Singapore Travel Agency Versus OTA
More than a hundred Singapore Local Travel Agencies closed down in the past two years, as reported by Singapore Tourism Board (https://www.stb.gov.sg). Some of observers might say, travel agency is a sunset industry being gradually discarded by time
Indeed, travel agencies are taking the brunt of significant expansion of E-commerce which is rippling on most traditional retail and service industries. Mainly, travel agencies bust due to intense price competitions caused by increasing transparency being reinforced by Web Tech and more stringent regulation issued by our great regulator, STB. However, meanwhile customers are enjoying the fairness and convenience. From Web tech 1.0 to 4.0, the experience of internet surfing has changed customers’ buying behaviour more or less in each era.
It is hard to generalize how leading travel agencies like Eu Asia Holidays, CTC TRAVEL, SUPER TRAVEL Chan Brother and a lot of small scale travel agency thrive in such circumstance. But let’s put technology and business model aside, and try to scrutinize it from the perspective of the service quality
Looking at customers’ feedback online, we can find out what customers appreciate or resent the most is still on proficiency of service. Compared to booking with OTA (online travel agency), the customer journey of offline booking starts from a call or a visit. Obviously, customers still perceive different value from ‘interact with people’ and ‘interact with machine’.
OTA give the right of making choice back to customers, but it does not mean it’s more time-saving. Soon after make decisions of choosing destination, a number of homework will be waiting in the line to be done, such as sifting accommodations, transportations, sightseeing and meticulous no-nos for traveling in certain countries. Customers usually spend numerous of time to do comparison using multiple benchmarks, especially word of mouth and pricing. The whole process is filled with doubts and uncertainties, where chatbot can’t give answers or peace of mind to customers most of the time.
Then we put a customer in the text of visiting a physical office of a travel agency. Despite the flexibility of product combination is not comparable to OTA, the tour packages that travel agencies holding on hands are precisely designed. Travel agencies take pride in showing customers their star products with great value. During the counselling sessions, consultants help customers remove doubts face to face, mind to mind. The rest of customer journey including payment and aftersales service also become easier with the reachable help of consultants.
OTA versus TA, each of them has its own merits. Customers has their own preference on planning their holidays. The emerging OTA will hardly kill TA on the basis of providing convenience.
Any way, we are in Singapore, a 719.1 km2 country! Is time-consuming really an issue to stop you from paying a visit to a travel agency in the central district?
Find a branded travel agency like Eu Asia Holidays to have a hassle free trips to Asia destination!!!