New stores opening at Mall of America

New stores opening at Mall of America

Friday, 24 June 2016 14:30

Located in...

ABTA issues statement on results of EU Referendum

ABTA issues statement on results of EU R…

Friday, 24 June 2016 09:29

With the result of yesterday’s referendum announced, and the British people voting to leave the EU, ABTA has released this statement:

Alaska debut in Funway's new US brochure

Alaska debut in Funway's new US brochure

Friday, 24 June 2016 08:00

Funway has issued its latest USA brochure which offers 180 pages of holidays, bookable for travel until December 31.

New accommodation options in Slovenia from Balkan Holidays

New accommodation options in Slovenia fr…

Thursday, 23 June 2016 11:30

Balkan Holidays is featuring three new four-star hotels in Kranjska Gora as part of its new seven-night walking holidays packages this summer.

InsideAsia Tours launches new ‘Family Adventures’

InsideAsia Tours launches new ‘Family Ad…

Thursday, 23 June 2016 08:00

InsideAsia has launched a ‘Family Adventures’ campaign in response to the growth in interest and demand from intrepid families looking for something a bit different for their summer trip.

New survey reveals British Millennials continue to disrupt traditional travel models

New survey reveals British Millennials c…

Wednesday, 22 June 2016 14:00

New global research from travel data platform ADARA reveals that Millennials in Great Britain are disrupting traditional models for travel.

Eurostar teams up with ITV essentials to offer popular British dramas to passengers

Eurostar teams up with ITV essentials to…

Wednesday, 22 June 2016 11:00

Eurostar and ITV Essentials have announced a new partnership which extends the range of entertainment available on board.

Norwegian launches new low-cost route from Edinburgh to Barcelona

Norwegian launches new low-cost route fr…

Wednesday, 22 June 2016 08:00

Norwegian has announced a new route from Edinburgh to Barcelona with fares from £34.90.

L’Amandier to open autumn 2016

L’Amandier to open autumn 2016

Tuesday, 21 June 2016 14:00

L’Amandier is a new hotel and villa collection opening in Morocco’s Ouirgane Valley for autumn this year.

Viking celebrates Norse Heritage with donation to RNLI

Viking celebrates Norse Heritage with do…

Tuesday, 21 June 2016 11:30

The newly-christened Viking Sea recently made a special call at one of Britain’s most northerly points, as part of its maiden voyage to show its support for the RNLI.

ETA relaunches Red Sea Riviera logo

ETA relaunches Red Sea Riviera logo

Tuesday, 21 June 2016 08:00

The Egyptian Tourism Authority (ETA) has announced it will relaunch its Red Sea Riviera logo for its marketing activities in the UK, as part of plans to extend the Red...

New Galápagos itineraries from Silversea

New Galápagos itineraries from Silversea

Monday, 20 June 2016 11:00

From March 25, 2017 Silversea will alternate two new seven-night Galápagos itineraries approved by the Galápagos National Park Service.

Airlines could be sitting on more than £112m this summer

Airlines could be sitting on more than £…

Monday, 20 June 2016 08:58

New research from money.co.uk reveals that 70% of delayed passengers don't claim for flight delays - something they are entitled to do if their flight is delayed by three hours...

Summer savings from Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Summer savings from Regent Seven Seas Cr…

Friday, 17 June 2016 14:00

Regent Seven Seas Cruises is offering customers a special summer saving to celebrate its upcoming 25th anniversary which takes place in 2017.

Explore Bordeaux from both air and land

Explore Bordeaux from both air and land

Friday, 17 June 2016 11:00

Luxury Relais & Chateaux hotel, Le Saint-James, has created an exhilarating ‘Oxygen Package’ that allows guests to experience Bordeaux in two unique ways; cruising through the city in a convertible...

Warner Leisure launches Second Chance Summer Sale

Warner Leisure launches Second Chance Su…

Friday, 17 June 2016 08:00

Warner Leisure Hotels has launched its Second Chance Summer Sale which offers guests 33% off all weekend breaks from June to August. The sale ends on June 26 and is available...

 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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