New software aims to deliver personal touch to online booking
OTAs or suppliers’ sites are appealing to consumers’ emotions with inspirational tools such as Travel Seeker HD and Featured Results, both offered by Amadeus, and Vayant’s FastSearch.
Until now, a key quality differentiating the traditional travel agent and the online travel agency (OTA) has been high-touch personalization. Traditional agents have it. OTAs not so much. But a new generation of travel software is about to change that equation.
OTAs are beginning to move from the “rational” booking tools on which they were built — those two-dimensional grids of dates, city pairs and fares — to “inspirational” tools that open with maps of the world and evocative images, trip themes and interactive features designed to appeal to the emotions and create a highly personalized purchasing experience.
In short, said Henry Harteveldt, chief research officer and co-founder of the Atmosphere Research Group, OTAs are venturing into a high-touch area where traditional travel agents have excelled by adding value through conversation and personal contact.