Can Travel Clubs Replace Online Travel Agencies?
As the online travel industry underwent major changes, most of the major online travel agencies (OTAs) focused on the business aspects of their operations rather than customer experience. Somehow, many online travel agencies still overlook the importance of having the best tools of the trade for a seamless online experience. This lack of direct communication takes a toll on their sales. The absence of resources to be able to communicate human-to-human value is something many online travel agencies still strive to fulfill. Travel clubs, on the other hand, barely face such consequences because of their state-of-the-art technology and personalized offerings.
Pre-internet, travel clubs were the height of innovation in terms of booking travel.
In the age of OTA, here are some ways travel clubs can reclaim that edge:
The biggest disadvantage of an online travel agency is the lack of personalization for the individual customer.
Forget about the new customer, even an experienced one can get lost in the sea of information. Most of the low-cost online travel agencies do not even give the option to seek advice or help. Especially if something goes wrong while booking, there is no way to correct it or change the plans. This doesn’t happen in the case of a travel club, as they are a customer-friendly platform built to offer complete assistance pre- or post-booking.
The second-biggest disadvantage of an online travel agency is the lack of variety in services and offerings.
While a travel club offers a plethora of experiences ranging from budget stays to luxury getaways, most online travel agencies rely on the low-cost online environment. Travel clubs understand the expectations of their members to assist them in booking trips that go beyond luxury into the realm of transformative experiences.
Online travel agencies often lack expert communication with the consumer and personalized services.
On the other hand, the experts at travel clubs work overtime to sell unique experiences. Travel clubs invest heavily in scouting for the best travel options that include: destinations, accommodation, tour guides, restaurants, shopping and activities. The members not only get exclusive discounts but also upgrades or freebies that create a more memorable experience.
Travel clubs give a higher sense of security to the consumers, unlike online travel agencies.
For instance, travel clubs can arrange for help in a member’s native language during a trip. Travel clubs are reliable for providing immediate medical or financial assistance during the trip, unlike most online travel agencies. The consumer is on its own once he makes the booking from an online travel agency. Travel clubs, on the other hand, always have your back if you encounter any unexpected problems during the trip.
One of the biggest let-downs of an online travel agency is the lack of inventory and booking options, unlike a travel club.
A travel club lets you plan for a more complex trip with services that are carefully customized for an individual member to offer complete comfort and security during the trip. An online travel agency does not offer support in the event of an unexpected problem while travel clubs offer live support to their members 24/7.
With the emergence of travel clubs, customers are getting better deals, more complex information, seamless online experience and extra differential content to help make the reservations quickly. A traditional travel agency cannot match a travel club’s ability to craft a trip well-tailored to the consumer’s wants and needs. It is clear that travel clubs offer a fuss-free experience to customers as they are armed with the most powerful technology and management available, unlike most online travel agencies.