Setting up a brick-and-mortar business is a thing of the past when it comes to the travel industry. In fact, it seems, almost everything travel-related went completely online. However, setting up your own travel agency can be costly. So, how can you move your business online without going bankrupt?
Here, we’re going to discuss some of the biggest obstacles to making an online travel agency and how you can do it without breaking a buck.
You have to make your own website. However, this can be costly.
Moving your agency online can prove to be a time-consuming and costly process. Especially if you don’t have experience and knowledge about tech stuff.
Before starting with anything, going online means you’ll have to buy a hosting and domain and build your website from scratch. You’ll have to decide which hosting provider is the most reliable. Further, you’ll have to research the one offers the best value for money. Plus, you’ll have to find out which one is guaranteed to keep your and your client’s information safe.
If you’re a tech newbie, and you cannot hire a trusted professional, you’re in a big problem from the start.
However, this problem can be easily bypassed by opting to partner with Thomalex. Besides providing you with a top-notch online booking tool that will help you skyrocket your business goals and become more competitive in the market, Thomalex offers the possibility of having a pre-made website. A pre-made website can be further customized to each client’s needs. That said, you don’t have to spend time on things you’re not familiar with. You’ll be able to focus on the things you do the best.
You’ll need GDS API access.
If you want to scale your travel business, you’ll have to offer your travellers content at competitive rates.
The fact is, modern travellers are used to viewing thousands of flights and hotels from across the globe with real-time rates and availability. They are used to the fact they can instantly make reservations right on their mobile phones. What’s more, they will leave if you’re unable to provide them with the information they’re looking for.
That’s why you need travel APIs which allow you to integrate third-party GDS/Wholesaler inventory into the booking engine on your site. To put it simply: when a customer searches for booking a flight or a hotel on your site, they won’t be redirected to another site. This means you will be able to collect the payment.
However, getting GDS APIs is harder than it sounds. In fact, you would have to be a certified GDS developer, which is both time-consuming and costly.
One solution to this problem is signing in with a certified GDS developer, such as Thomalex, which will allow you to do what you know best, and stay competitive in the tough market.
Generate traffic to your website.
Now, when you have the booking engine set in place, you should think about the strategies for bringing new customers.
Sharing quality content on your website is one of the cheapest ways to drive traffic to your website and boost sales.
You should understand your customer’s needs and provide them with the content they want to read. That way, you’ll be getting new visitors to your website each day for free.
An additional step you can take is to share your content across platforms. Those platforms include Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and engage in low-budget link building strategies such as HARO is.
Sign in with a host travel agency.
If you have your own IATA number and can issue tickets, you are all set. If you do not have it, a host agency is a solution for you. Host travel agencies are businesses that affiliate with small travel agencies and home-based travel agents and give them resources to grow their business for a fee or commission split in return.
Usually, host travel agencies give independent travel agents the resources to grow their business, such as marketing, training, back-end technology, and commission payment processing.
If you’re considering going online, partnering with host travel agencies might be the right solution for you.