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Monthly Archives: September 2018

Start Your Online Travel Business

The industry includes five types of online travel businesses:

Private Sale: This category includes flash sale, member-only, daily deal, and group-buying travel sites.

Tour/Trip Operators: “Trip” is the more accurate term as this category specializes in selling packaged trips to vacationers with no tour operations included.

Guides and Activity Providers: As the name states, this group does provide guided tours and other activity guidance during a trip.

Online Travel Agencies: Also called OTAs, this group sells everything general travelers need from lodging, air travel, and car rentals to full vacation packages.

Brokers: OTBs contract with travel suppliers such as airlines and hotels to represent their businesses and help them sell more of their travel products.

Each of these types of online travel businesses is discussed in detail in Module 1 of the Travel Business Academy’s Startup and Growth Program. However, the first category-Private Sale -remains the hottest business model in this space.

Private Sale – Private sale sites operate on the premise that consumers look for-and enjoy buying-“act now or lose out” deep-discount deals.

Private sale sell travel products such as hotel rooms, cruises, and tours, from big-name travel suppliers that are willing to sell excess inventory at a discount but also need to protect their brand image. Rather than offering incredible deals on their own websites, these suppliers opt to offer them through flash sale, daily deal, or group-buying travel sites.

Do private sale or member-only travel sites cater only to exclusive memberships? Not really. Most require some sort of sign-up, sometimes via another member, simply to make their site look more upscale.

Social media contributes immensely to the success of private sale online travel websites. Private offerings with exclusive daily or weekly deals, strict deadlines, and significant discounts on high-end travel services such as five-star hotels quickly become hot topics on social media networks, where people love to share the deals they’ve discovered in order to improve their standing with others in their personal circles. Such an easy and free distribution and promotional strategy contributes to sales as well as memberships on the private sale websites that initiated and communicated the offer in the first place.

Booking Discount Vacations

1. Do not overthink the fee. The principle here is simple-the cost it will incur to hire a professional is almost always less than how much it will cost if you’ll book your trips on your own. Travel agents can usually get you corporate discounts, no matter how many people are traveling for that particular trip. They are well informed about the discount vacation programs that different airlines, hotels, or even car-rental services offer.

You must also remember that travel agents have already established relationships with these companies, and are most likely enjoying personal discounts that they can gladly extend to you to further reduce the cost of your travel.

2. The web has everything to offer, but sometimes, that’s exactly the problem. Have you ever tried typing in “company trip to Thailand” and end up with sixteen million or so results? With the agenda of the trip itself already on your plate, the overwhelming task of weeding out useless and scam-like results is the last thing you need. You don’t have to go through all this when you have a travel agent in the picture.

Whether you’re looking for the cheapest rates, or trips that will allow you to book at the eleventh hour, your travel agent can easily whip up options for you. You can even simply tell them your preferences, and it will be up to them to tailor-fit a travel plan that meets your specifications.

3. Incentives, incentives, incentives. You’ll be surprised by the amount of incentives you can get by booking your trips through a travel agent. We’re not even talking about vacation discounts alone-we’ve covered that already with the first point. When we say incentives, this could be something small, like free dinner on your first night, or something as big as an upgrade in your flight from economy to business class on your next booking. It is somewhat similar to having access to a pile of coupons, thanks to your travel agent.

Always remember that travel agencies want to build relationships with as much as they want to with suppliers, so they could keep you coming back. So whether this can be done by giving you upfront perks or incentives that you can only avail when you course your next trip through them, these are still items and services that you get on top of what you paid for. At the end of the day, it is still about business, and we all know that loyal patrons always translate to revenue.

Travel and Tourism Online

There are a variety of benefits from attending school online.

  • Learning from a distance allows individuals to choose their study pace and take classes inside the comfort of their own home.
  • Online schooling in travel and tourism permits students to study on days that are set by them not the college or program.
  • Students have the ability to complete all the phases of education without the hassle of commuting to a campus everyday.
  • This is a high advantage for disabled individuals who are unable to commute to a campus and attend classes.

More colleges and universities are adding online degree programs in travel and tourism, which is enabling students to gain a better education with higher degree choices than a certificate program or associate’s degree.

Prospective students have numerous choices when it comes to education programs. Students have the option to gain an education from accredited online colleges and universities starting at an associate’s degree in travel and tourism to a master in business administration for hospitality and tourism management. The opportunities for students to gain an online education in this field is widening and programs are preparing students in numerous ways. Through coursework students will learn about:

  • sales techniques
  • travel destinations
  • bookkeeping
  • reservation systems

An online degree in this area could provide the best career preparation and have graduates working in many different aspects of travel and tourism.

Travel agents have more responsibility to their clients than just booking travel and securing them a discount. The job description for a travel agent encompasses the entire trip whether it’s for leisure or business. A travel agent will arrange:

  • transportation
  • hotel
  • food options
  • tours
  • entertainment

Whatever a client is looking for in regards to their trip a travel agent will spend time getting the best discounts, looking up travel packages, and exploring what activities the destination has to offer their client. Along with the above responsibilities an agent will be the number one source on things like the weather, local customs for international travel, site attractions, money exchange rates, and more.

A new trend is developing for individuals who gain a travel and tourism degree through an online school. More students are becoming specialists in a particular area. Meaning they are choosing to become highly knowledgeable in one area like a culture, destination, or interest. This type of travel and tourism agent is particularly useful for clients who are traveling internationally. Becoming a specialist will require the student to learn the customs and in some cases the languages of a chosen location. With increasing demands on travel agents from their clients, gaining a degree in the field is becoming extremely important.

Business Trip Relaxing

#1 Plan Your Trip

The words sound like a no brainer but seriously plan your trip. If you want to have fun, check events, restaurants, and places you are interested to see online and how close they are to where you intend to stay. You don’t want to spend your trip worrying about missing a meeting and definitely not exploring the city’s transportation system. Take some time before you actually travel and plan exactly where you want go. For directions, you can download Tripomatic: Trip Planner. This application comes with maps needed, so download it to your phone and you’re good to good to go. Tripomatic works offline.

#2 Follow Up With Your Employees

You can’t fully relax when you think of the disasters you might encounter when you go back to your company. All the issues you should’ve taken care of when you were traveling suddenly pops up. A good work-fun balance is definitely needed but once you start running your own business, you know that you have to work 24/7 to keep everything running smoothly and there are tools to help you. Sign up for an online time tracking system and you can easily follow up with your employees and check who showed up for work and who did not. And also they can write shift reports daily so you can exactly see what they are working on. ClockIn Portal is a good online time tracking tool that your company can use.

#3 Read Your Postal Mail Online

One of the things that makes a lot of company owners or managers worried when they travel is postal mail. A simple lifehack is to get yourself a virtual mailbox. That way you can read your postal mail online. Virtual mail companies receive your mail and you can view what you received online. You can also decide what you need to do with your mail through an online applications. So if your business trip lasts for only a few days, you can ask mail facility to scan contents of your mail and read it like you would read an email. All through an easy-to-use online application. PostScan Mail offers this service for a very reasonable price. I forgot to mention they also do electronic check deposit.

#4 Make Sure You Are Connected to Internet

When it comes to internet connection, most hotels, if not all hotels, provide WiFi connection. It depends on when and how frequently you need internet access. In worst case scenarios, you can use data roaming. Make sure your hotel has an internet connection and also ask about data roaming expenses. Plus, it mainly depends on where you are going. Some countries have free WiFi almost anywhere. Just check before you go.