ETW Staff – Mumbai
In the future technology will become an integral part of the travel fraternity in 95 per cent of the cases. Even offline travel companies will use technology in automating the back office processes like contracting, enquiry handling, costing and accounting. Through technology the travel industry can help reduce cost of operations, reach wider markets, improve customer satisfaction, maximise revenues, minimise mistakes, reduce infrastructure cost, offer larger choices to customers, reduce time and effort in customisations, reach closer to the customers, reach their supplier and guests across multiple communication methods, monitor assets, trends and markets and help in better supplier contracting.
Travel companies that will adopt technology will find huge potential to expand their business domain and achieve higher profitability as they will tend to keep their operation cost lower even at thinner margins. They will easily achieve scalability of suppliers and clients at the same time and have manageability and monitor-ability of the business in their hands.
According to Neelkanth Pararath, managing director, CRS Technologies India, Travel agents/tour operators’ traditional approach combined with technology can attract more business, increase customer satisfaction, ensure delivery of exceptional service, and provide superior return on investments.
In major cases, if a travel agent or tour operator has to be at par with the market changes then he has to go in tune with technology. In today’s world before planning a vacation, guests do a market research on the internet to know more about their itinerary, hotels and activities. Apart from this they also like to make different types of changes in the itinerary before actually booking a package.
With the current technology infrastructure available with most of the travel agents/tour operators, this kind of package customisations become a time taking process, which also has the threat of losing the guest to bigger agents who are well equipped with technology. Many travel agents have moved from normal websites to showing a detailed itinerary of packages available in a particular destination, but the real task is customisation for the displayed packages. Most of the agents work with different technology for their various needs like collection of payments, customisation of packages, online publishing of packages, hotels and other services, but there is no integrated platform to perform all these functions or requirements.
While selecting a technology partner, an agent has to check for the scalability of the solution to suit the current demand, future expandability, reliability and security.