Almost every conventional industry has moved to having an online presence in some form or the other. The travel industry is no different. In fact the "dot travel" domain name tld was one of the first new tlds to help identify the domain name and break away from the "dot com" convention. The travel industry depends on cross border lightning fast updates. This makes a website the most ideal backbone for connecting with the customer and passing on information as well as attracting new business. This article deals with why a tours and travel business needs a website.
With smaller travel agents and ticketing offices mushrooming, it has become even more difficult for a customer to decide where and from whom to make their next holiday bookings. A website can help a prospect to make or break that decision by giving them valuable tips and hints and indicate a field of specialization or expertise. Most countries offer a badge or title to people who specialize in their countries tourism. The best place to show off those badges is on your website. For Example Australia and New Zealand give "Aussie Expert" or "Kiwi Expert" badges to show off on stationary and websites.
For small businesses with limited scope and limited offerings, the website makes an ideal brochure which can be easily shared with prospective clients. Not only can you have the latest information with images and text, but videos of the tourist destination add a magic of their own. With technology to click panoramic images, you can greatly enhance the perception and excitement of the potential tourist.
Websites can also include software or apps which the user can use to customize the pricing and features of holiday and travel packages. This allows realtime personalization based on budget, convenience, preferences and availability. The live availability of resources like airplanes, hotel rooms, boat rides etc. makes the booking experience more tangible and more visual for the traveler. This may help the decision making process of the traveler easier and more relevant.
Advisory and Updates
Travel Advisories, storm warnings, diplomatic or war related announcements and even terrorism related information often finds its way into travel websites which cater to specific geographies. A regularly updated website can be an ideal place to get information and updates about travel schedules and how tourism is affected in a specific region. This helps customers plan their trips or connecting journeys in advance.
Most small travel agents and ticket providers are mainly just resellers or aggregators of bigger companies. This means that they can leverage on their benefits given by their principals and use the same systems and technical infrastructure to provide services and automation to their clients. Many agents, simple need to get API access to access the backend booking systems of their providers and then integrate it with their website. This means that a travel agent can club various services and allow the end user to mix and match the choice of airlines, hotels, tours etc. that are on offer. This allows the reseller to push the most lucrative deals and get the best rates on flight bookings etc.