One of the most fascinating parts of my job is to watch the evolution of travel professionals. In my 20-plus years in the travel media industry, I have seen the ones that didn’t adapt to change and the ones that did. The ones that didn’t make the turn fell off the cliff and the others continued to accelerate down the road. This is true in my business as well. I used to be in the publishing business and now I am in the media and content industry. Publishing is old-school, content is king and delivery is the key to the kingdom.
One thing that technology has done for you is free you from your desks. It also has made you accessible 24/7. This is a good thing as it makes you more viable than the old days when your bookings were turned over to a night service. Of course, when the times are no longer your own, you face challenges. How do you keep up with your reading and education, for instance? Last year I traded my BlackBerry for a smartphone. My weapon of choice is the iPhone by Apple. I cannot live without it, both on a personal and business level.
Our website, www.travelagentcentral.com—which is the most visited travel agent resource on the web—just became the first to offer a mobile version. This makes viewing content easier to read on your mobile device. So, check it out, stay connected, keep up with the news, be informed and, most importantly, remain relevant to the changing times.(Even Oprah believes in travel agents—she listed it as one of her top 10 dream jobs!)
It also raises the question: Are you ready to go mobile? If you can take your website mobile successfully, then there’ll be all sorts of rewards. Mobile shopping is still new, and there are lots of people trying it out for the first time and starting to build loyalty—you may get a lot of long-term clients if you get into it now. People are also far more likely to pay for small pieces of information or downloads, since they can pay quickly and easily using their phone instead of a credit card.
But even if it’s not actually built to perform transactions, a mobile website can still be a good promotion or call to action. Mobile users are especially likely to use your website to try to get your phone number, or directions to where you are—can you afford to let these people down? Anyone who’s taking the time, trouble and expense to look up your site on their phone is likely a loyal (or potentially loyal) customer, and you want to make things easy for them.
|Travel Agent’s website has been optimized for mobile users|