The above question is being asked by many travel companies in the US, Canada, UK, Europe or Asia Pacific specifically when the travel business is bouncing back but the business operating environment has changed?
Today, clients have become more demanding, in terms of 24×7 support, access to their account manager post office hours or have answers to their health related queries – these queries from travellers have jumped many fold and clients prefer to use a travel agent/TMC rather than use self- booking tool since the Covid related travel requirements change by the day – thankfully with reducing restrictions in most cases. This means that a travel agency needs more staff, or needs to change business models to take care of operating costs.
Many travel companies are introducing consultation fee, planning fee, terms of not picking up new queries within say 15 days of departure to ensure they preserve the precious human resources that they currently have and prevent overload of work on their reduced team or staff burnout. Some travel agents/TMCs are going as far as not sharing their employee personal cell phone numbers and maintain a boundary wall around their employees for a better work life scenario.
The other practical way is to outsource as much as possible and just focus on core business activity. For example, the owner/business head could focus on new business and existing client relationships locally via his team but outsource After Office support, Travel Reservations and Operations, Financial Services including booking keeping, commission reconciliation, data entries and other quality control processes to a company like Eprime Travels in India.
Outsourcing brings in the flexibility to scale up or scale down your expenses at short notice, and you get to manage your business better and not get involved in administrative or other time-consuming tasks. Having a good outsourcing partner definitely makes a big difference and makes life easier for the travel agent in the US, Canada, UK or Europe or APAC. As English is still the preferred language of doing business, finding an outsourcing partner becomes easy. There are many companies that focus on travel industry outsourcing only and leverage their domain knowledge, access to qualified travel counselors, good communication skills of their team, aware of all major GDS operating skills, Accounting or back-office services.
One of them is Eprime Travels Pvt Limited, based in India that has been in business since 1999. What started as a captive contact center and managed travel operations of sister concern in US, UK and Singapore today has options for 3rd party clients and thus offers the capabilities to support their industry colleagues across the globe.
Eprime, as an outsourcing partner, today offers a range of services that can facilitate the routing functions of a travel agency based anywhere globally to operate well in their business while Eprime Travels can manage all back-end travel services for them. These are offered via qualified travel team members who have the experience of working on GDS like Amadeus, Travelport, Sabre, Apollo. The travel reservations and operations team is further supplemented by colleagues who offer financial services of the agency while adhering to their local compliances. The financial team works on ERP and Operations and Reservations team works on customized eCRM tools.
Coming from a travel industry background, the outsourcing partner understands the nuances and importance of various activities. Eprime also realises the confidentiality of the process, importance of brand being handled and the adherence to service levels being asked by its client overseas.
As the travel business undergoes changes, it may make perfect sense for you as an owner of a travel business to explore outsourcing your labour intensive work and leverage the pricing arbitrage being offered by Eprimetravels.