11.21.08 Travel Trade, “Travel Technology Is Good for Bottom Line”

Travel Technology Is Good for Bottom Line

Fri Nov 21 2008, by Dori Saltzman

Miami –“Technology is the future of the travel industry,” said Alan Gerstner, MCC, president of Travel Doctor Consulting, opening the Leisure Travel Conference’s technology panel. Panel members agreed, adding that especially in these tough times technology can help agents optimize services, increase efficiencies and grow revenue.

“Especially in these tough times, you have to cut back and optimize efficiency using technology,” said David Goodis, CEO of Revelex, responding to the question, “How does your company’s technology increase agent’s bottom line?”

Using a booking engine, such as Revelex, can introduce agents to other products they can sell, like travel insurance, thus creating an incremental revenue stream, which Goodis said agents need to focus on.

Joff Romoff, vice president of sales for Amadeus North America, agreed, saying that the Amadeus GDS is committed to bring alternative revenue sources to North American agents. Romoff told agents that Amadeus will soon be bringing a new traveltrainment product online, which will offer the ability to book new ground services and excursion products.

Bob Maier, president of MailPound, said technology makes it easier for agents to do their job. In particular MailPound makes it easier to communicate and market the products that agents sell through personalized and targeted email marketing materials.

Both Ed Cespedes, president and CEO, Tralliance Corp., the .travel Registry, and John Peters, president and CEO of Triplogy, said technology also helps agents expand their client base.

“It doesn’t matter how much you have to sell, if no one can find you,” Cespedes said, adding that most people first search travel on the Internet. In fact, he said travel is the biggest commerce category on the Web and because of their vast numbers travel companies often get lost in the .com world. Taking on a .travel extension instead of a .com, Cespedes said, will bring more Web traffic to an agent’s site, thereby providing new leads.

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