Be part of the action at Arundel Castle this summer

Be part of the action at Arundel Castle this summer

Wednesday, 25 May 2016 11:35

Arundel Ca...

HRS invests in Australian business travel specialist

HRS invests in Australian business trave…

Wednesday, 25 May 2016 11:27

Global hotel solutions provider HRS has invested in Australian company The Lido Group through a strategic partnership, thus continuing its global expansion.

ʻLiveʼ video campaign from Tunisian National Tourist Office

ʻLiveʼ video campaign from Tunisian Nati…

Wednesday, 25 May 2016 09:37

The Tunisian National Tourist Office has announced a new project to offer a new perspective on Tunisia.

Costa Cruise launches new itineraries

Costa Cruise launches new itineraries

Tuesday, 24 May 2016 15:14

Costa Cruises is to launch a new two-week itinerary on Costa neoClassica that will allow travellers to discover the colours of India and the beaches of the Maldives during the...

10th anniversary of Europe’s original wild flower festival

10th anniversary of Europe’s original wi…

Tuesday, 24 May 2016 12:06

As one of Europe’s greenest countries, Slovenia will explode with colour once again this spring as the Bohinj International Wild Flower Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary with the theme ‘Wild...

Freerunning champ checks out world's largst cruise ship

Freerunning champ checks out world's lar…

Tuesday, 24 May 2016 11:09

Royal Caribbean has revealed a 90-second extreme film, designed to give passengers the ultimate virtual tour of the world’s largest cruise ship, Harmony of the Seas.

Vienna Tourist Board presents world premiere in London this spring

Vienna Tourist Board presents world prem…

Monday, 23 May 2016 10:56

For the first time, the renowned Summer Night Concert performed by world famous orchestra, The Vienna Philharmonic, in the gardens of Schönbrunn Palace will be broadcast live to London.

May half term at the Treasure Houses of England

May half term at the Treasure Houses of …

Monday, 23 May 2016 10:42

The Treasure Houses of England, a series of fine stately homes, castles and palaces, have a wealth of activities to keep all the family amused throughout the May half term....

Virgin Trains is official travel partner for Lost Village Festival 2016

Virgin Trains is official travel partner…

Monday, 23 May 2016 10:28

Virgin Trains has discounted fares for festival goers travelling on the East Coast mainline to this summer’s Lost Village Festival.

Explore your senses with Le Saint-James at La Cité du Vin

Explore your senses with Le Saint-James …

Monday, 23 May 2016 10:14

Relais and Chateaux gastronomic hotel Le Saint-James is offering a one-night package to invite guests to embrace the culture of Bordeaux, with a short break celebrating French wine and gastronomy.

Earn more commission with Elite

Earn more commission with Elite

Friday, 20 May 2016 12:00

The Elite Travel Group has launched an initiative under its ‘Exclusively Elite’ banner which offers members the opportunity to earn higher commission levels from selected principals on a monthly basis.

Globe Travel Centre launches 'The Great Indian Cook Off Tour'

Globe Travel Centre launches 'The Great …

Friday, 20 May 2016 08:30

Specialist tour operator, Globe Travel Centre has launched 'The Great Indian Cook Off Tour', an exclusive culinary tour where five couples go on a journey across five exotic destinations in...

Atlantis Paradise Island extends double cash rewards incentive

Atlantis Paradise Island extends double …

Thursday, 19 May 2016 15:00

Atlantis Paradise Island Resort and the Nassau Paradise Island Promotions Board (NPIPB) have extended their double cash rewards offer, meaning agents can now earn double cash rewards of up to...

Earn 12% commission from Exotic Journeys

Earn 12% commission from Exotic Journeys

Thursday, 19 May 2016 13:00

Exotic Journeys International is offering 12% commission on all published fixed departure tours in 2016/17 along with 25% savings on two and three week trips to India from now until...

TTNG announces commitment to cruise with 2016 conference

TTNG announces commitment to cruise with…

Thursday, 19 May 2016 11:00

The Travel Network Group (TTNG) has demonstrated its on-going commitment to the cruise sector with the announcement that it will be hosting its second Cruise Conference later this year.

‘Just for Adults’ weeks with Neilson

‘Just for Adults’ weeks with Neilson

Thursday, 19 May 2016 08:30

Neilson is offering adult-only Beachclub holidays. Ideal for clients looking to relax in a child-free environment, the ‘Just for Adults’ weeks take place at the Seaside Beachclub in Ortakent from...

 Mobilising the Travel Industry


From the staycation to the reduction in business budgets, the travel industry’s revenues have plummeted over the past two years. And while the Internet has enabled organisations to streamline some processes to reduce cost and provide rapid access to information, there are still huge untapped opportunities to increase revenues, drive down customer service costs and streamline booking and check-in processes.

