19 APR, 2013
Last evening, I was busy playing a very popular video game on my iPad. The rules of the game are simple. All you need to do is complete a daily mission and in pursuit, jump over trains, dodge the hurdles and most importantly collect perks in form of gold coins and mystery gifts.
Are you really getting the drift?
Video games have been designed since a long time to tap the natural human instinct: a constant desire to learn, make things better in wake of hurdles, better ourselves and finally emerge victorious.
With computers becoming handy and tablets becoming ubiquitous people are taking games along with them, wherever they go to support them during idle times like waiting it out at an airport during a layover, busting the stress from writing code etc.,
The fact of the matter is that games are taking over your daily life. In-fact, at new age offices like tavisca (which employs a lot of millennials and is also recognized as a Great Place to Work, employees de-stress by playing Scrabble, Chess , Pool .
What’s in Gamification for Travel Business
The idea about “gamification in travel” is not a new one.
Online Travel agencies (OTA) already use automated mechanisms to make the consumer save his money. OTA’s commission world class travel technology to scour the internet to find if the prices for the itinerary, that its customer just booked have dropped. In case there is a lower price available, the OTA’s guarantee extra savings for the consumer. This indeed makes up for a lot of customer satisfaction – A simple cue (A higher itinerary price) leads to a reward (the travel technology finding valuable savings for the traveler).
In 2011, the social gaming industry was pegged to be worth $1.2 billion in size. Yet, there is no game that I have come across which is directed solely towards encouraging travel booking.
It seems to be an interesting possibility indeed. What if travel technology companies and travel agents get together to develop video games targeted towards a consumer segment. All the traveler would do is play a game and complete a daily mission. And while the he is at it, earn loyalty points and mystery gifts. Loyalty points can buy him a real travel ticket and mystery gifts could mean exciting travel deals!
In-fact, with newer travel groups coming to the forefront gamification will make more sense. Millennials simply love to travel and make connections around the world. Needless to say, they are hooked on to video games as well.
Is there a possible concern? In a free economy that we live in it will be challenging to get travelers shell out a small amount to win a costlier travel deal and this amount to be paid could be subject to multiple considerations. However this could be tackled if the computer game delivers an immersive experience so close to reality that the traveler is drawn to make an impulse purchase in the gaming environment itself. For instance : FarmVille, a game by Zynga draws the gamer to purchase extra coins to continue farming in the virtual world !
Picture this : While John, as 16 year old is waiting at the London Airport for a connecting flight to New York which incidentally is about 6 hours away, pulled out his tablet, hooked on to the free wi-fi at the airport to play a video game he loved and guess what ! In those 4 hours that he waited playing video games, he won some exciting travel deals and in turn planned the next vacation to Turkey!
Indeed! Travel Companies, greener pastures are calling ! See you there.
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