Customer retention and revenue optimisation cited as fundamental to successful online travel businesses
- United Arab Emirates: Wednesday, January 23 - 2013 at 14:14
- PRESS RELEASE
The fast-paced technological landscape and shifting consumer trends continue to throw up challenges for the online travel sector. Consequently, the need for online travel agents (OTAs) to put in place a competitive strategy and offer the best prices and service in order to retain customers has never been greater, according to Sameer Gunaseelan, IT Manager, Omeir Bin Youssef Group.
The workshop brought together experts in the online travel segment who examined crucial subjects such as actual trends in online travel, the importance of an online presence, measuring costs, increasing revenue and effective advertising.
Highlighting challenges faced by online business in the region and ways in which OTAs can increase efficiency, Gunaseelan added: "Setting up an online business in a region where consumerslack the confidence to make payments online is extremely challenging. In this scenario, agents must ensure they have a tightly-knit customer retention strategy. Through offering a straightforward buying experience and a fast, simple and user-friendly interface will ensure customer satisfaction, in turn increasing the success rate of OTAs in the region."
Graham Nichols, Managing Director, Amadeus Gulf, said: "There is no doubt that the online travel market in the UAE is booming. In fact, according to a PhoCusWright study on online travel trends in the Middle East, gross bookings of online travel agents are expected to rise from $2.2bn in 2012 to $3.2bn in 2014, indicating great potential for the market.
"However, while it is important for travel agents to keep up with global trends, it is equally significant for them to understand how to effectively utilise the online platform. Very often, agents fail to consider whether their business is yielding a high return on investment, a critical factor when expanding online. Through workshops such as these, Amadeus aims to shed light on such key topics that would benefit online travel agents and entrepreneurs in the region, in turn resulting in the advancement of the sector as a whole."
A featured session titled 'Convert visitors into recurring customers' focused on factors that are crucial to the success of an online travel business, including ways to get higher conversion rates, making yourself available to customers, optimising performance, paying attention to security and achieving loyalty through diversification. The event also hosted sessions titled 'Drive traffic to your site' and 'Maximise your revenue and control your cost'.
The seminar was designed for travel agents of all sizes across the UAE and invited the participation of agents currently operating a travel website. The event also drew the attendance of travel operators looking to plan or expand their business online.
PrahladThuppalai, General Manager, Darwish bin Ahmed travel agency, said: "In order to be able to offer comprehensive and well-managed travel management services to clients, it is important for Travel Management Companies (TMCs) to properly integrate online solutions with Amadeus products. Further, it is also important to have in-depth knowledge of what products can be integrated so as to ensure cost efficiency. The Amadeus seminar has helped us understand the online travel marketing strategy and the latest technology advancements that Amadeus has incorporated into its comprehensive business suite."
Amadeus is a leading travel technology partner and transaction processor for the global travel and tourism industry. It is currently present in the MENA region through 17 local Amadeus Commercial Organisations (ACOs) that service 21 countries. Amadeus Gulf organises workshops and seminars on a regular basis for the benefit of the travel agency community in the UAE and beyond.
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