The Need of the Modern Traveler
Today everyone seems to be traveling. This, in itself is a good thing for the travel agency. People travel for a host of reasons. Some travel on business while others travel on vacation and yet another category travels for studies. There is a good segment of travelers who travel simply because there are so many attractive travel packages on offer from various travel agencies. This kind of boom is generally boosted by the travel agencies because of acute competition.
It is obviously very important for the new travel agency to jump into the fray with an efficient system for online travel for the growth of its business. This kind of goal can however be attained only with the help of a very responsive travel agency software. Such software will bring about a quantum change in the capability of interaction with the customers besides improving drastically the efficiency of booking.
The modern traveler has no time to visit different travel agencies, discussing his travel plans and then making a booking. It is far simpler for the traveler to simply select the package he likes depending upon the cost, the time available to him and the convenience. This he would like to do without making calls or inquiries in person. There are some valuable tips the OTA or Online Travel Agent needs to ensure so that its customers achieve their goal.
The Significance of the OTA
In the earlier days the travel agencies needed to inform their customers, details regarding the flight such as its availability and schedule. They had to issue the flight tickets and thereafter they received the airline commission. Today the OTA no longer follows this traditional system of booking. Now that the travel agency software is available, the individual customers can all book online. This is the reason why most of today’s OTAs look forward to this model. With the help of the software there are now new openings for the generation of profit for today’s travel agents. This augurs well for the future expansion of the market and will boost business development.
The Options with the OTA
Today, the OTA has several options open to him. With the help of the travel agency software, he is in a position to provide packages for holidays and hotels, tours within a customized package as well as cruises and trips to various locales. Newcomers can open their own agency using the model booking system for OTAs. It is now possible to have one’s own specialization and this could be for pilgrimages and leisure travel besides traveling on business or simply any other category one prefers. One can select one’s sector or area of operation and thereafter commence one’s OTA with the specific offers and options. It is important however to focus on what is the best one can offer and this will always be the key to success. The endeavor must always be to provide the very best of hotels and the best facilities of accommodation. If a package is being offered it must be perfectly customized without any attempt to over price it. Your customers must feel confident that you, as the agent will ensure the perfect deal for them whether it is in hiring of a car or in finding the best place to dine.
The Startup OTA
If you are an OTA you will use an online Business to Consumer or B2C portal as a booking engine for a travel agency with different components. The key differentiation for the selection of such an engine should be:
- The ability of the platform to conduct a quick search of the various content that is involved.
- This must be a robust customer relationship management or CRM
- It must also meet the requirements of a leading portal
- It must give you the flexibility to be able to quickly change the offers or deals as well as put a cost to the new options.
- It must be a quality system, one that is able to assess the behavior of your customers and the trends of the market.
- It should be possible to make every inquiry count. You should be able to track with the help of workflow systems so that your business caters to the needs of all your customers who show interest in your offers.
Before Selecting the Travel Software Company
Before you select your travel software company you must know the kind of products you will have on offer. Will you be offering only flights or flights and hotels? Will you offer packages too? It is only once you have made your mind up that you should check out the travel software company. These checks will include:
- The period the company has been in business.
- Is the company a small one with around four or five people or a large company with more than fifty employees?
- What is the number of customers the company is associated with?
- Check out the satisfaction level with some of these customers.
- You may also check out some of the solutions
- Ask the company for a demonstration of the solution and test it for a week or so
- It is better if the company deals only with travel software solutions
Whether you are a new entrant as an online travel agent or an existing one going in for a software upgrade it is important for you to ensure that your customers’ needs are met in full each time. It is therefore critical to check out the software, the Software Company as well as portal before you launch the software.