If you’re reading this, you probably clicked on a link to access this page on your digital device.

You could be anywhere: on a beach, sipping a cocktail, at home, at the office, without a piece of paper in sight. The travel trade has come far since Thomas Cook sold the first packaged tours in the 1800s. You’ve felt the winds of change, observed your customers’ habits evolving. You probably dread the dawn of digital as much as you welcome it. But there’s no need to fear travel tech when you’ve got Wetu to read the code and crack it for you.

What’s the buzz?

A key component of the travel tech revolution is the shift to a consumer-focused approach. Everything must revolve around what your customers demand and expect to experience.

From experiential travel to personalised consumer experiences, you can’t feed them the same old travel fodder that used to work and expect them to stay loyal.

From the frequent flyers down to the hip, cool, cruise-loving grannies, everyone is somehow plugged into social media. They have Facebook accounts and surf the Net for specials. They also post online reviews during and after travel. Time to get in on that action!

Travel marketing with tech

Your professional to-do list includes customer acquisition and retention, sales and marketing, and networking with other industry professionals. Technology features right through that list:

  • You can build your brand online by promoting and advertising using sophisticated, attractive, digital content, distributed far and wide on a variety of marketing platforms and sales channels. With digital content as your foundation, including emotive videos, virtual tours and interactive itineraries, you can quickly spice up your website. Do you have the resources and talent that will help you achieve your goals?
  • You can empower your target customers with a seamless purchasing experience from the time they choose a destination to selecting activities and other interests. Invest in a messaging service during travel and follow up with a post-travel email. Do you have the tools to support them with the necessary service touchpoints to make them feel taken care of? 
  • You can engage prospective clients on social media because that’s where travellers are active, seeking recommendations, reading reviews, and sharing their views. Does your marketing collateral connect with social?
  • You can access product information from your preferred accommodation, restaurant and activity suppliers stored and curated in the cloud, using their content and specials in itineraries, ranking and matching them with the right clients. When it’s all live and up to date, you can also ensure that the content you use to populate your proposals is always accurate.

Weighing up the cost of tech

The real question is: what’s the cost of not investing in technology? Consider the following content qualms:

  • the time and labour costs of curation
  • the quality of the content used daily
  • how reliable and current it is
  • how it’s presented
  • how it’s accessed, managed and distributed

In an ideal world, accommodation, activity and restaurant suppliers should manage their own content. And when there’s a convenient location to access this content, everybody wins. Cloud-based technology offers a solution here: a universal space where content can be uploaded, stored, curated and accessed.

Travel technology shrinks the globe sufficiently so that you can network effectively with your global trade partners without even being in the same room.

Tech and traveller habits

Consumer habits dictate our own practices as we try to keep pace with the growing prevalence of smart mobile phones and its increasingly tech-smart owner. We exist in a culture where consumers want apps for pleasure, work and travel. It’s all about improving the consumer experience.

Think about where your brand features in the search, select and travel stages of the customer journey:

  • Are your offerings accessible on all devices?
  • Is your content market-ready for multiple marketing and sales channels?
  • Can your clients view their trip information on their smart phones?

The answer to all these questions should be yes. Mobile friendliness is now imperative – if you pass on this, you lose face and get left behind. The DIY traveller will leapfrog you; others will simply fall to competition.

Tech also places in your hands the wonder tool of analytics, measuring stick of your marketing and sales performance. It helps you understand how to adjust your offerings to match the demand, how to adapt your campaigns, and ultimately, how to grow your business. Everything comes back to speaking to the consumer’s desires – the data helps you get it right.

Get savvy with tech

Anyone whose job it is to build tour itineraries can testify to the same frustrations: the slow and laborious, manual search for good content; producing itineraries from scratch; battling to find alternatives when first-choice products are unavailable; mapping self-drive routes; the list goes on. Nobody can argue this point: that’s not where you want your consultants to be stuck when they should spend their valuable time talking to clients and growing their product knowledge.

Your operational functions need to move along faster and optimise the hands you have on-deck, but can you get more done in less time?

Producing ten itineraries in one day instead of three days might sound like an impossible dream. But we’re here to tell you tech is your friend, because it can place good quality content easily at your fingertips.

Using a top-notch quoting system but the content or publishing options are limited and crude? Your friend can offer you software integrations that make life easier, and your work smarter. 

Technology should and can help you work more efficiently to service and delight your tech savvy consumer. Your work shouldn’t result in the sacrifice of an organ or your sanity. Convenient, user-friendly technology can be the aspirin to your operator migraines. Why don’t you take that pill and chill?

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