Choice is driving the market, travelers have never had so many forms of travel to choose from, from rail to rental cars and they can call a cab with just a swipe on their phone.
This is a viewpoint by Madhavan Kasthuri, online technology director for Sabre.
With the increase in ground transport options travelers now have many alternatives for door-to-door journeys. Their attitudes to booking have also changed. They don’t want to wait, they want the best options instantly, and are demanding more personalised experiences.
Some demand a seamless, worry-free travel experience, with every element of the journey pre-arranged, while the so-called now generation expect to book last minute and jump off the plane into their chosen car.
Add to this the growing target group of free independent travelers (FIT) who value individuality, and it’s easy to see how challenges are growing for travel agencies.
While meeting the needs of various target groups is a great opportunity for the travel industry, there are growing complexities. However, the extra margin for non-air bookings makes meeting customer demands worthwhile. At the same time, to remain relevant and profitable agencies need to differentiate.
But that does not mean travel agencies need to radically change the way they work. It’s about thinking more personally about the traveler.