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Five challenges facing tour operators

Online Travel Agents and unique experiences

International tourism continues to be one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world, as evidenced by demand remaining robust throughout 2016 with international tourist arrivals growing by 3.9% and totalling over a billion.

Although highly sensitive to both actual and perceived risk, the industry has experienced seven consecutive years of uninterrupted and sustained growth, something which hasn’t happened since the 1960s.

The primary driver of global tourism continues to be the significance it holds on a social, cultural, and political level. For the traveller, it’s easier now than ever before to book trips online with more choice and more booking platforms, but although there are plenty of online travel giants to choose from, specialised and personalised services that provide unique customer experiences aren’t always offered. As a result, offering an enhanced travel experience has become a niche market for tour operators.

Customers want personalised service from their travel agent This lack of personalised services is also the primary reason why experts believe that almost half of all travel agency bookings will still come through offline channels by 2020 but despite this, the tourism sector is under enormous pressure to keep up with technological advancements to efficiently manage client expectations.shutterstock_128236091 That being said, travel companies don’t invest in the latest innovative technology which means that specialist tour operators aren’t taking advantage of available tools like automation of repetitive tasks and online booking. In fact, 83% of companies in the travel industry still utilize traditional methods to manage daily operations. This, in turn, can make them invisible to the digital customer who is looking for what they are offering online.

Let’s take a look at five of the key challenges faced by tour operators today.

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