The Triumph of a Seamless Customer Journey: Unleashing the Power of Confidence in the Post-Covid-19 Era

As travel resumes, experienced travellers seek expert guidance and reassurance. They require assistance in navigating complex travel restrictions and covid testing protocols that are expected to remain in effect for an extended period. Simply relying on online platforms for booking and self-service is no longer sufficient to meet customer expectations. Many travellers have encountered difficulties with online travel agencies that offer separate bookings for flights, accommodations, and car rentals, leaving them vulnerable to cancellations and inadequate customer service. However, online convenience will remain a crucial factor as more people shift from traditional high-street bookings to online reservations. The key challenge for travel companies is to maximise their in-person services, such as high-street agencies and call centres, while maintaining profitability and gaining a competitive edge. Embracing an omnichannel approach to sales and customer service requires the right business model and travel reservation platform, but the benefits for both customers and companies are significant.

Travel Industry After Covid-19

In the aftermath of Covid-19, the travel industry is witnessing the departure of numerous well-known brands from the traditional physical stores. On the contrary, some brands are fully embracing the concept of Omni-channel retail, where customers can seamlessly transition between their online and offline shopping experiences. To survive, high street stores must reinvent themselves as attractive destinations that inspire and engage consumers throughout their browsing and purchasing journey. This approach is particularly beneficial for travel companies, as it combines the convenience of online travel planning, booking, and customer service with the personalised assistance and expertise offered by local travel agencies.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, numerous travellers have encountered challenges with non-refundable bookings. There have been cases where flights were cancelled while hotels remained open, or vice versa. Obtaining refunds has been a complicated process, as many online travel agencies (OTAs) operate under various jurisdictions, shifting the responsibility to the suppliers and having limited customer service capabilities. In these uncertain times, the flexibility provided by tour operators becomes increasingly important (source: Conde Nast Traveller, June 2020).

Travel agencies are receiving inquiries from customers who are new to using their services, as reported by in June 2021. The combination of having a “package” that offers protection and the presence of a familiar brand on a well-known street provides reassurance to travellers. Additionally, the expertise and guidance provided by these agencies in terms of accommodations and flight options help tailor the vacation experience. This level of specialised knowledge and support is not easily found in the more standardised offerings of larger online travel agencies, making packaged holidays highly appealing.

Contemporary Platforms in the Travel Industry

With the utilisation of contemporary platforms, travel companies can now provide tailor-made holiday packages that cater specifically to the individual needs of travellers. These packages are designed to accommodate various factors such as the number of people in the travel party, preferred destinations, and desired travel dates. By combining their own inventory with dynamically sourced options, these companies are able to offer competitive alternatives to self-built packages. This eliminates the associated risks, time-consuming efforts, and the need to organise multiple vouchers and booking confirmations.

By integrating this digital functionality with the knowledge and guidance provided by travel agencies, it becomes possible to customise and personalise travel packages with additional features. This opens up opportunities for upselling and cross-selling, leading to improved customer satisfaction and increased profitability. Instead of relying on large call centres, Travel companies can enhance their online presence by redirecting inquiries to local travel agencies, ensuring a personalised service. Similarly, once a holiday has been booked at a nearby travel agency, customers can easily update, customise, and personalise their itinerary online.

In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, it will become imperative for businesses to rely on the expertise of travel agents and leverage a comprehensive Omni-channel platform to ensure an exceptional customer experience. Whether it’s the search phase, booking process, or even the post-stay stage, adopting an Omni-channel approach and utilising a technologically advanced platform capable of seamless integration will be crucial in securing the loyalty of future customers.