To survive in 2021, TMCs must answer this question

The travel industry has been on a roller coaster in 2020. With a patchwork of lockdown, quarantine and testing regulations still in place across the world, opinion is divided on how, when and if travel will return to ‘normal’ or settle into a ‘new normal’. However, the sentiment and desire to travel is there – just look at the searches for trips online.

The big issue the industry is facing is when will travelers switch from dreaming and planning trips to actually booking them? There’s optimism that vaccination will release this pent-up demand. While an increase in virtual work events is likely to be a permanent change, the trend for more remote, flexible working may also facilitate longer trips.

As we move into a New Year, and hopefully brighter times, the key question TMCs must ask is:

“Can our systems help us take advantage of any up-tick in demand?”

The answer really depends on your software. If you’re using traditional on-premise systems and legacy databases you have two major challenges to overcome.

1: You’ll have lots of data, but it won’t mean much

TMCs have a massive amount of rich, historical customer data. But, too often, getting access to it in the form of good quality data reports takes a lot of manual work. Account Managers need real-time insights into customer spend and behavior changes in order to actively monitor and manage their accounts and visualize and respond to trends.

2: You’ll struggle to partner with third-party providers

Corporate travel buyers need easy access to full information, including data from third-party solutions. We’ve already seen how difficult it can be to input new data sources (from Uber or AirBnB for example) into legacy systems. Your software needs to be able to cope if you’re going to successfully serve this market.

The travel industry will continue to evolve and TMCs will need a solution that provides the foundations for a growing list of third-party partners. For example, the partnership between TravelOperations and Thrust Carbon is an easy way for travel agents to give their corporate customers accurate, detailed and automated CO2 emission reporting data. The TravelOperations open API enables TMCs to connect and activate this third-party solution directly on top of their booking system, without the resources associated with moving data.

Modern, open and flexible travel management software is a game changer for TMCs. It clearly makes it easier to give customers better service. But, more importantly, in 2021, fast decision-making will be key to travel companies’ survival.

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We are Travel Industry experts that have developed a solution based on Microsoft Dynamics 365, with added travel-specific functionality to support travel agents in their daily tasks and empower their entire team.

© 2020 Travel Operations A/S.

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