June 17 () –
The human factor must be more important than digital effectiveness for leisure travel consultants, according to a report prepared by the Accor hotel group, which ensures that a highly personalized service can become a key differentiating factor for these workers.
The report, titled ‘Tailor-Made Touch or Digital Efficiency’, analyzes the strategies, technologies and trends affecting leisure travel advisors in the recovery of the tourism sector and with eyes set on the future.
It states that while the continued digital transformation of their operations is vital, “even more important” is developing the services and fostering partnerships that can help them please and connect with their customers “on a level that is beyond what alternative brokerage models can achieve”.
Focusing on the European market, the report outlines how the pandemic has accelerated the transformation of the leisure travel intermediary market, with widespread adoption of digital technology and many key players changing models in an attempt to become digital businesses. or B2B technology providers.
Supports the idea that, used well, technology, from messaging platforms to payments to artificial intelligence, can be of great use to travel consultants, helping them optimize their capacity with a wide variety of inventories; access powerful digital distribution channels; better understand your customers, market yourself, and offer more sophisticated and efficient services.
However, he maintains that the key to the success of bespoke travel planners is “the ability to get closer to their clients and offer them the personalized service that travelers now expect.”
Consumers increasingly value the ability of travel consultants to take the stress out of their trip, tailor it to their preferences, plan for every last detail flexibly, and have their agent be the calming presence to deal with issues if they arise. arise.
“The ability to offer this level of bespoke service is a competitive advantage over purely digital platform competitors, and one that should be fully exploited. It enables travel consultants to exceed expectations, delight clients and create an emotional connection others can’t,” explains Saskia Gentil, vice president of sales for Europe and North Africa.
TRAVELING WISHES EVOLVE.
The report argues that in order to offer this type of high-level service, it is vital that travel planners understand the ever-evolving desires of leisure travelers.
From hot destinations of the moment to emerging long-term trends — like slow travel, wellness travel, and the quest for sustainable travel — advisors must not only be aware of these factors, but also have inventory, partners and local knowledge to offer their clients the most suitable options and perspectives.
This knowledge and experience may come in part from digital media, but by no means in its entirety, according to the report.
“Partners on the ground who can share their local knowledge and experience and language skills, essential in a continent as culturally and linguistically diverse as Europe, are vital, along with the scale and variety of the inventory to offer advisers options as trends continue to evolve,” the report states.
The text, which also addresses future factors such as artificial intelligence, cryptocurrencies and the metaverse, is the first in a series of reports that the international hotel chain plans to publish in the coming months; the second and third will focus on business travel and the MICE sector.