Paul Davies Paul Davies

When will clients travel again?

When will the border open, and when will clients start to book international travel?

Many countries are well ahead of us.  According to a recent McKinsey and Company Report named ‘Rebooting customer experience to bring back the magic of travel’, North America is already back to 90% of 2019 travel figures.

As most travel and tourism businesses are in hibernation, they find it difficult to find staff. This situation presents an opportunity to move your business model from a high volume, low margin business to a lower volume higher margin business.

Would you sooner sell 1000 trips and make $200 on each or sell 500 trips and make $400 on each?

Clients will be seeking information on the best route to travel, the IATA / digital passport, the Covid environment in destinations they are considering, the safest cruise lines and much more.

Airlines will not be able to provide this as they often do not know the client’s ultimate destination, reason for travel, preferred means of travel, etc.

This presents an opportunity to provide information that is client specific but it must have a dollar value attached to it.

Agents that survive the crisis will be leaner and more focused on target customers and core competencies, which will position them well to benefit over the long-term. So re-cut those budgets, tighten the cash flow, reduce overheads further and be prepared to wait for another six months is my advice.

Read the McKinsey report

Health concerns = agents’ opportunities

Is there anything more valuable to most clients than their health?

Researching the best options for clients and providing them with care and good advice presents an opportunity to add value and charge for that value.

This opportunity will work in well with your desire not to take on too many costs (ie more staff or premises) until the world becomes more certain.

Service businesses are being driven by two major forces – clients wanting to buy commodities cheap (ie airline seats) but being prepared to pay for advice that enhances their life and wellbeing such as staying safe, minimising risk, and travelling without getting sick.

The health crisis presents with an opportunity to move further away from the commodity model to the advice model with the consequent financial rewards.

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