"Seamless" and "ancillary" are buzzwords for future revenue drivers, Amadeus said in a special report.
"In the coming decade, the airline and travel industries must explore new income sources to ensure their recovery from the effects of the recent recession — along with the more long-term goal of securing sustainable profits," according to the report.
Amadeus cited its recent white paper, The Travel Gold Rush 2010, to suggest future “pots of gold” for the travel industry and analyzed their viability:
-Travel agencies and airlines may cross-sell commission-based ancillary services and enter into cooperative arrangements.
- Ancillary revenue can be gained from fees for services and/or service improvements beyond the base fare.
- These services provide customers with more and improved options for a seamless end-to-end travel experience.
Travel agencies and airlines should nail down future revenue by offering more services to create seamless journeys, Amadeus recommends.
“After all, who doesn’t dream of a problem-free trip? With a joint effort, agents and airlines can extend to their customers the simple pleasures of easy airline transfers and uncomplicated airline-to-hotel transport,” Amadeus said.
Airlines and travel agencies can both benefit from looking at their products in broader terms, according to Amadeus. As an example, the report pointed to the mobile phone industry, which has expanded its product beyond mere voice communication services to provide e-mail, social networking and entertainment.
Amadeus’ research also suggested that airlines will delve into customer technology that would, in essence, create “virtual cabin classes” by offering paid access to Wi-Fi, gaming and entertainment. Another potential fee-based perk to consider—smartphones with stored passenger preferences tucked into armrests.
As agents continue to face the challenge of competition from do-it-yourself Internet booking, Amadeus offered some advice: be a travel guru. “Emphasize the specialized experience and personal service that your agency provides—throughout every step of the travel journey,” the report said.
Also, agents should look to profit from new technologies by marketing location-specific software for smartphones, Amadeus says. The customized software would provide real-time, interactive information on plane and local bus/train timetables, hotels and attractions near a traveler’s destination. The full report is available to travel agents from Amadeus.