Matthew Parker, chief executive of Babble, says firms must improve efficiency and flexibility as they look to recover from the COVID pandemic
The past 10 months have had a negative impact on most working sectors, with the travel industry being one of the hardest hit.
Not only was the sector put on pause during peak season, but the future of the industry still remains uncertain.
However, as hopes for a vaccine come to fruition and the post-holiday quarantine period is cut as the world appears to reopen, now is the opportune time for businesses to rethink and reinvent themselves, considering new technologies for cost cutting and future-proofing efficiencies.
As we move ever closer to the post-pandemic world, travel companies must factor new customer demands into their long-term plans.
Social distancing has become common practice and instilled us all with many learned behaviours and habits that could take years to change.
The travel experience doesn’t start at the airport, it begins when researching where to travel.
Businesses must consider that 2020 could mark the end of the high street travel agent, as travellers have grown more accustomed to researching holiday destinations from the comfort of their own homes rather than choosing to visit in-store.
With this is mind, businesses must ensure that websites are efficient and flexible to help maintain customer engagement and loyalty.
Travel companies must streamline the booking process, not only providing recommendations for hotels and airlines, but also attractions, events and restaurants, giving customers all the information they could possibly need in one space.
Cloud solutions help achieve this through enhanced, personalised experience, where recommendations and discounts based on the specific user can be shared, enticing users to purchase.
Cloud travel solutions also make sure that data is easily accessible and available in real-time without glitches, therefore helping to provide users with a seamless experience that will ultimately increase loyalty.
Businesses looking to increase speed and response times should also consider shifting to the cloud, which can be continuously updated to ensure the latest tools and technologies are being utilised.
With many people working remotely, the cloud can improve the flexibility and productivity of travel agents, ensuring that customers are given the best service possible regardless of where they’re working from.
After a turbulent year for the industry, looking at ways to cut down costs in a fair and effective manner will be at the forefront of business leaders’ minds, particularly for those in the travel industry.
Migrating to the cloud costs a fraction of the price of having infrastructure on site and eliminates the risk of hardware crashing or failing.
Travel companies – whether they’re SMEs or large international firms – that take advantage of this time to focus on implementing sustainable practices that enhance customer experience, will be the ones to thrive in the post-pandemic world.