First, the good news. According to US travel group Travel Experts as quoted in Travel Weekly, some of their members have seen a tenfold increase in bookings in the last two months, suggesting that traveller confidence is returning as destinations continue to open.
The bad news? Agents are still experiencing the same old problems. Travel Experts member agencies are still struggling with long phone wait times, slow email responses from suppliers, shortage of rental cars, high airfares, and difficulty with booking cruises in particular, all of which means they are slow in getting back to their clients with quotes and not converting as much business as they should.
If only there were a way to avoid all this…wait, there is! And it’s called eRoam. With eRoam’s huge global marketplace (over 100,000 destinations) of travel products, including hotels, tours & activities, flights, transfers, car rental, ferries, trains, cruises and more, agents can get live pricing and availability in seconds – no need for phone calls or emails. eRoam’s flights module compares fares across multiple carriers to find the lowest fares, whilst our cruise module (coming in Q3 2021) offers the biggest selection of live cruise fares & availability on the market. And our car rental module gives you access to hundreds of vehicle providers across the globe.
This means that agents can put together detailed, complex quotes in minutes rather than hours/days, delighting their clients and increasing their conversion rates. To find out more, contact us now for a demo and a free trial!
A couple of days ago we looked at Skyscanner’s Horizons report into the state of travel booking in 2021, and extracted our key takeaways. In Part 2 of this blog, we present our tips for making sure your travel business is capitalising on this year’s booking trends, as our industry begins to reawaken from its COVID-induced coma…
Travel metasearch engine Skyscanner’s new report ‘Skyscanner Horizons – The Return of Travel‘ was published last week, and with the tourism industry starting to stir back into life following the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a very timely insight into how travellers are booking their first trips in 2021. You can click the link above to download the full report, but we’ve summarised our five key takeaways in this post. In part 2, we’ll share our tips for benefiting from these trends.
In his first post for the eRoam blog, our US Commercial Director Bob Gilbert shares his thoughts on the outlook for post-COVID tourism recovery…
Hot off the editing suite, here’s our brand new eRoam explainer video to show travel agents and advisors just how quick and easy it is to use our huge global marketplace to build complex itineraries and quotes in over 100,000 worldwide destinations. Choose your destinations, dates, number of passengers and traveller preferences, confirm your choices, and bingo – the system automatically generates the perfect itinerary in seconds. To learn more, watch the video then contact us for a demo!
The concept of vacation deprivation syndrome (VDS) – ie not getting enough holidays or travel – has existed for many years now, and has been the subject of an annual Expedia survey for the last few years. It’s usually applied to people who work too much and don’t get enough annual leave, especially Americans, but with COVID19 still restricting foreign travel, it’s currently affecting us all.
Because whilst we may have more time on our hands than usual, we can’t really go anywhere, as foreign travel is an impossibility in most parts of the world. But whilst most of us can at least travel around their own countries, and are doing so in large numbers, pity those poor Singaporeans, stuck in their tiny city state without even the option of travelling to another domestic destination. So it’s no wonder that, in the 2020 Expedia Vacation Deprivation study, Singaporeans (along with Italians) were found to be the nation suffering most from VDS, with 71% of those surveyed bemoaning their lack of travel options. Close behind were France and South Korea at 70% and Malaysia with 68%. The feeling was particularly strong with younger travellers, with 85% of 18-34 year olds suffering from particularly itchy feet.
The survey also found that such was the pent up demand that 67% of Singaporeans were planning to allocate more in 2021 to their travel budget than in previous years, with a few reservations: 33% will only book fully refundable trips, 21% will only be booking at the last minute, and 20% want to go to quiet, socially distanced destinations.
So with travellers desperate to escape and start exploring again, how can your company exploit the symptoms of VDS?
- Make people dream. Provide drool-worthy travel content in the form of images, videos, stories and travel packages
- Focus on the last two quarters of 2021 which is when people will realistically be able – and willing – to travel overseas
- Push unique experiences and luxury travel to entice those with larger budgets
- Offer clearly defined cancellation and refund policies, along with trip insurance
- Offer great early bird deals to get people booking now, but also don’t forget those last-minute travellers
- Promote domestic destinations – get people travelling now!
- Promote quiet, remote destinations and private accommodation to enable travellers to avoid crowds
…and of course, use the right technology to build compelling travel itineraries from a worldwide range of literally millions of different travel products including accommodation, flights, tours/activities, transportation and more – which is where eRoam comes in. We specialise in helping travel companies offer better products and better service using our affordable, cutting edge and easy-to-implement technology. Contact us now for a demo and a free trial to see how we can help you turn VDS into $$$!
Expedia’s 2015 survey into online travel booking habits gave us one of our industry’s best-known stats – that the average online travel booker visits 38 different sites before making a purchase. Google Travel describe it as “travel snacking” – dipping in and out of the internet to compare prices, find destination information, look at accommodation options, check visa requirements and so on.
So if you’re selling travel online, you have a LOT of competition! With every click, your potential clients are being exposed to alternative booking options, with even small travel blogs offering affiliate links to OTAs. How can you make sure that these flighty online bookers choose you? Here are our tips… Read more
At some point, I suspect everyone who has run their own business has wished they could hit the reset button. Maybe the business hasn’t evolved in the way you planned; maybe you don’t have the right clients, or you have the right clients but you’re not giving them the right level of service; maybe your team doesn’t have the right dynamic; maybe you picked the wrong tech solutions; maybe you’ve simply abandoned your original ideals in order to make revenue. However, once your business is established, starting afresh is simply unfeasible – you can’t simply dump your clients, get rid of your whole tech stack or fire your entire team, and doing it incrementally takes a lot of time. If only you were able to start again with a blank slate… Read more
The year may have changed, but COVID-19 is still with us – and spreading faster in some countries – and so it looks as if international travel restrictions will remain in place for some time to come. But one positive side effect has been the growth in many destinations of domestic travel, as people who would normally holiday abroad rediscover the delights of their own countries, unencumbered by foreign tour groups or huge visitor numbers.
So with domestic travel undergoing something of a boom in many regions, how can struggling travel companies more used to selling outbound trips or marketing to inbound travellers pivot and make some much-needed revenue from domestic tourism? Here are our tips. Read more