As the travel and tourism sector around the world continues to experience overall robust growth, private and public retailers in this sector; namely the travel agencies, are gearing themselves to handle the brimming business. There are several challenges being faced by travel agencies run by—Thomas Cook, Mystifly, SOTC and other global leaders in the travel business.
A majority of the challenges are associated with the operations involved in the travel agency business. With the growing demand for exclusive travel opportunities, these travel agencies are being riddled with some major stumbling blocks. Here’s a look at the top five most critical operational challenges for travel agencies.
Managing 5 Major Operational Challenges for Travel Agencies:
In order to understand the five key challenges that every travel agency faces, it is important to know some tricks that can help manage them as well.
Less convenient booking procedures
The most impactful challenge that every travel agency faces is an inconvenience of customers with respect to the booking procedure. Currently, a majority of travel agencies use telephonic calls for booking flights, hotels, and other facilities as per customer requirements. Customers do not find this convenient and need an upgraded process, where the booking procedures could be completed over smartphones and advanced mobile technologies. Considering the prevalence of smartphones, travel agencies can overcome this challenge by creating a mobile app that helps them streamline the booking process and enable customers with complete transparency on how their bookings progress.
Also Read: Tips On Demand Planning For Travel
Unable to maintain service standards
Travel and tourism business is extremely competitive. To retain customers, travel agencies are expected to build good service standards and improve them according to the standards of their competitors. In a bid to compete fiercely, most travel agencies tend to lose their customers by either overpleasing them or undermining their expectations. For example, a travel agency may consider recommending the best hotel suite for its customers, but it may also overlook the quality of cabs or car services that the customers would be using frequently during their stay. On such peculiar grounds, travel agencies are unable to uniformly maintain their service standards. To resolve such issues, in this example, travel agencies should be well-aware of the conditions of cabs, private cars, train compartments, and other similar commuting spaces. It would help them offer memorable customer experiences throughout their travels.
Also Read: How To Run A Successful Travel Business
Complexities in service requirements
Every customer expects the travel agency to provide its services based on the specific requirements being conveyed. Considering how an agency has to handle the travel services for dozens of customers every week, it is impossible to tailor-make these services according to the requirements specified by each customer.
Even if a travel agency considers doing so, the operations of handling these custom requests and specific service requirements become majorly complicated. In order to manage such chaos, travel agencies should consider –
- Addressing reviews of all clients and identifying the commonalities in their requirements
- Understand customer preferences better and estimate their future demands
- Offer several options to help customers choose what suits them well
These three tips can help travel agencies make their customer experience more delightful, regardless of their varying requirements.
If your travel agency is connected to any online booking services or travel aggregator, then you have to be prepared to handle volumes of data. It is commonly found that data management is quite a challenging operation for any travel agency connected with the current digital landscape.
Every travel agency uses multiple and different sources to collect data on bookings, customer profiles, payment requests, and other business information. You may call a travel agency through call services such as JustDial, and minutes later, you may also wish to send a request via apps or websites. In such cases, data for the same customer gets duplicated and the agency is unable to optimize it. Travel agencies can manage this operational challenge only by installing advanced systems and using them to detect duplicate data promptly.
Reduced Online Credibility
Customers are connected to the Internet by their smartphones and mobile devices, which are prominently used to search for the best travel agency near them. In order to capture this customer base, travel agencies spend excessively to boost their online presence and become more credible in the eyes of these users. However, while doing so, an agency may fail to maintain its online credibility, particularly with respect to its website. The best way to overcome this challenge is to create responsive websites, make the online content completely travel-centric, employ content marketing practices and SEO strategies, and consider partnering with popular taxi aggregators or shared car services such as Uber.
By understanding these challenges, you’d be able to learn how difficult it could be to run a travel agency or manage its operations. Apart from these five, there are more challenges that a travel agency could face, depending on its operations. The biggest challenge that every travel agency must face is to maintain cash flow while managing all these operations.
At Indifi, we understand that the needs of every business are different. As a result, we offer custom loan solutions for all types of businesses we serve. As a travel agency owner, you might need funds to offer online booking facility, pay your employees, manage bulk bookings, offer credit to your corporate clients, or just working capital- we can help you get the best loan with the most flexible loan terms and repayment schedule. This lets you grow your business just the way you want it to.