Unprecedented Challenge

Last year saw the biggest decline in air passenger traffic in the post-war era, according to the International Air Transport Association (Iata). Passenger traffic dropped by 3.5% from a year earlier, while freight traffic fell 10.1% as the downturn hit demand. The cost has been huge: Iata has estimated that airlines collectively lost $11bn (£6.8bn) last year, and stand to lose a further $5.6bn this year.*

The industry believes that the worst has passed. However, adjusting to 2.5 to 3.5 years of lost growth means that airlines face another tough year, and must focus on matching capacity carefully to demand and controlling costs.

The falling airline revenue has, of course, been matched by a decline in income for many sectors of the travel industry, from ferries to hotels, parking services to travel companies. And while some UK venues reported an upturn in 2009 as a result of the ‘staycation’ trend, a second successive poor summer far from boosted the credentials of the UK tourist industry. For every part of the industry, price is key but engendering customer loyalty remains a significant challenge.

 

Mobile Drive

So how is the travel industry going to address the challenges posed by this extraordinary decline in revenue? Certainly the shift towards online booking and online check-in has enabled the airline and hotel sectors to drive down costs. However, travel companies must now look beyond the Internet to attain further benefits in streamlined operations and improved customer service.

With growing numbers of users now opting for the mobile as the primary way of accessing the Internet, mobile marketing has become a key component of the sales process. Indeed, one major Japanese airline already claims to generate 5% of its sales via mobiles.

In a recent survey by EyeforTravel, 30% of travel companies reported investing in “mobile” for the first time in 2009 and 75% of those maintained that mobile will become an increasingly important element of their digital strategies. Notably, the overwhelming majority of companies surveyed view SMS as a more effective marketing and communications tool than email.

In fact, 80% of travel companies now use SMS to communicate with customers; and 60% are also using SMS internally to make business processes more efficient. But this approach is merely scratching the surface and will do little to address the cost reduction and customer loyalty issues now facing this marketplace.


Prioritising Activity

Mobile technology offers significant additional opportunities to drive down costs and improve customer loyalty. The challenge is prioritising activity and ensuring that service quality matches the demands of an increasingly savvy mobile user population. Right now, there is a real opportunity to streamline the post sales process, leveraging proven, robust mobile solutions to deliver value added customer services that make the travel process smoother for the customer, but also less expensive to deliver for the industry.

Certainly the demand is there, with users actively seeking the convenience of information to their mobile. Globally, the number of subscribers using mobile Internet services is predicted to rise from 577million currently, to top 1.7billion by 2013 and in the recent survey by PhoCusWright, 64% of respondents were keen to use their phone to access directions, over 50% to receive flight status alerts and over 30% thought receiving special offers on their phone would be a bonus.

By integrating mobile solutions with core booking systems, travel companies can now deliver booking confirmation and information to customers via SMS, as well as day of travel reminders. The process is automated and significantly reduces the cost of customer communication. In addition, this information can be supported by travel service updates, location based direction services, including maps, and local weather/travel information – all services that can be delivered at a low cost to provide significant customer value.


Additional Services

This provision of valuable and timely information also enables the company to up sell using promotional and last minute offers for both its own services and ancillary services including insurance, hotels, car hire, parking and airport transportation. This enables organisations to cost effectively tap in to a new revenue stream whilst also extending the customer perception of the trusted brand.

Companies can also reduce the cost of managing problems. By notifying passengers via SMS of cancellations and delays, itinerary changes and updates, the business can significantly reduce customer service costs. Even when passengers are en route, changes such as gate reallocation or simple departure reminders can both improve the customer experience and reduce expensive delays caused by lost or misplaced passengers.

Looking ahead, the mobile device offers travel companies amazing opportunities to drive out cost. Mobiles have the potential to hold boarding passes, baggage tracking information and payment data making travel truly paperless and location independent. There is also the future possibility that the mobile could be used to store visa and biometric information. What’s more, improvements in network speeds and the advent of 3.5 G and 4G will make accessing and distributing this information instantly from the mobile device a reality.


Conclusion

The Internet may have changed the travel industry beyond recognition, but the widespread adoption of mobile technologies will undoubtedly deliver another fundamental step forward to drive down costs and improve the customer experience. As the industry faces its toughest financial challenge in decades, those organisations that embrace mobile technology will be best placed to improve brand interaction, drive down customer service costs and fundamentally improve the entire travel process from booking to arrival and beyond.


* Source: bbc. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8482654.stm
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