26 APR, 2013
How travel businesses can leverage technology to face diverse challenges
Travel businesses face diverse set of challenges in their journey to success. Knowing these challenges early helps travel business owners leverage technology effectively. In my engagement with travel businesses the world over, I have seen distinct patterns emerging that foretell these challenges. So I decided to come up with a short list of “challenges” .
List of challenges faced by travel businesses
Irrespective of the size and the type of travel company you are, a B2B agency, Host agency, DMC or an online travel agency, this challenge chart above tells you what pitfalls you need to be prepared for.
The challenge of quick “Go to markets”:
Whether launching a new travel brand or launching a new line of business, travel business owners face a rapidly closing window of opportunity. It is critical that you convert your business plans into salable platforms that consumers find value in and are able to transact on. Technology that offers you quick “go to market” capability ensures that you stay one step ahead of a diluted market place.
The challenge of retention:
Whether you are an online travel company or a B2B host agency, sooner or later you would stumble upon the challenge of retaining customers and affiliates. As the market trends change “the retention monster” charges in and disrupts your healthy look to book ratios or your loyal affiliate networks and you start seeing a fall out .The key to tacking this challenge is to manage change well. If your technology platform does not have the capability to implement the change in the changing dynamics of your markets quickly, then well its time you put your technology under a lens.
The challenge of scale:
How quickly can you scale up your offering to your consumers? How quickly can you add inventory to ride the demand. There is a finite time required to create commercials relationships with sources of inventory. But having technology that provides as much of “off the shelf aggregation of inventory” across the globe as possible is a boon.
The challenge of the last mile:
No matter what business model you have, last mile operational efficiency would define if your customers would do business with you again. As your business scales, you would face an increasing challenge of living up to market expectations on the extent to which you provide service. Ask yourself this today, what if you want to extend your technology to include your ground handling and fulfillment partners into its fold? Making sure that your technology is able to cover your last mile of service offerings would define how your customers perceive you.
The challenge of reinventing yourself:
OTA’s are becoming suppliers, B2B business are becoming content companies, Host agencies are diversifying into retail businesses and airlines are selling holidays. This is the world of reinvention. If you have been in the travel business for long, the need for reinventing yourself is going to come knocking on your door soon. Take a look at your technology and if it’s an unchangeable behemoth then it’s going to be a hurdle in you reinventing your business.
These, are the tenets of the challenge paradigm of travel business. And having technology that tides over these challenges is as important as the age old tenets of business, have the right attitude and the right people.
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