Wildlife tourism is slowly on the rise in India and is obtaining global recognition too. From the Indian rhinoceros, leopard and Bengal tigers, to Asian elephants, Asiatic lions, sloth bears and hundreds of bird species, a steady stream of tourists from all across the world are arriving on Indian shores for a glimpse at these The large number of people looking for resources to inform such journeys has opened a market for unique online offerings.
One example is WildTrails, an application that uses data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver a personalised experience for wildlife travellers. The app shows users the sightings index for a given species within a given time frame. Based on this, one can book packaged tours for that sanctuary.
The app is finding many takers, especially since one does not get reservations if bookings are not made at least three months in advance for many wildlife tours, says Manjunath Gowda, CEO, WildTrails. “Our research shows growth at 30 per cent which is unmatched in any industry. Such solutions are popular in the West, where wildlife vacations are more popular. But, I see wildlife tourism becoming mainstream and getting a niche/premium tag in India as well,” he adds.
According to Gowda, the app “provides all information for a particular park, along with sightings”.
“We have a separate app for recording sightings. Naturalists use that to source information across all national parks and tiger reserves. We run data analytics and machine learning to build a predictable model around it, using artificial intelligence. That helps a lot while planning your trip,” he adds.
WildTrails began offering the app around three years ago and currently boasts more than “a million active users” on their Facebook page. As of now, the app covers more than 70 countries, with details of sightings and trips across Africa set to be added in a couple of months.