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How can travel sellers prevent a bust as the boom in revenge tourism wanes

How can travel sellers prevent a bust as the boom in revenge tourism wanes?

A recent report by Bankrate in the United States revealed that affordability is limiting traveller options, and sun-and-sea destinations in southern Europe have reported a booking slowdown that was unexpected this early in the season.

In other terms, “revenge spending” is likely declining. What precautions can those who have benefited from this ‘peak’ take to avoid a ‘bust’ that is too severe?

Experts in the travel technology industry from around the globe offer advice on how to best adapt. Emilie Dumont, CEO of Digitrips, the leading multi-product B2B travel platform, notes that “while the boom may be waning, agents and other types of B2B sellers still have a bright future: people’s desire to travel remains, but their requirements and budgets are changing. The right technology and tools can assist B2B and B2B2C sellers in showcasing a broad range of travel options that appeal to all travel budgets. Now is the time to leverage tech-enabled platforms to identify best deals and secure sales with fintech options such as flexibility or BNPL (buy-now, pay-later) services, and get ahead in what is likely to be a return to a highly competitive environment.

Alex Gisbert, CEO of Fastpayhotels, a B2B platform for travel sellers and hotels worldwide, concurs and adds, “Everything indicates to an inevitable shift in traveller behaviour, but we already knew that, didn’t we? As interest rates continue to rise and inflation persists, it is evident that disposable income will decline. Continue providing travellers with as many pertinent options as possible, and do so by segmenting and leveraging data to better understand their needs.”

Janis Dzenis from the price comparison website WayAway believes that in the post-pandemic era, “loyalty and discounts have become key factors in enticing cash-strapped travellers to book their next trip.” While the popularity of’revenge travel’ has waned, travel suppliers and agencies can continue to attract customers and withstand the changing landscape of the travel industry by maintaining an unwavering commitment to customer loyalty and offering discounts when possible.

Alex Barros of BEONx, a hotel revenue manager, argues that concentrating solely on room rates is too myopic. Instead, he suggests encouraging travellers to book travel at a lower price point, and then maximising profit by cross-selling additional services. Barros believes that “by offering personalised suggestions for add-ons or upgrades, travel suppliers can create a win-win situation for both themselves and their customers.”

Regarding the possibility of cancellations, rescheduling to later in the year, or changes to cheaper room types, Sebastien Leitner, VP of Partnerships at Cloudbeds, a technology provider for independent hotels, advises: “Although non-refundable room rates may be an enticing solution, don’t rush into it without weighing all the alternatives. Generally, it is best to offer both refundable and non-refundable rates, ideally using technology to determine which is more likely to appeal to a particular traveller based on the booking channel, types of prices or rooms searched for, the source market, or any other information you have on the traveller.

Talking about the potential even for cancellations, rescheduling to later in the year or changes to cheaper room types, Sebastien Leitner, VP of Partnerships from Cloudbeds – a provider of technology to independent hotels – feels that: “Whilst non-refundable room rates might be a tempting solution, don’t just jump in there without considering all the options. Often the best thing is to offer both refundable and non-refundable, ideally using technology to consider which is more likely to be appealing for that traveller based on the channel they’re booking via, types of prices or rooms searched for, the source market, or any other details you have on the traveller.”

Ticketing changes and cancellations would mean more costs for travel businesses when it comes to the payments side of things, whether that be admin or actual charges for a B2B transfer warns Spencer Hanlon from global real-time payments platform Nium. He also points out that often bank charges have flat minimum fees regardless of payment amounts, “your average sale value might have fallen 30% but your bank charges you the same to settle with the airline or hotel”. Spencer feels that there has never been a better time to invest in efficient payment technology for this reason alone.

As a final thought on the matter, one area where it would be tempting for travellers to cut costs could be insurance policies. Whilst this would be short-sighted,Katie Crowe from travel insurer battleface feels that it is the responsibility of insurers “to consider unbundling their benefits so that travellers can pick and choose the coverage most specific for their needs, and drop parts they don’t want, to make policies much more relevant and competitively priced for the needs of the cost-conscious traveller.”

Source: traveldailymedia

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