Are you a nomad at heart but also just so happen to have an entrepreneurial streak coursing through your veins? If so, why not combine your passion for traveling with your desire to own your own business by starting an online travel agency? That way, you’ll be able to make a living out of helping others to organize their dream vacations, and you’d be able to travel a fair bit yourself as you conduct ‘market research’.
Running a successful online travel agency is never going to be easy. To make things a whole lot easier for yourself in this instance, be sure to put the advice laid out below into practice.
Take cybersecurity seriously
As your business will be trading solely online, it’s vital that you take cybersecurity seriously. Aside from actually protecting your OTA from being hacked and held to ransom, showing that you take this plight seriously will make potential customers feel like they can trust you to handle and store their personal details going forward.
When seeking to fortify your agency against the plight of cybercrime, your first step should be to take out cyber and data risk insurance with a company that understands that not all burglars wear balaclavas, such as Hiscox. The insurance that they offer will support and protect your business should it ever be unfortunate enough to experience a data breach or malicious cyber attack.
Brand your agency
There are hundreds of travel agencies out there all vying for custom. If you’re to stand out from the crowd and prove that your OTA is the one travelers should be using whenever they need to book a vacation, you have to focus on branding your agency.
When taking on this all-important challenge, you should:
• Brand for the long haul so as not to confuse your clients
• Bring something of value to the table (travel tips, destination photos, stories from recent customer trips, etc.)
• Be strategic when it comes to social media, and remember one size does not fit all across all of the different platforms
• Choose your typography carefully (casual fonts such as Kudasai and Architects are always a good first port of call when seeking to attract leisure travellers)
Recreate the traditional travel agency store
It must be said that most travelers have already embraced the wonders of the web when it comes to booking their vacations. There are some vacationers out there, however, who still prefer to head to travel agency stores when they’re in need of assistance. If you’re to stand a chance of appealing to this specific audience, you have to do your best to recreate the feel of the traditional travel agency store on your online platform.
First and foremost, consider what holidaymakers actually go to these stores for — one-on-one assistance from a professional travel agent. Offering this type of service via a LiveChat portal should, then, be a no-brainer and the first step that you take in this instance. The second step that you take should be to make brochures detailing your services available to download.