There is probably a touch-controlled net-connected device within reach of you right now. There’s even a 50% chance that you are reading this on one–and you’re not alone.
I’m writing this on my iPad Mini, with a groovy Zagg keyboard attached while cruising on BC Ferries to Victoria. Looking around me, at least 75% of the other passengers are tapping out emails and texts, snapping pictures, making video calls, or flicking their way to a high score on Candy Crush.
Some are so absorbed in their gadgets that they barely notice anything else. Others however, are using them to enhance their trip experience. Some are watching the blinking dot on an interactive map weave its way through the Gulf Islands. Some are uploading pictures of the breath-taking scenery to Facebook or Instagram to instantly share with family and friends. Some are checking out Victoria’s restaurants on Yelp.
I just used an “augmented reality” app on my iPhone to pop up fascinating facts and details as we pass by each island. It superimposes the information on the live camera screen like a virtual tour guide.
Then, just for fun, I tried out Google Translate’s voice app to have a friendly chat with the Japanese couple sitting next to me. I spoke English, they spoke Japanese. Google translated voice to voice in real time. There were a few laughs and odd translations, but everyone had a good time.
Travel and mobile technology have become so interconnected. From research and planning, to pre-trip videos and post-trip memories, the connection isn’t going to end any time soon.
Why should you care? Well, you might already be losing clients to a finger swipe and a tap! But, you can prevent it.
Mobile tech is sexy, engaging and fun. It transforms travel research into an immersive, interactive experience. It also goes along on the trip and has become an integral part of the before, the during and the after. It doesn’t limit its role to making bookings for a commission.
If you’re still just quoting prices, reading screens of info over the phone, and making most of your money from commission, you might have a problem.
However, if you are trying to transform inquiries into immersive interactive consultations, you’ll be seen as sexy, engaging, fun, smart, and most importantly– human.
If you start shifting your revenue model from a commission-dominated one to one that focuses on consultation and professional fees, you’ll free yourself from the limitations of the “booking box” mindset. You’ll also no longer be quite so vulnerable to the supplier whims and industry changes which are so prevalent.
Technology has never been a threat to those who can see beyond the booking box. That doesn’t mean bookings don’t matter–quite the opposite in fact. Rather, they become a natural result of a different focus – a focus on your real value in the lives of your clients.
Don’t get swiped. Get sexy.