How digitalization has helped improved travel agencies
For traditional travel agents it is either get online and face the frenzy or get left behind. The Information Age proves to be advantageous to the travel agent in communicating and strengthening clientele relationships. But like a flip side of a coin it can be a burden. Destination goers continue to challenge travel agencies by seeking their own routes through online booking giants AirBNB.
Digitalization has improved how easily travel agencies can converse with their customers. Face to face communication that traditional housed agencies required is no longer of use. High Speed Internet allows travel agencies to connect with their target audience in seconds. The use of analogue technologies such as the manual landline made the role of travel agents much more tedious. Travelers seeking to organize their foreign trips had to physically visit agencies. Trying to book your trip on the phone could take anywhere from days to weeks.
The Internet has it downfalls for the business owner. Ultimately, a business is only a great as the value it has to provide to its consumers. The quickest way for any small business to scale is through word of mouth. This catalyzed by the transparency and connectivity the Internet provides to all. What people say about your service is the dealbreaker in your success. Since the advent of digitalization a whole lot of people can make complaints, feedbacks and recommendations via email. Complaints from customers are not the be all end all for online travel agencies. This feedback is constructive criticism and supports the continued growth of the business. OTA’s can pinpoint their mistakes, adapt their practices and optimize for success.
To say the Internet has changed the practices of travel agencies would be an understatement. According to Skift, the number of travel agents has declined significantly from 124,030 in 1997 to 64,250 in 2013. Consumers have migrated to the Internet to explore its limitless array of choice in online booking opportunities. This means that fewer people feel the need to go to an agent in person as they can utilize their devices.
Online hotel booking giants Airbnb prove to be troublesome for OTAs. Founded over 11 years ago, Airbnb is an apartment sharing startup valued at over $25 billion. The platform allows hosts around the world to open their homes to guests seeking to visit the local destination. Holiday makers can easily communicate their travel dates. In addition, the platform utilizes a secure messaging service that verifies both parties identities.
Tomorrow’s blog will uncover the tools to optimize your business for success. Some of the topics to be discussed tomorrow include: