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How Technology impacts the Travel Agency Landscape

Travel Agency
August 2, 2016 By Trip-Smart
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Historically, the Travel Agency industry was among the first large scale users of Computers and software based data processors globally. It is little wonder therefore that the Travel Industry, specially the Travel Agencies have been most impacted by the advancement in technologies in the recent years, specially pertaining to the use of internet in ticketing and travel planning.

The travel Agencies act as a mediator between the customers and the travel service providers. The travel industry being an extremely complex and diverse industry that comprises of many different interrelated industries such as airlines, hotels, auto rentals and others require an active and efficient system to coordinate between the different services and make them available to the customers in a seamless way, this is where the Travel Agencies are using the available technologies to provide a smooth and uninterrupted travel experience to the travellers. The emerging technologies of today have impacted the Travel Agency Landscape in multiple ways and in all the four fundamental roles of the travel agencies which are information, distribution, reservation and services. Some of the notable ways in which the technology has impacted the travel agency landscape are:

Cloud Computing: If the internet changed the way people thought of and interacted with their travel agents, the advent and popularity of Cloud Computing has taken many processes of the travel agent to a whole new level. The Travel agents, through cloud computing have seamless access to an easily scalable online infrastructure which can be used on an on demand basis, thereby reducing the set up costs to a large extent. The cloud computing has also been able to develop technologies to drastically improve the customer service experiences. Owing to the mobility allowed by the cloud, the travel customers can easily access websites, shared applications and reservation tools from any part of the world, any time of the day or night. Cloud computing has also provided the travel agents with far higher levels of flexibility owing to the inherent seasonal nature of the travel industry business, where the requirements of storage needs change seasonally. Also, the travel agents are accorded far higher levels of data security through encrypted solutions, backup recovery and firewalls etc.In terms of mobility too, the cloud computing provides the travel agents with unmatched levels of mobility whereby they can access their reservations, issue and change bookings from anywhere on the globe improving effectiveness of assets and uptime and boosting employee productivity.

Customer Service: The emerging technologies have enabled the Travel Agents to provide much higher levels of service to the clients thereby making them more competitive and efficient. The main customer benefits are the following:

  1. a) Cost Advantage: Technology can be used well by the Travel Agents to showcase and promote the products in a more cost effective and interactive fashion through the use of interactive technologies and multimedia platforms. This enables the customer to understand the product better and make an informed choice, at the same time decreasing the manpower costs as well the costs incurred in printed brochures etc.
  2. b) Enhanced Product Experience: Technology can be most effectively used in the enhancement of many product attributes by the Travel Agents. Processes such as information exchange and use of e commerce platforms towards simplifying payments, at the same time indulging in more enhanced virtual experiences through videos and pictures etc to help in the selection of destinations, for example. The functionality of pre selecting Airline seats and hotel rooms etc, as well as booking tours etc beforehand can also deliver a better travel experience made possible by the use of technology.

Customer Relationship Management: Technology can be a great help in maintaining and enhancing customer relationship by use of real time communication and increased customization thereby providing more satisfying services to the customers. New Technologies also help in maintaining the customer database and their preferences and travel history etc. that is an invaluable tool towards providing unique travel solutions based on past consumption. The travel agents can also reach out to a large group of customers simultaneously and apprise them of any unique product offerings etc.

Travel Agencies are being increasingly seen as one of the sectors whose jobs are being replaced by technologies in a big way. In this scenario, it is incumbent upon the Travel Agencies to provide unique, personalized and heavily customized services to the customers and practice value addition techniques and differentiate themselves with the easily accessible, on demand information and travel products available online. To that end, the Travel Agents have to make use of the available technology and utilize those in a way that can be beneficial for both the business as well as the customers, so that they can remain relevant and important in a technology heavy Travel and Tourism marketplace.

Trip-Smart Travel Solutions is a full service, bespoke travel solutions company focused on delivery to the B2B market with 60 years of experience in the online travel domain. We provide Travel Api (flight api, hotel api, car api, cruise api). We also provide white-label travel portal/private label travel portal, travel affiliate programs and travel fulfillment services.

For more info, contact:

Mike Putman
mputman@trip-smart.com
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