STEP – BY – STEP GUIDE TO IMPLEMENTING E-TRAVEL BUSINESS STRATEGY
Once a small travel agency commits to e-commerce and e-business, there must be a careful implementation of the strategy so as to prevent the least disruptions of ongoing operations. Each agency will have its own evolution depending on the pressures felt in its market segment (e.g. generalist vs. specialist; vacation vs. corporate; branded franchisee vs. independent agent, etc.). However, small agencies that have had little experience with the Internet (which includes the majority of agents) will most likely evolve through three phases:
- Phase 1 – Scaling your strategy and resources: Small agencies must first solidify ebusiness initiatives by: (1) integrating online and offline activities, (2) sharing IT through alliances.
- Phase 2 – Building infrastructure and competencies: Then they must build their key assets: (3) integrated Front and Back Office applications, and (4) competent human resources.
- Phase 3 – Focusing applications on service excellence: Finally, systems must be exploited to: (5) build customer loyalty, (6) gather market intelligence, (7) provide customised products based on intelligence, and (8) identify high growth niches in which to specialise.
Scaling your strategy and resources
Step 1 – Transforming Into a “click & mortar” travel agency
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