In this day and age of rampant digitization, leveraging the viral nature of the Internet has transformed businesses and the way they conduct transactions phenomenally. The travel sector, which is no stranger to innovation has witnessed the positive impact of the net and is evolving means and ways to capitalize on this trend. A survey conducted by American Express Travel, which is the bellwether concern providing consumer travel and other services, has revealed that the power of the Internet has in fact bolstered the industry by significantly increasing customer bookings and incentivizing customers to spend more.
Internet Augments the Performance Efficiency of Travel Counselors
Travel counselors are one of the first to benefit from the Internet revolution. Nearly, 61% of the counselors who were surveyed expressed that the World Wide Web had enhanced the efficiency of their job by providing them with greater outreach and information to serve existing customers, whilst creating new ones. The benefits appear to be mutual on both sides of the service line, as 52% of counselors agree that consumers today are more knowledgeable as most do their own research before they travel.
According to Vice President of American Express Travel - Tony Gonchar, travel professionals are tapping into the resources of the Internet “to create extraordinary experiences for their customers”. He states that since customers are digital omnivores, who access information using multiple devices, they often experience an information overload. “Our travel counselors are able to help customers cut through the information overload to create the ultimate travel experience.
Specialization is the New Mantra
Since customers have become more knowledgeable and prefer qualified information, travel counselors have realized the urgent need for specialization. A third of travel counselors surveyed feel that acquiring a deep knowledge of travel experiences and destinations, would give them an edge among their competitors, as the travel industry is set to evolve in the next couple of years. Gonchar elaborates that consumers seek guidance as they navigate the wealth of information that is available abundantly online. Hence, being an authority on various travel related subjects would highlight the level of expertise and quality of the travel counselor.
A Preference to Travel Far and Wide
The survey results have highlighted a growing preference among travelers to travel far out to exotic locales. The places that were featured high on this list include New Zealand, Southeast Asia, Croatia, Rio de Janeiro and Costa Rica. In the survey conducted, 32% of the respondents opted to travel to the aforesaid destinations, while 21% opted for culinary travel, 16% for adventure travel and 27% for ultra luxury travel. These results were unveiled during the American Express Retail Travel Learning Forum held between the 10th and 16th of October, 2013.