The Lessons from 2015
Another year has passed. Actually worse still another festive season following the end of year has passed and we find ourselves with that low web of enthusiasm for the year ahead but plenty of work to do.
Best get started.
Here are the big 2015 lessons that travel agents should have as they look forward to 2016.
- The Aussie dollar is volatile, don’t bank on it
The Australian dollar showed its incredible “flexibility”, starting 2015 at about 81 US cents and finishing at about 73 US cents to the Australian dollar. There were several periods where the drops were dramatic. The big risk for agents – making a booking, confirming the price, the dollar shifts and lose half the profit. Or you could always ask pax for more cash….
Lesson: only buy when you can fix your rates. Booking variable rates will only hurt your bottom line.
- Wholesalers that retail will hurt you
In 2015 the “us versus them” mentality continued, in both the wholesale and the retail space. But many wholesalers are going direct to public. Some are just as obvious whilst others don’t go direct to public but go direct to corporate for example.
Lesson: the short-term gain is your long-term pain. If they are growing, ultimately, you will not.
- Change is the norm
“The more things change, the more they stay the same”. One of the best lessons I learned from a boss 18 years ago was to expect change. You can profit from change by being good you do, but always looking at more efficient and better ways to do it.
Lesson: don’t resist the obvious. Find ways to grow.
- Data is the new currency
Whether it’s big data, analytics or just getting a better grip on your own numbers, understanding the data in your business is incredibly valuable. Owning the data in your business is just as valuable. This is why so many of the big brands are releasing free apps or trying to steer customer interaction through a single channel; if its online and monitored the information is valuable.
You need to own your own data
Lesson: the power of analytics is making gut feel irrelevant. But data does not replace wisdom..
- Hotels and airlines want you out of the loop
NDC is all about standardization of data which makes life easier for computer systems. Hotels are getting very smart with direct marketing to customers and seeking brand allegiance across different cities. An easy way to increase profitability is to cut travel agents out of the loop.
They might pretend they want you, but they definitely want higher profitability.
Lesson: continue working with those who support you