According to an article published at the end of last year by Travel Market Report, it isn't just the Baby Boomer generation that are seeking the expertise of travel agents, with more than half of agents reporting a growth in the number of Millennial clients.
So, despite the rise of the DIY traveller, the travel agent looking to embrace the digital age and take advantage of the wealth of high spec technology that's increasingly working its way into the industry, may well find that the current climate offers the ideal opportunity to expand their business.
Here are a few ways of doing this:
1. Increase your supplier reach
Increasing your reach when it comes to suppliers means that you will be able to connect with the wider travel market and offer a more comprehensive service to your customers. From accommodation to unique tours, from transfer companies to airlines, working with us here at Digital Trip we can help you connect with an extensive range of reputable suppliers. Brands we work with include Thomas Cook Airlines, Disney Cruises and the Hilton Hotel group amongst others.
2. Go multilingual
Increase the appeal of your website to international visitors by managing your translation skilfully - you're unlikely to sell your products and services to a non-English speaking market unless your website is conveying information in a way they can understand and engage with. English might be the most requested language on the Internet, but at 27% it only represents little more than a quarter of web users. At Digital Trip we can upgrade your travel website to function in any language and currency, so you can tap into this market and increase your international visibility.
3. Sell different travel products
Expand your portfolio with new products offering the unique, authentic experiences that travellers are after in this day and age. The most recent ITB World Travel Trends report outlined a rising interest in cultural experiences, adventure holidays, wellness holidays and culinary tourism, as well as an interest in multi-generational travel, so choosing products that match the trend can help you make more sales.
Consider, adding cruise to your portfolio - a record 6.6 million Europeans went on a cruise holiday last year, according to the Cruiselines International Association. In fact, river cruising is now one of the top ten types of travel booked for 2016 - by both Europeans and Americans. Essentially, a wider range of products will enable you to create all the more unique and complex packages - personalised for your customers.
4. Engage with social media
With 52% of Facebook users saying a friend's holiday photos inspired their travel plans, 55% of those surveyed liking pages related to the trips they were planning, and 51% saying Twitter content influenced consideration of a travel brand, it is clear that social media is a great influencer when it comes to the travel industry.
Develop a trusted reputation as a brand by sharing valuable content and building a reputation for your business based on real customer reviews. And don't forget to encourage your followers to share your content, offers and posts, increasing your brand's visibility and fostering a strong community of loyal customers. Social media is also a great place for gaining insight into your audience, thus allowing you to tailor your services to meet demand.
If you need some advice on how digital solutions can help you to expand your travel business, drop us a line at Digital Trip and see what we can do for you.