Personal Travel Concierge and Their Role on All Inclusive Travel Deals

One of the best things about traveling these days is because it has become more convenient than ever. When it comes to all inclusive travel deals, you can do practically everything with the click of a mouse. It has even become possible for you to see the photos of the places you’ll visit, or the hotel room where you will stay. Technology has made it so efficient that one would think that it could easily be done without the aid of humans. This is where most people are wrong. It is true that technology has made traveling efficient, but humans still play a big role on it. Think of the role of humans as project managers, and the technology, the suppliers.

This mutual dependence of humans and technology has also paved the way for the rise of Personal Travel Concierges, whose role is indispensable in the travel industry. If we are looking for people to organize travel plans on behalf of travelers, a constant line of communication must be present. This ensures that everything will go as planned. The list that follows identifies and highlights the roles of personal travel concierges.

Personal travel concierges walk you through the different permutations of your travel plans. Of course, the main objective is to arrive at an arrangement that maximizes the traveler’s budget and time during the travel, but more often than not, vacationers have specific preferences, and the travel concierge makes sure that these expectations are met.

In case of emergency, personal travel concierges sees to it that this is easily resolved. Missing luggage, lost passport, or even a missing party member could be solved by personal travel concierges. If not, they can at least get in touch with the right people who can help you solve the emergency.

Unlike traditional concierges or travel agents, a personal travel concierge is assigned to a limited number of travelers. The implication of this is that they are more likely to focus on your needs, and the possibility of oversight is lessened. They are at your beck and call from the moment you book your trip up to the time that your trip is over, or even until after that.

In a nutshell, the assumption that we are already as close as we can get to the day when humans will totally be replaced by computers is very erroneous. The existence of personal travel concierges on all inclusive travel deals, or any travel deal for that matter, is a manifestation of that.

Exploring the Nexus of Travel and Technology – Types and Components of Travel Software

How can different types of travel businesses create specializations by choosing the right components of technology?

The internet is rife with advice on why you should digitize your business. It is assumed that software is ubiquitous in today’s business world. However, for the fence-sitters who are yet to digitize their business, what is it that you need to know about travel technology and travel software that will assist you to make a well informed choice of continuing without technology or leveraging technology?

The first step is to understand the types of Travel Software that are being used, and by whom?

Injecting technology components into the basic technology platform or travel agency booking engine can give your agency the ability to create unique specializations.

How can different types of travel businesses create specializations by choosing the right components of technology?
Here’s how…

If you are an OTA or a Self-Service Booking provider, you will typically use an online B2C Portal or travel agency booking engine with the following basic components:

What should be your key differentiators while selecting your travel agency booking engine?

  1. Platform’s ability to quickly search the most relevant content
  2. Ability to window dress – launch offers and deals quickly and monetize them
  3. Automated management of multiple supplier contracts, policies, clauses, etc.
  4. A highly sophisticated BI (Business Intelligence) & Analytics system to understand your consumer behavior and market trends
  5. A robust CRM system and
  6. A good marketing/lead management portal

A Tour Operator essentially requires a B2C Portal or a tour operator booking engine and can also choose to take a B2B route, but your technology potion is little different from the OTA mix, you need a package builder.

What should be your major differentiators?

  1. A package builder that should enable your tour operator booking engine to manage package durations, categories and blackout dates
  2. A feedback and request based flow that will give your customers the option of negotiating and customizing tour itineraries
  3. Rates, offers and discounts management system
  4. Customer Relationship Management System and
  5. Most importantly, every enquiry counts – Workflow systems that let you track, how efficiently your business caters to customers who show interest

BI & analytics is important. However, you don’t need such heavy-duty systems used by OTAs.

If you are a DMC, you need a platform or travel software for DMCs that help you distribute your inventory to agencies across diverse markets and at the same time, helps you manage ground and last mile operations.

What should be your Key differentiators while short listing travel software for a DMC?

  1. Global distribution – Ability to create multi-market distribution networks
  2. Multi-lingual & Multi-currency booking support
  3. Capture all information pertaining to last mile operations
  4. Strong auto cancellation and cash flow management

You can literally, do without a BI system, and rely on your networking and online trend research abilities.

If you are a Consortia or a Host Agency, it is important for you to find the best travel consortia software to build your ecosystem of affiliates and agents, and help them establish their own brands.

