A travel agency has to chalk out strategies to promote its products. It has to try and win over its clients rather than just sitting in the office and waiting of the clients. They have to develop their revenue and sales model.
Commissions are the source of travel agencies’ income. They are paid commission by the principal suppliers on the sales of their products and services. Usually the commissions are fixed. However if the agency is providing more business volume than usual, the commission rate could be higher. This is called override. An agency could pass some of the commission to the customers by offering discounts. That is the reason customers sometimes complain that the ticket of a particular airline is available with an agency at lesser price than another travel agencies. Airlines take the help of travel agencies to fill their empty seats at the last minute. Agencies could provide tickets for these seats well below the usual price.
Travel agencies use print and electronic media for promoting themselves. Established travel agencies hand over the job of designing hoardings, displays, advertisements, brochures etc to professional advertising agencies. Personal promotion and sales is also vital in travel agency business. They should approach large organisations for getting business in bulk. A travel agency could participate in exhibitions, FAM tours and travel marts to get more business.
Sale sequence for a travel agency has four stages. These are enquiring about customer needs, developing personal rapport with customers, good presentation of products/services of the travel agency, and closing the sale. For marketing effectively, an agency must have proper contacts with major suppliers. They ought to be updated on schedules, fares and tariffs.
Role of Technology
Adequate use of technology can boost a travel agency business. Technology enables an agency to provide instant services to its customers generating better customer satisfaction. All major suppliers, whose products and services a travel agency offers in the product mix, use technology and have their own network. To provide better services to customers, a travel agency has to partner in these networks.
Dinesh Patairya is a seasoned traveler. He has been writing on travel and tourism for years for several online and offline publications.