Why businesses have to react quickly to travel sector change
10th July 2014
With consumers looking for more value from their holidays and increasingly aware of the channels to go through to finds what they’re looking for, tour operators remain under pressure to stay competitive and keep up with changing demands.
While adding new offerings can have the potential to stimulate sizeable growth, a failure to bring those changes to market quickly can leave you trailing behind the competition. Operating on a robust system is now no longer enough – platforms now need to be flexible as well as functional, too.
A smaller, more specialised industry
During the last decade, the travel industry has continued to move away from the traditional tour operator and travel agency models. As the market has consolidated, tour operators’ businesses have continued to evolve following the success of high volume/low cost offerings from OTAs – with specialised product offerings now central to staying competitive.
Following the sharp rise in specialised travel offerings, the shift towards unusual, unique tours and tailor-made packages has resulted in less pre-buying of hotel contracts and other product. But while the demand for dynamic packaging goes from strength-to-strength, the limitations of older systems are continuing to prevent some operators from diversifying.
Why optional extras are no longer just extras
From dog sled rides and attraction tickets, to car hire for fly drive holidays, the additions that consumers are looking for in travel packages, are no longer simply ‘optional extras’. These opportunities for exciting experiences are now crucial components in the way we build our holidays and can often make the difference between a purchase and looking elsewhere for their ideal holiday.
Although for operators wishing to test new offerings and modify their business to changing trends, the constraints of their system can often prove a difficult hurdle to overcome - especially if they‘re needing to put new product on sale rapidly.
It should be easy for online tour operators to switch on new hotel and flight options. But with the high set up costs and excessive manual work involved in changing what channels you’re buying from on a legacy system, some businesses are simply unable to alter their offering.
As well as offering a faster and more robust reservation platform, modern systems empower operators to fully embrace the dynamic packaging process. For those who require this functionality, dynamic packaging allows businesses to hugely minimise risk in the testing phase. With live search functions permitting you to buy in stock as and when you need it, operators looking to change their product offering, don’t have to do so with a high risk approach.
Importantly however, it’s the fast implementation speed of modern platforms that can really give your operations the edge. If you’re looking to add a new brand, it shouldn’t have to require months of developmental headaches. Today’s systems ensure operators can implement the changes they want faster, helping them reach the market as quick as possible.
Resilience and reliability are industry-standard features that all reservation platforms need to exude. But with the continued consolidation of the travel sector catalysing further specialised packages, systems need to offer businesses the flexibility to change their offering.