One of ATTA’s newest members, technology provider Lemax, specializes in digitalizing tour operators and DMCs in the multi-day industry. In this article, they lay out three crucial things for tour operators to focus on this year. Read further to learn more about the current trends in this niche and get practical tips and tricks.
1. Get Online Booking Capabilities
Booking online directly via your website is the number one thing Lemax team highly recommends. This development is crucial for any travel business that wants to keep growing and scaling up their business and stay relevant and competitive in the market.
“The online travel sector is pushed by easy and quick flight along with hotel bookings, surge in customer trust in online payment, and the availability of an option to compare various travel alternatives. Most of the players extensively offer a variety of travel services via mobile apps and websites, since it has become a highly preferred medium of travel bookings, especially among the young professionals,” says the latest research report by Market Research Future (MRFR), Online Travel Market.
An average person, especially Millenials and Gen Z groups which nowadays make more than half of the travel market, is used to being able to buy nearly every product or service online, without needing to call or write emails, or even worse - come at your physical location. Moreover, needing to take those extra actions can put them off to never come back to your website and spread the word in the travel community.
So, eliminate the extra churn and adapt to the new trends - you cannot go wrong, we promise.
2. Centralize Your Supplier Network
Besides having a book button and seamless online journey for the end-users, online booking can be implemented in your system for the suppliers and partners' network too, and it could literally transform the way you work (and ultimately, grow your efficiency and win rate).
So-called B2B Online Booking has more than one advantage - from having one centralized place with live updated data and information (services, pricing and availability, promotions and special offers, etc.), reservations and documents management, to communication automation.
“Acceleration of digitalization of industry, with the distribution ecosystem and online internal processes taking out manual process steps, will continue to be a big trend, with current labor shortage especially. Once you’ve experienced the ease of booking online, it’s very tempting to stay online and not return offline. I expect a big shift everyone should prepare for,” said recently Axel Hefer, CEO of trivago, when talking about travel trends for 2022
3. Go Green(er)
The UNEP Green Economy Report states that tourism contributes 9% of the world’s GDP, 8% of employment, and 5% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. “Challenges related to the tourism industry are reduction of energy and GHG emissions and water consumption, promotion of waste management and resource efficiency, combatting loss of biological diversity and effective management of cultural heritage,” explains the Sectoral Brief by Ilo.org.
Three main components of sustainable tourism are:
- Ecology (environment and natural resources),
- Socio-economy (local and national economic and social development, job creation, working conditions), and
- Socio-Culture (monuments, cultural heritage, ethnic groups, living cultures, local cultures, indigenous groups).
ATTA members are already highly aware of the importance of commitment to sustainable tourism, but we still want to address this as a high priority in 2022 and every year that comes next. Here’re some practical activities tour operators can start with on their journey to keep our planet healthy.
According to Orioly, buying from local suppliers is one way of sustainable operations. Not only does it retain cash locally but also reduces your carbon footprint - products produced locally travel short distances, generating less CO2.
Another change that tour operators can implement in their business is to include less popular and visited locations in their itineraries, both to stimulate the economy in those places, and to better distribute the visitors around the globe and reduce the carbon footprint.
These three tips are just the tip of an iceberg - a lot more can be said on this subject. If you’re interested in learning more, visit Lemax’s blog.