Personalisation to drive digital future in travel

Customer-centric needs will power future advancements in digitisation and technology in the travel and transportation sector, and businesses will have to design their technologies around individualised user experience and safety, both physical and data-related, to grow and retain loyalty, experts said here today.

YouTube follows Amazon into movie theatres

YouTube has announced it is making a movie in-house to be released in theaters, in a development seen as a step towards the model of new-media innovator Amazon.

‘Vulture Club’, which is in post-production, stars Oscar winner Susan Sarandon (‘Dead Man Walking’, ‘Th­elma and Louise’) as an emergency room nurse wh­ose son is been kidnapped by terrorists. Directed by Iranian-Ame­rican Maryam Keshavarz (‘Circumstance’), the thri­ller also stars Edie Falco (The Sopranos, ‘Nurse Jackie’) and Matt Bomer (‘Magic Mike’, ‘American Horror Story: Hotel’).

E-commerce players to control 70% online inventory by 2020

By 2020, the stock keeping and delivery of 70 per cent of consumer goods sold online will be controlled by the e-commerce companies. The share of goods dispatched by sellers on their own has been shrinking in the past two years. This scenario will keep on increasing the need for investments by e-commerce companies and consequently profitability will remain elusive.

US mulls new law to guard call centre jobs

A new legislation has been introduced in the US Congress that would require call centre employees in India to disclose their location and give customers the right to reroute their calls to agents in their own country. The legislation, introduced by Democrat Senator Sherrod Brown from Ohio, proposes to create a public list of firms that would outsource call centre jobs and give preference in federal contracts to companies that haven’t shipped these jobs outside the US.

Faced with pollution, Modi's govt buys air purifiers

As pollution choked Delhi in recent years, a total of 140 air purifiers were purchased for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s offices and at least six other government agencies, according to previously unpublished government data.

The purchases came as Modi faced criticism for not taking effective steps to improve air quality in Delhi, one of the world’s most polluted cities.

Google pushes to turn product searches into cash

Alphabet Inc’s Google routinely fields product queries from millions of shoppers. Now it wants to take a cut of their purchases, too.

The US technology company is teaming up with retailers including Target Corp, Walmart Inc, Home Depot Inc, Costco Wholesale Corp and Ulta Beauty Inc.

Under a new programme, retailers can list their products on Google Search, as well as on the Google Express shopping service, and Google Assistant on mobile phones and voice devices.

Airports stretched as passengers reach new heights

India’s airports are struggling to cope with a massive surge in passenger numbers and billions of dollars must be spent to boost their capacity, analysts have warned.

The country is witnessing a huge boom in air travel as its growing middle class increasingly takes to the skies but experts say infrastructure is failing to keep up.

“There’s an urgent need for capacity building in major Indian airports as they are bursting at the seams and close to saturation,” Binit Somaia, South Asia Director at the Centre for Aviation (CAPA), said.

Half of Indian travellers to spend Rs 1 lakh this summer

India is one of the fastest growing countries in terms of number of travellers and their travel spends. No wonder, around half of Indian travellers are willing to spend at least Rs one lakh this summer. 

Almost 45 per cent of the Indian travellers hope to spend at least Rs 1 lakh on their summer travel, while around 16 per cent of the holidaymakers are planning to spend over Rs 3 lakh, finds a survey by global travel search engine KAYAK.

EoI invited for first pod taxi

The government has invited expression of interest (EoI) to execute the country’s maiden pod taxi project on Delhi-Gurgaon corridor, Parliament was informed on Thursday.

The development follows a high-level panel recommending inviting fresh bids for the project, also known as personal rapid transport (PRT), conforming to the strictest safety standards on the lines of those prescribed by an American body.

Bangalore third cheapest city in the world

Tech capital Bangalore is the third cheapest city in the world, as per a report compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), an arm of The Economist Group.

The report places Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi in the sixth, seventh and tenth positions respectively. Also the report says, these four Indian cities are among the 10 cheapest places on the planet.

Kazakhstan’s Almaty is the cheapest in the world, followed by Lagos in Nigeria. Karachi is placed 4th, Algerian capital Algiers 5th,

Ukrainian capital Kiev 8th and Romanian Bucharest is ranked 9th.