What should be your Key differentiators while choosing the right travel consortia software?

  1. Strong supplier management capability to distribute benefits to each member agency
  2. Technology for quick onboarding of affiliate and member agencies for host agencies
  3. MIS and reporting – Closely monitor performance across affiliates and suppliers
  4. Making members grow: Easily enable members to create their own brand identity
  5. Inbuilt communication tools – member motivation and retention

As a Consolidator, the accuracy and competitiveness of your inventory, decide your success. Your consolidator travel software needs to go the extra mile to ensure that your content is accurate and aggregated from diverse sources. We live in the world of electronic distribution so having a highly preferment API that agencies can consume is a must.

What should be your Key Differentiators while selecting your consolidator travel software?

  1. Accuracy of the content – Automated content aggregation and standardization
  2. The Richness of your inventory – Multi-source inventory aggregation
  3. Preformatted APIs that other agencies can consume

If you are a Niche Travel Agency (MICE or Specialized travel service provider) the type of niche travel agency software that you should be using is:-

What are your Key differentiators that need to be kept in mind while selecting your niche travel agency software?

  1. Your own contracted and negotiated inventory of specials – themes, travel products, merchandise, etc.
  2. The ability to create a unique experience from booking to fulfillment
  3. Inventory management tools to store and manage special inventory
  4. Creating Offer pages and promotions

I hope you found the above information useful; this is a brief guide to help you find your way around the often complex and fragmented domain of travel technology.

How to Start Your Own Travel Agency From Home

If you are interested in building a career in the travel industry and become a home based travel agent, starting a home based customer service might just be the optimal solution. Your new business could focus on guiding your customers through the best travel agencies selection process, or you could simply make money by doing the research yourself and book their reservations. There are also several available possibilities related to the way you will organize and carry your business. You could choose between booking and whipping into shape all kinds of travel for your customers or develop yourself in a specific niche. Regardless of which way you decide to develop your business, you will have the possibility to make a living and help other people to enjoy their travelling endeavors at the same time.

Here are some guiding tips on how to start your own travel agency from home:

1. Before starting your own travel business, try to get some specific training. Taking a travel agent course will help you get acquainted with reservation software, types of booking and all the legal information about operating a travel agency.

2. There are several options you can choose from: you can become an independent travel agent and build your agency from scratches, work as a referral agent or agree to work for a host agency. If you decide to work as a referral agent, you will become the link between the customer and the travel agency; you will work on commission and receive a referral fee for each new client you bring to the agency. Working with a host agency implies that you will be using exclusively the host agency’s connections for booking reservations for your customers. You will be working on commission and get paid for each new client who makes a booking. In exchange, if you decide to start your own travel agency, keep in mind that you will have to build up your own contacts list and negotiate your fees.

3. Evaluate which option suits you best: focus on a niche or promote all types of travel. Focusing on a specific niche, such as luxury cruises or romance travel, can sometimes be beneficial as it makes it easier for you to focus on specific customer needs and expectations. This strategy can also narrow the competitive range.

4. If you decide to start either an independent home based travel business or become a referral agent, you have to get in touch with other travel agencies and negotiate your contracts that must include your referral fees and commissions per booking.

5. If you are seeking the protection of an already deep-rooted agency, signing a contract with a host agency is probably the best option for you. You will rely on the host agency’s connections to do your booking. In such cases, your commissions from the provided agency will be split with the host company.

6. Despite the fact that not all travel companies require a CRS, if you decide to go solo and start an independent agency, it might be convenient for you to purchase a computer reservation system. This way you will have the possibility to work directly with travel service suppliers and make different types of reservations.

7. Create a business outline and make sure to take into consideration variables such as start-up expenses and possibilities to finance your business. Don’t forget to plan some strategy for finding new clients and keep your agency functioning until you actually start making a profit out of it.

8. Make sure you contact specialized agencies to provide you with all the necessary information about licenses and permits. Then you can go for starting a travel agency from home.

9. Become a member of the National Association of Commissioned Travel Agents and other similar travel associations. Being a member of these associations will not only improve your image as a home based travel agent, but it might also provide you with new training opportunities and new customers.

10. Make sure you create an adequate home-based working space and buy all the necessary equipment: a computer, a printer, a fax machine and a telephone.