Only Smart Travel Companies and Travel Consultants can Rise from the Ashes
The last decade has seen online travel agencies creating havoc with traditional agents business models. Running an online travel agency is very different to the traditional bricks and mortar agency. So if you are a Travel Company or offer Travel Services to your customers, can you easily build a hybrid model that will allow you to have the cake and eat it too, aka, have the online travel agency complement the traditional travel business model?
Smarter travel agents – Work smart not hard
According to a Forrester Research there s a drop of 15% direct clientele for the traditional Travel agent every year since 2009. Traditional Travel Consultants have been required to provide specialized expertise. The retail travel agency community has sustained considerable losses due to the combined impact of the rise of the internet, industry consolidation and the economic downturn. The gap between the dumb online data compared to the specialized and personalized services by the traditional Travel Agent has reduced drastically and the Online Travel Agent is now very close to understanding the needs of the consumer and delivering data instantly.
Smart Travel agents have understood this and have taken the approach of “If you can’t beat them, Join them”. Using your expertise and experience you can add more meat to your Travel Agency Website and offer products that are well beyond even a great agents reach. Integrate an affiliate marketing program into your site.
Difficult questions related to Travel or Tour
In today’s complex lives, there are many questions that an intended traveler needs to ask his Travel Consultant but cannot ask or does not ask.
Having a consumer-driven product search and filtering of alternatives based upon product attributes has worked particularly well while researching for cost effective and tactical travel plans. Also, it would be a good idea to build an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) that your visitor can look up and gain knowledge. This will increase the probability of converting a shopper to a buyer.
Complicated and Important Trips
The internet does not work very well yet (assuming the promise of semantic discovery and artificial intelligence is fulfilled) for identifying the best travel solutions based on a set of complex inter-related conditions. This is why quality travel agencies will continue to remain relevant for the foreseeable future. A travel agency website that can allow a traveler to do basic search and then use tools like chat or ‘Click-to-Call’ will help the travel agent to focus on more important and complicated trips for the traveler.
Research offline and Buy online
You spend a lot of time in
- Clearly understanding your customer needs,
- Providing specialized knowledge regarding available travel options,
- Creating strategic and tactical travel plans that efficiently and cost-effectively align and prioritize those solutions to best address the customer’s needs.
What does your customer do, he takes all that information and buys online for may be a small difference in the price. You can now avoid all this by directing your customer to your “Online Travel Agency” Travel website where he can find competitive options by selecting and de-selecting filters.
Creative Travel Agency – Niche
Individual travel agents and agencies that served merely a transaction processing or order taking role have quickly become redundant when compared to online travel agents. If one does not provide incremental benefit at an appropriate cost – i.e. create value, the chances of being marginalized are very high.
Build your niche and flaunt it on the site. Let the search engines know about your creativity and niche. Your Travel agency website will allow you to thrive in the market segment that others have abandoned or do not have high focus. You will start getting organic traffic to your travel website even while you sleep thus making more money for your time. Employ your travel website to work for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Marketing Strategy for your Online Travel Agency
If you are smart, creative and passionate about travel, and assuming you have built your niche, do the following to increase engagement with your clientele without ever needing to meet them.
- Market segmentation – Let your Online Travel Agency website flaunt your expertise on the subject through all aspects of the trip planning and travel experience life cycle. Your segmentation should look at buyer persona and keyword analysis before you complete this process.
- Blog – you have a lot of experience in your niche and you know the ways and short cuts to get upgrades in the best hotels, how to get special amenities delivered to their rooms, you know the right people in the right places. Write about them on your travel agency website. Pour your knowledge and passion into your words and articles.
- Share Quality Content – build your social network on Facebook, twitter, linkedin etc. Build your travel agency website pages on these platforms and share quality content with your followers. Share deals and opportunities that they look forward to seeing from you. Make your content compelling enough to share with their friends
- Seek feedback and reviews – once your client has completed the tour, seek feedback from your customer on your social media pages. This will help build your online reputation and make it viral. Allow them to upload photos to your pages and make sure you like them.
Join an Affiliate Marketing Program
The affiliate marketing programs are widely viewed as a profitable, win-win situation for both parties involved in this process. Have you ever wondered how a small Travel Company can sell and make available huge hotel inventory at competitive prices? An affiliate marketing program like Expedia (EAN – Expedia Affiliate Network) brings with itself an inventory that you can show and sell on your website. By integrating the Expedia Affiliate Network API on the site, you will be able to display data in the way you want to and also encapsulate the user experience to continue on your travel agency website and continue to market and re-market to you online customers.
Travel agency website for under $100
Quick Travel Affiliate brings to the table a framework that has all the above components already built in. When you sign up with Quick Travel Affiliate, you get
- A well-designed site that is responsive and mobile ready.
- A framework that can give you your own ‘Online Travel Agency (OTA)” in a couple of days
- A team of experts who will help you start earning online revenue in a more strategic manner
- A pre-integrated Expedia Affiliate Network (EAN) API, to help your clients research on your site instead of going elsewhere
- Pre-configured reports and analytics to see how your travel agency website is doing on the internet and lots more…….
Are you ready to get started?