|Tablets Could Revolutionise Travel Agencies; Every Frontliner Should Have One.|
By Yeoh Siew Hoon
Sunday, 16th October 2011
The mobile revolution and the tablet could enable traditional travel agents to make up for whatever ground they may have lost when the travel business went online.
Indeed, Robert Bailey (right), president and CEO of Abacus International, said just as tablet devices are revolutionizing the way we work, they could also transform the way travel agents do business.
“Mobile will help them make the generation leap,” he said.
Asked by WIT if every travel agency boss should arm their frontliners with a tablet like the iPad, Bailey replied, “Why not? Imagine being able to take your office to your client, it changes the entire experience and delivers a concierge experience to your customer.”
Danny Kondic, vice president of channel management, said, “For traditional brick and mortar agents, this tool could revolutionise the way travel is sold.
“Imagine, if some visionary person could take this and transform the way a travel agency is run – get away from the counters. So far from being the death knell, this technology could completely innovate the way travel is sold.”
The two executives were speaking at an Abacus media lunch to share the results of the latest Abacus’ Asia Travel Insights Survey 2011 which shows how mobile technology has contributed to Asia’s strong rise in the global travel landscape.
While market growth, previously anticipated at 4-8%, has been revised to 2-4% due to the global financial climate and natural disasters such as the tsunami in Japan, Bailey said “Asian travel industry growth and confidence remain high as it proves its resilience in mitigating any outstanding factors”.
The survey, conducted at a pre-European economic crisis period, found that 75% of those surveyed anticipate their business will experience growth of greater than 10% in the next 12 months, with 25.8% of respondents seeing a growth of greater than 20%.
Mobile technology was the most heavily highlighted area from the survey. Travel players indicated mobile transactions, social media, mobile apps and mobile-specific websites as the key areas of investment for 2012.