The role of a travel agent has changed dramatically over the last decade, with the ability for anyone with an internet connection to book a flight, rent a car, book a hotel room; all within minutes. Technology has changed the travel industry forever. However, what online booking engines and travel sites can’t do, is help create experiences for leisure and business travel that go beyond getting the cheapest airfare or best rate on your stay, that are not possible without insider knowledge of the industry. It is the experience you create that makes the difference. There has never been a better time for every travel agent/agency to embrace a mobile strategy and embrace the third screen; smartphones and tablets will be the primary way your customers will be accessing the internet by end of 2014. I just spent time with Tammy Levent, President and CEO of Elite Travel Group discussing how mobile marketing can make such a big impact on the overall experience for travel agents clients.
Global smartphone usage will reach 2 billion by 2015, over 50% of mobile searches are goal oriented, 73% of those searches trigger follow up action, 45% will search somewhere is else if a site is not mobile friendly, 34% said they would visit another site instead, and professional service sites that are not mobile friendly have a 24% higher abandon rate on their site, obviously you need to be where your customers are – Mobile.
Creating a mobile strategy that includes optimizing your website to be mobile friendly to adding a mobile app to engage your customers more intimately, will help show your clients the real value of your travel consulting expertise. Understand that these strategies are not difficult or expensive to implement, there are many affordable solutions on the market today that are easy to use, require no programming skills, and allow your travel business to take advantage of the mobile revolution.