economic and human resource problems  which have come as a result of social outage further bringing the restriction in transport and hospitality businesses. In other words, a dysfunctional world of travel where we are trying to move digitally as socially and physically, we are completely restricted. 

Every restriction in the past few months has made humans reflect on their actions and outcomes. The digital interaction is forcing us to adapt to newer situations and come to decision based on visuals. The digital mediums are fast which cannot mitigate human expectations without associating with the realm of the senses. The human complexities have been reduced in lockdown directed digital communication.

Exploration still remains the same, as the search process is detrimental to interactive characters and conversations are backing the experiential showcase to create opportunities than answering the problem-solving elements.  There is too much information and too little to support through case studies or historic past or feedbacks. The credibility is framed within the décor of the screens and moderation is coordinated with élan. The failure to recognise the speed of immutable dysfunctional interactions without knowledge is creating gaps and bringing consequences related to complex behaviours for young nations. 

It is important to understand the dysfunctional opportunities have paved the way for new scenarios across sectors. The economic impact for everything has become evident in the world because of ‘time is money’ syndrome. The digital conversations are aligned first and resonate less to the brand values of individual or the organisation as competency are becoming gradually limited. 

The consumption of information is a must to establish facts and formalises the outcomes in a virtual scenarios.  The interactions without knowledge makes the exchange difficult and specially when feedback is limited to text driven modes and not vocal exchange. The digital mediums speed up everything but cannot satiate the human nature in social-cultural context. 

At City Explorers, a private limited company in India, the new normal of travel is to re-imagine and re-enable the business vision by offering transformative travel. New products like Interactive City Discoveries™ define company’s future portfolio and support sustainable development goals with green components throughout customer journey. The current networking realities are glued with webinars, virtual workshops, interviews for expanding knowledge however, these options do report negative behaviours. The participant much of time gets swayed from the objective of learning and brings dissatisfaction for select few who aspire but lack confidence. 

The communities who mobilize the services on ground shy away from virtual world because they believe in human connections. The traders who commodify the products and services of communities often become their advocates and further up their presence by adopting digital platforms, as they need to find alternative forms of making sales.  The persistence levels go up and the sale is considered as the opportunity of lowering overheads. 

The travel and hospitality sector are geographically vast. The businesses under this sector have well-endowed potential of maximising economic resources. The digital conversations bring the new ways to understand the growing demand and the justifications managed through digital approach becomes the first indicator to connect several facets of the hosts. 

The replication of behaviours in an online environment to that people of in offline environment does not involve location or time constraints. The setting is comfortable, and debates are controlled.  The leverage is best done only by select few who get involved in the on ground activities.  Now,  it’s time for travel and hospitality sector to keep on ‘RESONATING EXPERIENCE DELIVERY OUTCOME REDO™’ through digital formats and keeping ‘socially conscious™’ approach. As per David Brier “Consumers today have become a cynical mob of buyers who believe the reviews and ratings of complete strangers much more readily than your brand's promises and distinctions.”  This standardisation of services if done by policymakers in shadow of pandemic to manage sector competitiveness will effectively make ‘real life experiences’ dysfunctional. The price gradation, if implemented, will negate sustainable ways of holidaying as hosts led experiences will then get moulded on human choices.

The probability of successful metric from digital media will ultimately arise but only if there is a willingness to genuinely participate and disseminate information and make a positive changes in the society. If the focus deviates to aggregated human service delivery management then exploitation strategies will impact economic resources. The cultural flavours get detoriated without climate-related sustainability goals and public awareness for  the world of arts, culture and heritage and the business of tourism. The most struggling sector within the tourism domain is tour guiding. The guides were always meant to be on road and not stationed in front of the gadgets.  The experience delivery phenomena is now co-related to the new gadgets or filters to justify the knowledge. The age of the person does matter to gig economy influencers when hiring resources for discovery led authentic exploration.  However, now it is reverse of roles as the gig are going digital with visually appealing  knowledge and not contributing to on-ground guiding sector in tourism. The apt quote by Amy Pascal “Brands should think of themselves not as storytellers but storybuilders. We plant seeds of content and let our community build on it.” 

In tourism business it is important to understand that ‘one size does not fit all’ and that is the key to success. It is never about the registration, the views, the likes - it’s all about making people shift from their current habits. The trick is not to buy digital mediums and show fake likings but with little imagination answer the need for visibility. The change in thinking behind ‘what’s important’ and ‘what’s not’ will bring respect for the humans’ diverse capabilities and open up avenues of endless creativity, competency and stability to accomplish the communal harmony. 

The shared information has to empower the audience who get hooked to the digitally cluttered programs to seek knowledge. The stimulated probing, spotting, networking and testing enable people to pursue excellence. The imagination and origination get its correct potential inside civic community groups who implement ideas with unplanned collaborations. Anything planned becomes an agenda to promote and most of times nullify vision boards created to achieve goals through data driven strategies. The people contaminated by unethical practices with great conversations can never compete  with experienced souls who work and get to know customer behaviours.  The casualness of being digital first at times lead to commotion of an individual and brand. It is because of social outage, that as humans we try to gather new information and experiences to satisfy our needs. This time ideally should have been used to reconstruct, re-build and re-imagine, but we have singlehandedly proven that this race does not believe in any form of outage can stop them. Of course, this is courageous, but to a point where we still strive to be original and not imitate. Today there is social outage, tomorrow there might be any other form of closure or disconnect, we will have to give ourselves the time to be original and simultaneously recuperate. There is no winner if we all hit a saturation. There will be no satisfaction if we all try to embrace the dysfunctional opportunities by replicating each other’s acts. Rather, take that creative break, take time to under what would be the optimum use of this opportunity. 

Lastly, as skies are getting blue due to lockdown it is important to understand that socially responsible market liaising is the key to remain active in society.  The sustainability in tourism sector will be achieved by being responsible for own actions and travel certainly will get expensive but much more authentic as cleanliness plus hygiene now going to be even more crucial than ever.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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