Sunday, June 04, 2017

How Travel And Activity Companies Can Utilize Online Booking Systems

Over the past few years, the world of travel has been flipped on its head. From the way we book flights and hotels to innovations like AirBnB, the industry is quickly becoming one of the most disrupted by tech. And as these changes are here to stay, the supporting foundation they’ve been built off of are blossoming as well.

As is the case with a lot of tech trends, the infrastructural support for an industry is going through a facelift, as well. And when it comes to travel, the online booking industry is booming. When you factor in elements such as digital advertising, social media, as well as the improved technologies within the mobile landscape, it’s no surprise that how we view the booking process has changed dramatically. From the first point of contact to sending out confirmations, the online booking world’s pipeline has shifted for good. Here’s how:

Traveling Through a Digital Space

It should be no secret that the travel world has gone digital. Don’t believe me? Try finding a travel agency to help you out with  your next vacation. Not only are these businesses all but extinct, but they’re also no longer needed; online booking and travel assistance are have streamlined the booking process.

Online booking has quickly become the standard in the industry. Over 40% of travel tours are booked online, and that’s not counting the amount of hotels, houses, and other rentals that people establish independently. Additionally, out of all the bookings online, the majority of them are quickly shifting to mobile.  

It’s no secret as to why this is happening, as online bookings make travel immensely easier. The entire world is literally at our fingertips, allowing us to check prices, locations, and competition in a matter of seconds. This saves times in our searches, and can even help us gauge when we’re going to get the best deal on transportation and lodging. Yes, the days of digital are here to stay, which means your travel business should start thinking that way, too.

Establishing a Pipeline

One of the best features of everything going online is the ability to track our customer’s movements. Starting from their point of entry to when they actually click the “book reservation” button - every step of the process is monitored; this granular level of tracking enables organizations to continuously improve our their efforts, which generates the potential for even more streamlined, intuitive, and personalized solutions.

Starting out, your point of entry will most likely fall under traditional digital advertising practices, such as social media or AdWords. With social media, visual elements will help you tremendously in showcasing the fun someone could have with your company. It’s important to run tests on these efforts to see what’s truly successful. For example, the picture and copy you choose can be varied depending on the customer, as well as the location for which someone is viewing your content from. As we mentioned above, consumers are willing to book travel on their phones (where the majority of content is consumed), so don’t hesitate to utilize mobile ads as well.

Keeping It Consistent

Once someone is in your pipeline, it’s important to have the foundational support in place to keep them going throughout the process. Not only is it imperative to have a solid site that is optimized for both mobile and desktop, but to have the proper pieces of technology in place to ease the logistical concerns.

For example, companies like Adventure Bucket List are setting the standard in how booking technologies work. Their platform allows you to book appointments anytime, accept payments, as well as set availability. They additionally take care of some of the automated tasks as well, such as confirmation emails and aggregating data.

While platforms like this have existed in the past, this is one of the first geared towards the adventure and travel world. This is a monumental product for small travel companies looking to compete with the likes of major players like AirBnB. With Adventure Bucket List, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to plan entire trip agendas with individual providers and companies right from  your fingertips.

It’s true that the world of travel is changing quite a bit, which means that pretty soon, we’ll be seeing a lot of these innovations take flight.

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