The online travel world is growing fast. In 2022, it was worth 475 billion U.S. dollars globally. And guess what? This year, it’s set to grow even more, reaching about 521 billion. What’s more exciting is that by 2030, this could reach a huge one trillion U.S. dollars, according to Statista.
With this big growth, competition is increasing rapidly too. And, thereby for online travel businesses, standing out and being noticed is more important than ever before.
If you’re a travel agency and looking for ways to stand out and boost your sales in this cutthroat market, we have got you covered with the best strategies for you.
So, let’s get started.
8 Ways To Increase Sales In Travel Agency?
The travel industry is competitive, and the need to stand out while offering exceptional services is crucial.
Here are eight strategies to increase sales in a travel agency and boost traffic:
1. Enhance Your Website for an Immersive Experience
The way people book trips has changed a lot. According to Stratosject, In 2018, 82 out of 100 people booked their trips online. That’s a lot of bookings – 148.3 million, in fact! By 2020, online travel sales were expected to be close to $817 billion. This data clearly states how important a responsive website is for your travel agency.
So, before starting marketing make your website fun and exciting. Use bright pictures and easy words so people can imagine their holiday. Show videos of families having fun on trips they booked with you. To know the best features to add to your travel website, check out this blog.
2. Engage with customers on social media
Did you know that a whopping 87% of young folks, specifically millennials, hunt for their next vacation spot on social platforms? That’s right! Over 50% of them pick their destination based on what they see on sites like Instagram and Facebook. (source)
So, if you’re a travel agency, here’s how you can make waves on social media:
Virtual Destination Tours: Use Instagram or Facebook Live to host virtual tours. Show them what’s special about a spot and answer questions in real-time
Exclusive Social Deals: Offer limited-time discounts only for your followers. This makes them feel special and pushes them to act quickly.
Tag-a-Friend Contests: Run contests where users can tag their travel buddies for a chance to win discounts. This brings more eyes to your page and creates excitement.
Story Highlights of Customer Trips: Encourage travelers to share their fun moments and feature them. It’s real, relatable, and shows your trips are worth booking!
Tapping into the world of social media in these ways can turn ‘likes’ into bookings in no time!
3. Beat Competitors with Better Pricing and Deals
When it comes to traveling, Millennials and Gen Z scored the highest rank on the list. Yes! according to a 2023 report, 84% of Hopper users are from these groups which clearly states these groups plan to travel more than other groups.
In similar studies, Hayley Berg from Hopper states, that even though these groups travel more they’re careful with their budgets and always looking for the best deals to get the bang for their buck.
Plus, the availability of free price comparison apps and websites has made things far easier for travelers to get the best pricing online, in this scenario travel agencies that show the best pricing win the most bookings.
Now the question is, how do you know what pricing your competitor’s online traveling agencies are offering? Learn about the price comparison APIs and how can it help.
APIs to get price comparison data from different OTAs:
Manually checking and comparing prices on different OTAs are not only time-consuming but also ineffective. Because hotels and flight rates tend to fluctuate a lot and the data you acquire from manual research will expire soon.
Here are the most popular price comparison APIs for hotels, flights, and rental cars you can use:
Hotel Price Comparision API:
Flight Price Comparison API:
By using these APIs you can easily get real-time price comparison data of hotels and flights, analyze the pricing offering on different OTAs, and then you can decide the best competitive pricing and also offer better deals and discounts after adding a profitable margin for your agency. Hence, better pricing & offers attract travelers to book through your platform not others.
4. Focus On Prospects & Loyal Customers
For a travel agency, nurturing existing relationships can often yield better results than chasing new customers. Why?
A significant 29% of travelers lean towards direct reservations, often lured by loyalty programs, as stated in a Travelperk report. This number underscores the value of familiar faces – those who’ve already interacted with your brand and are more likely to return because:
- Trust is already established: Returning customers have experienced your services and are more inclined to book again.
- Cost-effective: Retaining customers is cheaper than acquiring new ones, helping you save on marketing expenses.
- Loyalty programs allure: As seen in the statistics, travelers like direct bookings for perks. Reward them, and they’ll choose you over competitors.
5. Encourage Your Customers To Leave Reviews
Feedback is crucial in the travel industry, and it has been proven by a report by Determ, a whopping 95% of potential travelers scour reviews before making a booking, with 93% stating that these reviews directly influence their decisions. In essence, positive reviews can be a game-changer for your agency.
Here is how you can ensure a steady flow of feedback:
- Post-Travel Follow-ups: Once your clients are back from their trip, send a friendly email asking about their experience and gently prompt them for a review.
- Incentivize Reviews: Offer small discounts or perks for their next booking as a thank you for leaving a review.
- Easy Review Process: Simplify the review process. The easier you make it for them, the more likely they are to leave feedback.
- Engage with All Reviews: Always respond to reviews, be it praise or criticism. It shows you value feedback and are always striving to improve.
- Reviews are invaluable assets: By encouraging genuine feedback, you not only improve your services but also boost your agency’s credibility and trustworthiness.
6. Personalize the Experience
The travel industry is undergoing a significant shift towards personalized experiences. A recent study reveals a promising growth projection of it has a rapid annual growth rate of 17.8%.
Simply put, travelers are no longer satisfied with one-size-fits-all packages. They crave unique, tailored experiences that resonate with their individual preferences.
If a travel agency pulls this off, it can be a golden ticket to provide higher customer satisfaction, get repeat business, and spread the word which gets them more referral bookings.
Check out how you can do personalized marketing and create personalized experiences for your clients from here.
7. Provide Advice & Booking Through Chatbot
In today’s digital age, instant communication is paramount. To eliminate any roadblocks in the booking process, it’s vital to offer immediate assistance. This is where chatbots come into play. They act as digital assistants which are available 24/7 to ensure that no customer query goes unanswered.
Beyond just answering questions, these bots can also guide users through the booking process, especially if they find the website challenging to navigate.
Moreover, the quick response time of chatbots can significantly boost conversions. After all, nobody likes waiting. The feeling of being left on hold or waiting for a response can be immensely frustrating, and potential customers might abandon their bookings out of impatience. By ensuring rapid replies, chatbots eliminate this issue.
8. Ask for Referrals
Referrals can be a game-changer for your travel agency. A staggering 83% of people worldwide trust recommendations from those they know, as highlighted in a study.
So, when your customers vouch for you, their friends and family listen. Mark Zuckerberg once said, “People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend.”
Here are more benefits of referrals:
- Built-in Trust: When a friend recommends a service, the trust they’ve built with their friend extends to you. It shortcuts the usual process of building trust with a new customer.
- Cost-Effective Marketing: Instead of spending on advertising, reward your loyal customers for their referrals. It’s a win-win situation.
- Organic Growth: With a well-structured referral program, you can offer value to your existing customers and encourage them to share their positive experiences, which eventually lead to increased bookings.
Boosting sales in your travel agency is all about taking the right steps. Therefore in this guide, we have shown you effective ways to connect with customers and grow.
The key? Start acting on these tips now. Every journey, including your business success, begins with the first step.
So, don’t wait. Try these strategies and watch your travel agency sales rise.