You work hard every single day to market your business and build brand awareness, but sometimes it can feel like you’re screaming into a big, gaping, digital void.
When you have partners and allies that are helping you build your business, however, the world begins to feel like a kinder, more generous place.
When a win-win is achieved between two parties, naturally, both entities benefit. This fosters excitement and momentum. You can accomplish immeasurably more when you’re collaborating and working together with others. One plus one suddenly becomes a number much greater than two when synergy is attained.
In the hospitality industry, hotels can work with OTAs, mobile apps, and other directories and websites to promote their business. This is one way of generating more bookings.
But there are other ways. For example, travel professionals. Yes, the sometimes-forgotten advisory industry is alive and well.
Travel Institute declared 2016 the “Year of the Travel Professional” because of the many programs it devised to help agents remain relevant to consumers in these changing times.
Travel technology is also evolving. Umapped is an award-winning collaborative itinerary management platform that “consolidates booking confirmations, destination content, messaging and real-time updates into an interactive and social tool.”
Canada’s own Travel Professionals International recently selected Umapped as their partner to streamline advisor workflow, citing Umapped as the most innovative and advanced tool available.
Umapped enables users to connect with travelers on mobile devices as well as on social media. From snapping Instagram photos to looking up restaurants on Google, this is where travelers are spending a lot of their time, so the ability to connect with them in this way is invaluable.
Umapped can also be used to present relevant, exclusive offers and real-time content to consumers to generate additional revenue.
Mobile is fast becoming a core part of generating business in the travel and hospitality industry, and the latest innovations make it easier for travel advisors to streamline workflows and delight customers by offering personalized travel experiences.
Developing A Partnership
Is there an opportunity for the hotel industry to build more partnerships among travel professionals?
The relationship between the two has sometimes been at odds, particularly online. The two sometimes see each other as “frenemies”. Though leveraging OTAs is wise, it has sometimes resulted in brand dilution – an unfortunate consequence of being viewed as a product rather than a facilitator of an experience. Products are easy to price. Experiences are difficult to put a price tag on.
But when a travel professional is looking to book a trip for their clients, satisfaction is foremost in their mind. They want their customers to trust their judgment, and to foster a long-term business relationship with them.
Booking accommodation is part of the job, and no less important than booking flights. Invariably, where a traveler stays is part of their travel experience. There’s no way to separate the time they spend in their room from their trip.
When a hotel offers a great experience to their customers, the travel agent benefits. The more satisfied customers are, they more likely professionals are to recommend your hotel to more of their clients. In this way, hotels and professionals can benefit each other.
Beyond offering great service and creating a positive reputation, hotels can also:
- Proactively network with travel professionals and build a rapport with them.
- Offer special rates to the customers of trusted advisors.
- Learn about the technology that’s driving the industry (like you are right now), so you know how agents and professionals are working with their clients.
To remain relevant in today’s digital world, it’s necessary to stay on top of new developments. Forward-looking companies won’t just survive the times ahead, but can also learn to thrive.
There are many ways to boost occupancy at your hotel. But if you have yet to explore building partnerships with travel professionals, that might be a good place to start.
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