Travel agencies will evolve to help recovery
The decision to travel still seems to be dependent on slowing the spread of Covid-19 both domestically and internationally, in addition to the travellers’ confidence in applying new consistent safety and health measures across the travel sector.
Trust plays a huge role in the travel recovery globally. For travellers to be able to put back their trust into travel, travel companies, providers and all players need to take serious and strict safety and health measures. When travellers trust the procedures taking place to protect their wellbeing, they will start flying again.
While airlines, hotels and other travel providers start applying new health and safety measures, travel agencies need to be on top of this change adopting to new demands of health and safety and adjusting to new definition of personalisation. They need to be the information centre of all the measures taking place providing travellers with all information they need before they take a travel decision.
"As travellers will look for new destinations that are less famous and less crowded, travel agencies role is vital now than ever before"
– Abdul-Razzaq Iyer
Abdul-Razzaq Iyer, Vice-President, Sabre Travel Network Middle East, tells TTN: “The role of travel agents will evolve to be true consultants during this recovery time. They need to be on top of this evolution and be aware of all regulations and procedures set by the travel providers to advise travellers with the safety and health preferences like which airline has better air filtration system installed in the aircraft, or which hotel has uncompromised level of hygiene.”
“Travel agents need to be aware of the Covid-19 recovery level in each destination. As travellers will look for new destinations that are less famous and less crowded, travel agencies' role is vital now than ever before.”
Like the leisure segment, business travellers and their employers will need the reassurance of new safety protocols and lifted travel restrictions before they are open to flying again.
Another role that travel agency can play during this crisis is to facilitate and boost the rise of national tourism. While travel recovers, travellers will feel safer and more confident to stay close to home. There are great opportunities for travel authorities to apply the safety and health measures to capture this travel peek domestically and for travel agencies to design packages and personalize offers that support domestic travel.
“The post-Covid-19 era will provide travel agencies a fresh slate and a chance to redefine the travel experience once again. Travel agencies that embrace these new norms and fold them into their brand promise will win the hearts – and wallets – of their customers all over again.”
Role of technology
Technology will play a major role in providing the assurance of travel safety and social distancing. From online booking to automated check-in procedures or biometric facial technology at airports, travellers are looking for less contact throughout their journey. Travel agencies need to develop its online and mobile features to serve this need.