Impact of Technology on the Travel Agency Business
Today, the evolution of information-technology has brought a significant impact on the travel agency service industry. In fact, the use of internet has made it very easy for people to search and book for tickets online in order travel to different locations around the around. However, technology is changing rapidly today and this implies that travel-agencies need to maintain a rhythm of change in-order to stay in business. So below are some positive and negative impacts of technology travel agencies.
Positive Impacts of Technology on Travel Agency Business:
- Self-Service Online Booking: with the increased use of technology today, travel-agencies have actually experienced a rise in online-bookings. in fact, customers looking for trip-tickets no-longer have to visit a travel-agency but they simply go online to companies like; Expedia or Priceline in-order to book and pay for a trip themselves. Additionally, some airlines and hotels have cut-out travel-agents by allowing customers to book tickets and lodging directly from their websites.
- Improved data-storage and organization: Although computers have been part of travel-agency-business from when they were invented, information-technology has helped to bring more new benefits whereby data can be stored more quickly than in the past due to advanced hardware and better software. For example, enterprise-level software like Unit4’s Central Command allows travel-agencies to easily manage their businesses and organize data.
- Efficient operation of travel-agencies: With the increased use of automated software in travel-agency-business, travel-companies can now operate more efficiently with fewer employees while preventing productivity losses like in the past. In fact, technology allows travel-agencies to do more work with fewer resources than in the past.
- It allows travel-agencies to operate for 24-hours daily: with the integration of information-technology in Travel-agency-business today, companies can now operate for 24-hours daily and even clients can book for tickets at any time of the day or night thus facilitating for optimum-convenience.
- Improved communication: Technology has also greatly on the ways in which travel-agencies communicate with customers and other business-partners. For example, the high-speed internet connections allow for instant video-chats, voice-calls and text communication across the globe at a more affordable price than never before. This allows for instant booking and coordination thus reducing on the waiting time and lost productivity.
- Improved customer service: Technology helps travel-agencies to improve on customer experience by providing timely feedback and services. In fact, online-chatting softwares allow travel-agencies to answer customer in real-time incase of any inquiries or problems thus improving on overall customer-care.
- It allows small travel-agencies to compete with larger-agencies: with information-technology, even startups or small-agencies will be able to compete with bigger agencies on the same market thus giving them a chance to grow. In fact, all travel-agencies have the same access to online-customers but they will need to put some advertisement fees to gain a competitive-advantage over others on the same market.
- Easy collection information and analysis of customers: with the use of information-technology in travel-agencies today, essential information from can be easily collected and analyzed in-order to improve on the services provided by a travel-agency and to find solution on how to maximize growth, profitability and customer-experience.
Negative Impacts of Technology on Travel Agency Business:
- Travel-companies have cut-out travel agents/agencies: technology has actually enabled airlines and hotels to cut-out travel agents by simply allowing customer to book tickets and lodging directly from company-websites. In fact, customers are now acting as their own travel agents since Internet booking engines can do pricing comparisons in a matter of seconds and travel plans for surrounding-dates and locations can be quickly checked than never before.
- Traditional travel-agencies have been driven-out of business: Travel-agencies that traditionally relied on physical-offices and physical-contact with customers have actually been driven-out of business due to the increased use of online-booking systems that are more efficient and convenient. In fact, any travel-agency today should adapt to information-technology in order to survive.
- Increased competition on the market: In the past there were few travel agencies that used to manage all customer bookings. However, today there are many online travel-agencies and this has increased on the levels of competition in the travel-agency business whereby even some agencies tend to fallout of business.
- Increased pressure on travel-agencies to get new customers: Since there are many online travel agencies today, there has been an increase in pressure in-terms of getting more customers and this actually requires travel-agencies to advertise online which may tend to-be costly for startups and small-agencies.
- Technological implementation costs: Creating an online-booking-system actually requires a travel-agency to invest in some money which may tend to be costly for small-agencies and startups. In fact, there are also other regular operational-costs like online-advertisement fees, website-maintenance costs and customer-care cost which are also costly. However, any travel-agency must overcome these challenges in-order to survive in today’s competitive technological edge or else fall-out of business.