travel tech insights

5 Ways Online Travel Agencies Can Increase Bookings

It’s a trend you see all too frequently in today’s global travel industry: a traveler lands at an online travel agency’s website with the intent to complete a booking, but then leaves the site empty-handed. This can happen for any number of reasons, but the result is the same regardless: the traveler is unfulfilled by their digital interaction with the OTA, and the OTA misses an opportunity to forge a potentially long-term relationship with the customer.

It’s a problem many OTAs face in today’s travel industry, especially as online and mobile capabilities become cheaper to source and easier to deploy. The expectation that an OTA will operate a robust online travel booking platform is also putting pressure on OTAs to leverage fast, powerful web-based resources travelers can access 24/7 across any number of applications or contexts, be it laptops, smartphones, mobile devices, and more.

Topics: online travel agency Mobile Bookings online travel OTAs Travel bookings

From Then to Now, Part II: The Travel Industry's Major Players

In the first entry of our series on the evolution of the travel industry since 2002, we looked at the traveler and how their needs, desires, tools, and buying behaviors have shifted during the last 14 years. We examined how advances in personal and industry technology have made it easier than ever for travelers to become an integral part of the travel industry rather than just observers watching from the sidelines.

Today’s entry, the second in our three-part series, will focus on the major industry players, their history, evolution, and impact on the global travel industry. The companies and organizations we’ve chosen to highlight have in one way or another made significant contributions to the growth and development of the industry and have left an important mark on how the travel industry operates today.

The beginning of the 21st Century was without a doubt an influential moment in the travel industry. With the rise in popularity of the internet, global, electronic delivery of services, products, and operational functions were becoming more and more the norm. GDS companies, OTAs, and other online-based suppliers and retailers began launching more customer-oriented services such as price comparison interfaces, digital trip planning tool, and electronic tickets and documentation to streamline processes and create more efficient, agile value chains.

Topics: travel company online travel agency online travel Online booking systems Travel suppliers Travel history

5 Myths About the Role of Online Travel Agencies

Ever since they rose to prominence, there has always been misinformation about the role and value of online travel agencies (OTAs). OTAs were initially viewed a short-cut to increased profit margins and growth without really adding value to the travel and tourism industry. However, with the rise in online bookings, social media, and mobile technology, OTAs have established themselves as a benchmark for how online travel companies can and should operate in today’s global travel marketplace.

Yet even as OTAs have solidified their standing in the travel industry, many myths still exist about how they function, the value they provide to customers, and their place as a key driver in the evolution of the modern travel industry. Some of these myths stem from simple misunderstandings about the role of OTAs in the e-commerce sector of the industry, while others are based on trends within the industry that drive popular thought - for example, how in recent years millennials have turned to brick-and-mortar travel agents because they desire a one-on-one, personal connection in making their travel plans.

Topics: online travel agency travel trends online travel OTAs

Bring Lost Travel Bookings back to Life

Lost – or abandoned travel bookings refer to online travel customers who visit a website, put travel products into a shopping cart then leave the site without confirming and completing the transaction. There’s an abundance of articles written on the issue of abandonment in the travel industry, perhaps because the high incident rate makes the potential for large revenue gains from even slight improvements very attractive.  Can a travel agency, tour operator or other travel business take measures to address this issue and improve outcomes? Of course they can. But they should consider whether the best, first step is breathing life back into lost travel bookings - before trying to prevent them in the first place.

Topics: Travel Industry travel agency Tour Operator abandoned travel bookings travel shopping carts lost travel bookings online travel