YHA submits plans for London’s first ‘Super Hostel’

YHA submits plans for London’s first ‘Super Hostel’

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 08:00

A planning...

£2.3million immigration hall upgrade plans at Bristol Airport

£2.3million immigration hall upgrade pla…

Monday, 24 October 2016 14:00

Following a major overhaul of the security search area for departing passengers, Bristol Airport has unveiled plans to address congestion in arrivals.

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen Z with new Geckos age-range

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen …

Monday, 24 October 2016 11:00

30 year olds will be ‘too old’ for Geckos Adventures next year, as the Intrepid Group has announced that it will cut the age range to meet a growing demand...

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits manage to wangle an upgrade

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits …

Monday, 24 October 2016 08:40

New research from Jetcost.co.uk has revealed that only 8% of British travellers have actually managed to secure a free upgrade for their holiday, with flight upgrades and hotel room upgrades...

Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Just You launches travel trade solo expe…

Friday, 21 October 2016 14:00

Just You has announced its largest investment to support the travel trade with the launch of 200 joint marketing events to promote solo travel.

Spontaneous people are happier according to Snaptrip survey

Spontaneous people are happier according…

Friday, 21 October 2016 11:00

Spontaneous people are often believed to lead more exciting or glamorous lifestyles and a new study has confirmed that they are happier in all aspects of their lives.

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver tickets for half term

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver …

Friday, 21 October 2016 09:00

Visitors to Brighton this October half term can save up to 20% on its top three paid-for attractions with combination tickets now available for British Airways i360, SEA LIFE Brighton...

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Thursday, 20 October 2016 14:00

There still’s time for agents to book a Croisieurope river cruise for their customers with a free cabin upgrade on a range of river cruises throughout Europe, when booked with...

Last minute autumn breaks available at Haven

Last minute autumn breaks available at H…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 11:00

Agents can still give their customers a last minute family break this autumn from £99 when booking a Haven holiday between now and November 5.

Skiers urged to head east for best piste costs reveals new report

Skiers urged to head east for best piste…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 08:00

Cash-conscious skiers can avoid the slippery slope of higher prices for their annual downhill trip by heading to ski resorts in Eastern Europe.

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS competition

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS co…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 14:00

Ferry operator, DFDS, is putting out a call to professional and amateur artists to create a poster that will be used in their 150th anniversary celebrations this year.

Savings on worldwide adventures with Explore

Savings on worldwide adventures with Exp…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 11:00

Explore has launched a new collection of worldwide adventures with a launch offer of up to 10% discount on all new trips booked by November 7.

New route to Seattle makes it one to watch for 2017

New route to Seattle makes it one to wat…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 09:12

Seattle is expected to be one of the fastest growing US destinations for UK travellers next year with a Virgin Atlantic direct non-stop daily flight launching March 2017, new hotel...

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with increased connections across Canada

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:04

Air Transat has expanded its programme of flights from the UK to Canada with increased capacity and connections for travel in 2017.

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplement fares

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplemen…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:02

Oceania Cruises has launched a reduced single supplement promotion for solo travellers, with guests offered single supplements fares from 25% on seven itineraries, booked before December 31.

Mall of America welcomes arrival of MythBusters

Mall of America welcomes arrival of Myth…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:00

Running throughout autumn until January 15, 2017, visitors can ignite their curiosity and discover whether they can really huff and puff to blow a house down; if running in the...

It is predicted that by 2025, Britain’s travel industry will be worth more than £257billion, supporting 3.8 million jobs and 11% of the population. But the sector is also vastly competitive – so competitive in fact, that 2013 saw the number of travel companies going into administration increase by 36%.

A total of 53 travel agencies and tour operators also entered insolvency. Most of these were located on the High Street, whilst online operators and travel companies embracing technological innovation grew.

It is clear that businesses in this industry need to keep up to date with and adapt to changing technologies and trends. Failure to do so risks stunting growth and leaving firms falling behind their more forward thinking competitors.

The travel industry is one sector that can benefit profusely from unified communications (UC), a technology that converges telephony and IT to reduce costs, enhance services and boost employee productivity. Although the sector has a reputation for investing in technology, it appears many businesses still consider investment in IT as a ‘cost of doing business’ rather than an avenue to innovation and growth.

A recent study we conducted revealed how big the misunderstandings are surrounding UC in the travel sector. Half of the travel respondents we questioned had not heard of it. Just over 10% had, but could not identify the benefits associated with it. Despite the lack of awareness surrounding it, respondents cited the biggest obstacle to upgrading to a UC platform was ‘cost’, highlighting common misconceptions many have that an ‘upgrade’ will be expensive.

What most companies don’t realise is that UC was actually invented to ease the cost and burden of too many communication channels. Cost savings can include limiting the use of hardware and energy on site; combining systems together and getting rid of legacy hardware or expensive carrier contracts. Conferencing can be provided as standard so there is no need to use a third party conference bridge and your phone system can be placed in the cloud making installation slicker and calls much cheaper, as well as upscaling simple.

Our survey also unearthed misunderstandings surrounding new communications technologies and the processes behind them such as installation and ongoing costs. Despite respondents identifying the development of key trends such as social media, web chat and mobility, our findings demonstrate most firms in the industry are not aware of the technologies in place to support them. It’s clear there is an appreciation that consumer needs are changing and that the industry must adhere to these, but firms are not sure what solutions to implement and to accommodate them. UC also supports remote working, so staff can work from home or easily log in from any other office, giving greater access to knowledge regardless of where they are.

So how can the sector utilise UC to greater effect?
Travel brand Destinology was struggling to keep up with its rapid growth and the resulting complex IT demands it was experiencing. The company’s head office was receiving more than 1,000 inbound calls from prospective clients a day during peak seasons, and their existing solution did not allow for efficient call processing by staff.

The company integrated a new solution from Elitetele.com that provided greater flexibility with bespoke reporting and call routing to reduce operating costs and improve the customer experience. Destinology is now able to analyse call data and more effectively track inbound customer numbers. This has enabled the business to have further clarity on calls, such as ring times, wait times and call costs. It has also provided insights into more efficient call routing to optimise operator’s time with customers.

In an industry so reliant on positive customer experiences, many travel firms need to have a 24/7 presence in order to address customer feedback and take bookings around the clock. Businesses that operate like this need to be able to redirect calls across the globe for operators to address and provide support to. UC enables this process seamlessly, providing businesses with the reassurance that processes are working as efficiently and effectively as possible to please customers and help the business make the most of every sales opportunity.

Mobility, cross-platform convergence, super-fast networks and self-service customer end points are all expected to be big growth areas over the coming years for the industry, all of which can be addressed by UC.  

It is clear the travel industry should be doing more to utilise UC to help customers and gain competitive advantage. Whereas a few years ago having an online presence was enough, in a digital age where consumers are connected to technology around the clock, businesses in this sector need to follow suit. Having a 9 to 5 Monday to Friday presence is not enough.

Good UC is not costly and will not only help your business now, it will aid its growth for the next five to ten years. Companies currently stuck using traditional means can now afford to adopt key trends in online and social media without placing unnecessary burdens on their time or IT infrastructure. Can you afford to let opportunities pass you by? It’s time to get competitive or say goodbye.

For further information visit http://www.elitetele.com/news/read/how-to-grow-your-travel-business-new-whitepaper-now-available

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