Change is coming to Pakistan’s hospitality industry in the way hotels and other properties available for rent will market themselves. Travellers will soon find ease in booking accommodations via the Internet as more property owners utilise hospitality portals to advertise. This is a welcome factor of change that positively uses technology to promote commerce and industry in Pakistan. The online shopping trend has been picking up with many major retailers and restaurants enabling online purchasing as well as the introduction of several major websites where consumers can acquire goods, including automobiles, with just a few clicks and an electronic mode of payment, avoiding the hassle of driving and sifting through hundreds of goods in bustling bazaars before finding what they need. For consumers in busy cities, this means saving time; for consumers in remote areas, online shopping portals, such as the newly introduced Jovago.com for accommodation booking, means more access to information and variety.
There are still kinks in Pakistan’s systems that inhibit growth in various tech industries, such as faulty taxation and recordkeeping -- probably confusing foreign investors as they enter from developed countries with transparent, fair and mostly corruption-free taxation. The government should focus on facilitating companies seeking to expand business in Pakistan. Now is a time that Pakistan is attracting some brave investors but with barriers and challenges in place that are not paid heed to, the country’s reputation will soon go down with interested investors. Online accommodation booking is over a decade old and hosts a plethora of websites. Its introduction in should be supported by focusing on Internet security and integrity. A crucial requirement is to build trust and confidence between consumers and online businesses. With domestic travel gaining momentum and more people looking for accommodations, often for which limited information is available, educating consumers and making them more comfortable with Internet shopping is the way forward.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 16th, 2017.
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