Think about the concept of spring cleaning. That one day every spring when you go through your house, organize your possessions, give every room a good cleaning, and clear out any clutter that has accumulated during the past year, Without this yearly ritual, it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where you can’t find certain possessions, where important documents like bills go missing, and your house falls into complete disarray.
The same is true for agencies when it comes to continuously cleaning and mapping their content databases to ensure updated, accurate information about the products and services available from suppliers and for customers. Much like how spring cleaning makes for a better overall living situation in your home where things are neat and organized, continuously mapped databases means travel agency operators won’t miss out on the latest and greatest offers from suppliers, book inaccurate allocated hotels or accommodations, or be bogged down by slow search response times in their booking engine, travel ERP suite, or other technologies.
The problems that can arise from content databases that are not accurately cleaned or mapped can not only result in poor customer and supplier relations, but they can also result in confusion, missed business opportunities, and significant losses in time and resources - all of which are disruptions travel agency operators can ill-afford in today’s fast-paced, global travel industry. With this in mind, let’s take a look at a handful of issues travel agency operators are likely to experience without accurately mapped content databases.
Name designations. The Austrian capital of Vienna can be listed in some databases as Vienna, however, it can also be designated in some databases as Viena or even Wien. This means travel agents and travel agency operators must be aware of this variable and search under each designation when sourcing products and services or else they’re liable to experience confusion and chaos in searching for bookings. Mapped and cleaned databases with aligned content and name designations not only account for variances of this kind, but they also eliminate duplicates or other outlier designations of which travel agents and travel agency operators may not be aware.
Multiple locations. Imagine a travel agency operator or travel agent is looking to source a series of hotel accommodations in Paris. Sounds easy, right? It should be, but it’s not necessarily the case given there are a number of destinations within any database under the name Paris that have nothing to do with France. Paris, Texas. Paris, Illinois. Paris, Idaho. In an unmapped databases, each of these locations would likely be returned when the agent or operator conducts their search. Not only does this cause confusion and frustration, but it can also result in misallocated bookings as they agent or operator may not be aware their searching the wrong destination. Not only can this create significant delays for customers, but it can have a ripple impact across each touch point of the agency’s value chain.
Misrepresented ratings. Because travel agents and travel agency operators are often working with a number of suppliers across disparate parts of the world, hotel ratings and reviews - a commonly used criteria used to search for available bookings and accommodations - can range and vary widely in terms of a universally accepted system. For example, while most suppliers rely on a star rating systems, there can be significant variances in this system itself because different hotels employ their star rating system that differs from other hotels, but also because star rating system can applied to different locations within a hotel - a certain wing, facility, etc. Without a robust content mapping platform to help sort, organize, and interpret these systems, travel agents and travel agency operators run the risk of positioning a two star booking as a four star booking or vice-versa. This misrepresentation is not only a significant pain point from a customer relations perspective, but it also provides inaccurate data in terms of how many 4 star bookings are available, current price points, and other important elements.
As you look see, the value proposition of a continuously cleaned, mapped database is key for travel agency operators and travel agents in today’s fast-paced, global travel industry. In an era where accuracy, speed, and agility are prized qualities for customers and suppliers, mapped content databases are a core driver in helping travel agencies and travel agency operators compete in a growing, crowded marketplace.