Impact of technology in accelerating the growth of small and medium-sized travel companies | Tech US News

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The data is telling a powerful narrative: travel is coming back, in droves. While the traveler data is exciting, we must ask how the wealth is being distributed, how is the industry supporting local small businesses in the recovery? What lies ahead for small businesses to operate successfully in this new era of travel, how is technology providing simple and easy solutions for all travel businesses to benefit from the return on travel?

Global traveler data points to a trajectory towards pre-pandemic figures by 2023, according to recent UNWTO data. According to IATA, “industry-wide profitability in 2023 appears to be within reach, with North America expected to generate a profit of $8.8 billion in 2022.” The health numbers provide relief as a report published by the World Travel and Tourism Council in partnership with Oxford Economics estimated that in the first year of the pandemic, the tourism sector lost between $4.5 and $4.7 trillion and, in a year, more than 62 million people. lost job

Like other industries, the hardest hit businesses in travel were considered “small” operations, which mostly lacked the infrastructure to manage the resilience needed to withstand the long months of the pandemic and received minimal government assistance. According to a pandemic study by McKinsey & Company, nearly 30 percent of small businesses studied (across all industries, not strictly travel) are expected to close permanently due to COVID, and ‚ÄúPrior to the crisis, small businesses accounted for almost half of all jobs in the private sector.”

In the recovery period, with traveler confidence and spending reaching quotas like the previous two years, small travel companies need support, from the public and private sectors, to experience industry growth like large companies.

WeTravel, the leading booking and payment platform built for multi-day travel businesses, used by more than 3,000 travel companies to engage with 500,000 travelers annually, founded its travel-specific platform with a mission to grow travel businesses through its travel management and payment tools. . During the pandemic, the company handled disputes, refunds and travel management for thousands of its users; in 2021, as travel companies reactivated, the company saw 30 percent new user growth, with a continued increase of 30 percent new users in 2022, with more than 85 percent of its new users considered SMEs .

Through customer interaction and ongoing account management, WeTravel has discovered which tools help travel companies improve their operations. Here are some:

Automated and intuitive workflows

Through automation, travel companies can decrease administration time and increase customer and employee satisfaction through personalization, faster communication, and reduced errors. Through a partnership with Zapier, WeTravel automates thousands of workflows for travel companies; Through automation, WeTravel customers increase conversion, customer retention and employee satisfaction; ultimately, revenue for the company increases. The integration connects WeTravel’s platform with over 5,000 web services, including Google Analytics, Slack, Gmail, Salesforce, Hubspot, Mailchimp and more.

In addition to its integration with thousands of web services, WeTravel launched its Brochure Downloader to help travel companies capture leads and automatically market leads to conversion. By adding a button, searching travelers can download the trip itinerary by entering basic information, in turn, this allows travel companies to capture those leads and automatically feed them to purchase the trip. Since its launch, more than 30 percent of leads captured through the tool have converted to bookings, increasing a user’s revenue on a trip by nearly three times.

Technology-driven payment solutions

When considering the purchase price of the trip you’re selling, it’s important to understand the payment options you can offer your travelers. Like e-commerce companies, book now and pay later is relatively new to the travel industry, but a widely used and liked fintech option, especially by travelers, to purchase high-cost items. Many fintech companies offer this solution to integrate into their booking process, making it an easy addition to your company’s payment options. Partnering with a fintech platform that integrates directly into your booking process will create a seamless option for your travelers, while ensuring you get financial commitment from travelers who may not have the full upfront cost of your trip at the time of booking.

If you can’t implement, or don’t want to offer, the solution for your travelers, offering installment payments can give travelers the option to pay part of the trip cost digitally before departure. Through WeTravel’s platform, our customers can set deposit amounts and quotas that work for their business and their travelers.

Data-driven performance analysis

Isolated and integrated booking data gives businesses a real-time look at performance. Free analytics software like Google Analytics can dramatically impact the way businesses run campaigns and market their tours. Within WeTravel, the company launched in August 2022, Reporting Dashboards to provide users with customizable information about their payments and booking data to make better-informed business decisions.

Together, these technology solutions, whether used in integration through WeTravel’s platform or as isolated functions through other services, are empowering SMEs with effective and efficient solutions to help not only manage, but successfully operate a business of travel to maximize profitability.

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