26 March 2020

It’s time for technology that works

As the travel industry moves online to work remotely with the ongoing global crisis, technology plays an important role in assuring our continuous connection to the entire world. From reliable conference software solutions to other tech products we use for e-mail, instant messaging etc, it has been proven that our daily life now relies on technology, on the one that actually works.

“The current crisis has only served to further highlight the critical need for automation throughout the attractions, tours and activities industry” said BeMyGuest CEO Blanca Menchaca in a recent article published by Phocuswire. While an unfortunate way to learn a lesson on the power of digital, Menchaca argues that the dramatic downturn in travel could be an opportunity for companies to become more efficient.

More integrated software, more automated processes which require less human intervention in managing the travelers: unified back-office and accounting/billing systems, payment gateways, self-booking capabilities, mail, SMS, push notifications, auto reports always available in a mobile-friendly format, notifications in case of future booking drops or allocation consumption just to name a few.

No more tests, trials or beta try-outs

Buying software that partially fits your needs or that is unbelievably cheap and allows you to test it before purchasing it, should be heavily revised. Software that works (from call center, website chat software, booking engines, mid and back-office solutions, mobile apps and so on) has to be done with an immediate scope in mind. Testing out technologies that are not proven to work will come with a huge hidden cost of your time, of your financial resources and you may end up losing the market opportunity.

Unfortunately, we no longer have the time or the resources to make tests, to analyze half or even a full year several software providers. We had that time before, now we have the opportunity to act directly and choose the software products that have been proven to work in several similar travel companies. Technology must be robust and more importantly reliable, so that you and your team have no doubts or hiccups while you safely plan you relaunch, in an insecure working environment.

In-house development in 2020 and beyond?

The COVID-19 crisis has hit all industries in terms of both human and financial resources. Large travel companies that planned to develop their software products for inventory via XML/API, management of travel products and selling via B2B or B2C booking engines now face the problem of not having the basic salaries covered, before going into paying developers.

in-house development travel technology by wbe.travel

Designing and developing your own software suite has always needed a large budget for an army of human resources such as Designers, Programmers, IT Managers, Project Managers, Business Analysts, Technical Support, Testers (QA). Then you’ll need a good infrastructure – fully equipped PCs, server hosting services and equipment to control everyone’s work. All these resources can skyrocket your initial budget and take you by surprise to realize that the initial timing to build the solution has now extended dramatically.

Solutions?

Fortunately, there are several alternatives, affordable solutions developed by tech companies that have been working relentlessly for years, in building and securing a software suite, especially for travel businesses. We’re referring here to trustworthy software companies that have a proven history of unwavering smooth work for developing solutions that travel agents can really depend on.

wbe.travel is one of the few tech software companies that has dedicated a decade and all its resources in creating, managing and growing reliable end-to-end software solutions for travel businesses, with a proven record of implementing more than 100 solutions in various travel businesses from all over the world.

Radu Ciubotaru, wbe.travel’s Business Development Director added: “15 years ago most developers had reasonable salaries and the market wasn’t mature, thus everyone who wanted to grow needed to build his engine. Today you are not only competing other travel brands for services, price and customer loyalty, but if you develop your own system you’re trying to actively outperform companies who are serving tens of clients. Building your own system in 2020 is the same as trying to build your own phone, car or even chair or dining room table. While you could achieve it with enough resources, passion and time thrown into it, your time is better spent doing core (travel) related activities and paying professionals to do the programming. Plus, you’re getting systems at a bargain of what it means to produce them and a time to market of a few weeks makes choosing an established IT house the only way to go forward in my opinion.”

As a summary of the previous paragraphs, we can state with confidence that creating your own technology, controlling the source code and paying monthly developer salaries used to work. In an unsafe environment, it is crucial to double down on your travel activity and outsource other non-essentials to tech companies who are only focused on developing software.

The ideal time for developments from your tech provider

wbe.travel has decided to take advantage of this period and dedicate all its teams in developing additional software solutions, enhancing the features and user experience on the existing products and upgrading its overall service offering, to better serve the travel companies once the storm clears out. Some of the new deliveries from wbe.travel that the travel companies can look forward to:

  • New B2B layout and UX options
  • Improved markup module with innovative UX (user experience)
  • Static and dynamic packages in B2B and B2C
  • API integrations with tours and activities suppliers
  • The extension of the Offline Module with flights reservation for whom wbe.travel’s has already announced its release last week

We’ve listed a few of them. You can find out about the additional upgrades by contacting the Business Development team.

While wbe.travel’s teams are currently working on the new releases and upgrades, wbe.travel’s automated solutions successfully hosted in the cloud, sustain the activity of the more than 45,000 Travel Agents registered in the system and help them in managing the postponed or canceled bookings. Nowadays the management tools are at the heart of the users, of the agents that without the proper resources would have spent a lot more time handling these tasks manually and would have left the travelers with no response or with an extended time lag in receiving an answer.

The standstill of the travel market – An opportunity to prepare for recovery and your chance to shine

The travel industry will weather the storm sooner rather than later. China has already proven in the past days an uptick in flight searches and bookings – locally but still showed the first sign of positivity, a breath of fresh air that we all need. Several travel experts advised travel businesses on the path to recovery to prepare properly and start slow and small by focusing first on local markets, shifting their attention to domestic travel and encouraging step-by-step healing.

It is expected that the first segment to bounce back from this shock, to be the business travel as the economy will steadily recover. 40% the Global Travel Association members anticipate, with an optimistic overview, a recovery of the Business Travel in about 3 months.

Automation in the travel industry - by wbe.travel 2

This would be a great time for travel companies to prepare their business for a path back to recovery or the first launch of a new travel brand, with a complete set of reliable software solutions. “If nothing else, the COVID-19 situation has shown us how critical automation is to saving time and money,” said BeMyGuest CEO Blanca Menchaca in the previously mentioned article published by Phocuswire.

Conclusions

While the industry is now in a standstill we need to plan ahead our strategy for recovery and relaunch after all the storms clear out. With a positive thought in mind, we look further to a better time, a more organized one and we all need to find the technology that works, on which we can depend 100%.

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