Travel industry ‘terrible’

Travel industry ‘terrible’
By admin

The UK arm of Travelzoo has slammed travel companies for being slow to adopt the ‘mobile revolution’ saying businesses are being unresponsive to how customers want to engage with the industry.

Travelzoo UK managing director, Joel Brandon-Bravo told attendees at WTM that the lack of mobile-optimised websites in the sector forced the deals provider to change tactics and start offering bookable accommodation on its own website, according to a skift report.

“It is a big problem in travel. [For] only half of the top 50 companies to have a mobile type website is pretty terrible,” Brandon-Bravo said.

According to the latest statistics as cited by Brandon-Bravo, “16 of the top 50 having no mobile presence at all,” was ‘shocking’. 

“This is shocking considering what we should be doing is responding to how a consumer wants to engage with us as an industry.”

The information led Brandon-Bravo to develop new offerings via its website.

 “We’ve been a publisher we haven’t been a hotel booking engine,” he said.

“The first thing that we needed to do was actually to enable ourselves to take bookings directly, to own that booking process rather than sending people off to thousands of companies and thousands of different experiences at least half of which were poorly optimised.”

The panel discussion also included EMEA head of innovations Joakim Everstin, head of innovations, GTA vice president of product management Sharon Doyle and chairman of digital advisory at Thomas Cook, John Straw.

Straw also admitted to significant changes enlisted due to adopting new innovations, one in particular called WishList, which can be created by travel agents in stores to be then sent to consumers.

“What we know about this is that the effect inside Thomas Cook has been dramatic,” Straw said, as reported by skift.

“I can’t give you the numbers but what I can tell you is that we’re talking a substantial increase in the conversion ratio online, and an extraordinary amount of people that are being pushed back into store to make a booking offline. 

“That just goes back to a trust thing because people prefer to talk to agents commonly when they’re making a booking.”

Straw reportedly said the travel company was also taking a page out of Apple’s Genius Bar, creating a new technological offering for clients of its business.

“We took a little bit of inspiration here from Apple. They have this genius bar… and if they can’t find a solution themselves they have a company directory they can dial up… we are doing exactly the same thing.

“So we bring the power of all of our 30,000 employees and all of their experience to concentrate on one customer to enrich the whole journey.”

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