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TripAtlas.com Launches Link for Agents, ConsumersJanuary 4, 2010 By: George Dooley
TripAtlas.com is launching its web-based magazine and claims title to being one of the largest online travel resources after two years in development and testing, Steven Kaufman, president and co-developer of TripAtlas.com said.
TripAtlas PRO travel agents can access the hundreds of travel leads submitted by consumers using Trip Builder and reply directly and anonymously to the consumer, giving the customer full control in picking the best quote that suits their travel needs.
The site is designed as a ground-breaking tool linking consumers and travel professionals by offering a one-stop-shop for international vacation planning, Kaufman said. TripAtlas says it offers 90 million pages in 12 different languages including industry articles, blogs, trends, destination guides, vacation deals and the ability to connect to travel agents via referrals or live chats.
Kaufman said that TripAtlas was developed by travel agent and marketing industry veterans, and tested over the past two years with more than 500,000 unique visitors monthly from over 200 counties and regions around the world. “TripAtlas affords consumers the convenience of planning a vacation online with the reliability and comfort of booking with a travel professional through the site’s two main features – Trip Builder and TripAltas PRO,” Kaufman said. “We realized that many people are hesitant to book a vacation online because they’re either apprehensive about the reliability of the product, or want the assurance of a live travel professional to protect their choices.”
Kaufman is a long-time travel agent industry executive, former president of Vacation.com Canada and previously president of Gem and GIANTS Canada (now Ensemble Travel).
“Using our Trip Builder paired with TripAtlas PRO bridges the gap between consumers and agents while TripAtlas.com offers an online travel magazine and planning site,” noted Travis Snelling, general manager and co-developer.
Trip Builder offers consumers an innovative travel planning tool allowing the consumer to request the exact trip they’re interested in booking. This can range from basic airfare requests or hotel stays to all-inclusive packages, group vacations, company getaways, tours, cruises and more.
Once consumers submit their travel request via Trip Builder, the network of TripAtlas PROs – consisting of over 1,000 international agents, tour operators and tourist boards – review the leads and can respond with rates and requested information. Consumers can also engage in live chats with pros to receive real-time travel suggestions and ideas on hotels, destinations, restaurants, tours and more.
TripAtlas PRO is a comprehensive online platform for travel professionals combining four key elements – reviewing and answering travel leads, online marketing of travel packages, building customer relations and tracking industry trends.
When becoming a TripAtlas PRO, agents and travel agencies have the ability to generate online marketing by enhancing their company profiles with a variety of components. This includes company website links, 10 descriptive keyword tags, detailed contact information and bios, as well as an appearance in the “newest companies” section which is visible on most of the 90 million pages.
Another advantage to becoming a Trip Atlas PRO is building and sustaining customer relationships, TripAtlas says. The website conveniently keeps track of all consumer leads, responses and travel history in addition to organizing customer contact information, which allows agents to follow-up with travelers regarding trips that may peak their interest.
Keeping up with travel trends is a key asset for successful travel professionals, and at TripAtlas.com agents are able to track trends to gain valuable market insight and evaluate what consumers are currently buying at the moment.
“Our trend tracker is one of the most unique features TripAtlas.com offers agents. By understanding what destinations and products interest consumers, agents are able to promote vacation packages that appeal to travelers and generate business,” said Snelling.
An additional marketing feature benefiting both consumers and travel agents is the “Choose a Trip” tool, allowing consumers to browse pre-built vacations posted by agents and tour wholesalers. Vacationers can even search travel packages and deals by category: including romantic getaways, family plans, luxury travel, sporting events, girl’s trips, golfing packages, cruises, skiing and more.
Each week TripAtlas selects the most popular trips published by travel agents and wholesalers to be sent to consumers via weekly TripAlert e-mails. TripAlerts are sent to the thousands of consumers subscribing to TripAltas.com as well as posted on various social media outlets.
Travel professionals can join TripAtlas PRO for $395 a year or $35 a month. This fee includes access to 150 consumer travel leads, the ability to post travel packages online, an enhanced company profile, customer relationship management and more.
Unlike other leading travel sites, TripAtlas.com does not take a commission or interfere with the business between consumers and agents, Kaufman said. Online advertising on the site is also available.
“We connect consumers to the agents and let them do business together,” said Kaufman, urging agents including home based independent agents to explore the site. “Our unique position in the industry is to provide the resources for the consumer to make educated choices and help the travel agent generate real business with qualified consumer leads,” he added.
Visit www.TripAtlas.com or call 1-877-374-8747.