How Travel apps are transforming classic agent booking process
There was once a time when travel agents used to thrive- not just for corporations but for individuals too. That time was about ten to fifteen years ago when make my trip (travel app) was relatively new, not every home had a computer and basic feature mobile phones were simply luxury. Smart phones hadn’t really made their advent then and people relied on other people to make decisions. Afterall, back then, internet wasn’t a part of life yet.
Travelling decisions then required visiting the local travel agent to understand the options available. Basis the locations, the travel arrangement and the budget required, was the decision finally made.
However, players like MakeMyTrip changed the game in India by bringing people online to book. What started with booking hotels finally grew into a full blown platform which changed the scene of travel. The average Indian traveler could now plan a trip, book on their own and manage the entire itinerary from the comfort of their home. The local travel agents however still thrived because the trust wasn’t as much on the travel apps.
Fast forward to 2020 and the travel scene has changed significantly. The travel app development and travel website development has become very common, a thing we can gauge from the innumerable travel apps available. And with all this, there has been a significant shift in people trusting travel apps more than their local agents. This blog aims to explore the major differences which resulted in such a shift of preference.
1. The Easier Plan Customisation
A person may have varied interests and varied budgets to choose from. A travel agent might not have as many options to suit such a plethora of requirements. However, with travel websites or travel mobile apps, one can simply filter out the options and choose the ones which fit their preference the best.
Plus, a lot of travel tourism websites provide live chat and call centre support options too which can further help one refine the plan by providing the much needed human touch.
2. Cheaper Travel Options
Needless to say that given the excessive competition that has now come up in the travel domain, the pricing of all the travel mobile apps has been extremely competitive. Plus, most of the travel apps or travel website have huge funding from venture capitalists, thus allowing them to even sell the properties at a loss, just so as to gain more customers.
The second reason is something which has crippled the local agents the most. The customers on the hand have been spoilt for using lower cost options.
3. Plethora of Options & Ease of Usage
Another thing where the local agents lacked was the amount of options they could give. Most local agents provided options basis their contacts. They did not have large teams to support them with the knowledge too. For the travel apps or travel websites on the other hand, large sales teams worked by collecting information from various places and locations, thus building the property inventory on them.
In addition to this with continuous notifications and apps and websites such as sky scanner, booking.com or goibibo, one can select from literally the best options around the world, irrespective of whatever travel aggregator they are listed on.
4. Accommodation of last minute plan changes
Want to book a last minute ticket to a safari or a show or want to go on an Instagram tour? Apps such as klook are well versed and connected at helping you out with such engagements right at the click of a button- a service that most local travel agents cannot provide.
5. Availability of Supporting Content
Multiple mobile apps have come up which help people with planning their itinerary. And if not that then the blog and other related content on the usual travel apps or websites too is good enough to help a person plan their travel.
Finally, thanks to Google Maps and reviews – the entire plan can be made as accurate and custom curated as possible. It takes some time but nothing ever beats the pleasure of having everything as per one’s own choice, right!
6. Easier Local Contacts
Again, as mentioned before, a local travel agent doesn’t have a sales force catering to them. Hence, they know only of the most famous options and not the local treasures. A thing which gives an edge to the travel apps esp the ones like AirBnB or MakeMyTrip which provide home stays too because exploring the local flavour is what makes the traveling and exploration worth the while.
7. Neutrality of Suggestion
A travel agent would usually go for the option from where they would get the maximum commission; a travel app on the other hand doesn’t have any such motivation. Thus one can expect that what is being shown is the best option as per the filters chosen.
The traveler of today wants ease right at the place they are currently sitting. Such a traveler wants to explore but doesn’t really want to take the pain for it. It is thus only obvious that the era of travel mobile apps is here to stay. An obvious extension of this would the surge in travel tourism app development or travel website development.
In a Nutshell
We understand that if you have come on to this page, you are most likely looking at developing a travel tourism website or travel app of your own. Travel website development or Travel app development isn’t a very tough or impossible task but it does require careful planning and consideration. More so because the reason for the success of a travel app or a travel website depends a lot on integration of a pricing engine and it is only a well versed website or app developer who could help you with that.
Also, one does not have to build everything from scratch while developing their own travel app. There are travel aggregators like Expedia, DOTW, and GTA for hotel booking; Amadeus and Skyscanner for flights and HolidayTaxis, Aha Taxi, Redbus and multiple small regional aggregators for road transportation. A good travel app developer will help in seamless integration of such functionalities into your travel and tourism website or app too.
Another thing that you should keep in mind while undertaking a travel app development would be to ensure that you fill in the gap where your competitors are lacking. Pricing isn’t really an issue any more. But, usability, user experience and the quality of the final product or the hotel/stay in this case are the things which would make a difference.
The customers of today want everything at the ease of their homes and in the best cost effective possibility too. Plus, people want to travel, sometimes because they love it and other times because of peer pressure. In such a case, nobody would want to take up anything which has hassles involved. The entire booking process at least has to be seamless and hiccup free. With the advent of so many web apps, this trend of booking online has been fuelled significantly. But, the stickiness issue remains and any app which isn’t as user friendly is thus deleted soon. Imagine, websites like booking.com getting an average 300-500 bookings daily just for booking a hotel. What is even more important to note is that this number is increasing sporadically. Thus, today is the right time to develop a travel app.
And one doesn’t always have to have an app which is a travel aggregator. There are other apps which help with translation or exploring the locales too. Google Translate with its still limited translation options is doing great for the same reason. For the latter utility, Klook is one example which is riding high on the success wave because it offers a complete solution to people exploring South East Asia. Then there could be apps wherein one provides audio guides to places one is travelling, thus helping the user save in dollars and euros when they travel off to such destinations.
So, when you undertake a travel website development or a travel app development, make sure you strategise along those lines- of fulfilling the wants because an average traveler’s needs have already been fulfilled.