Over the last two decades the travel distribution landscape has witnessed major changes where the proliferation of internet based technologies has played a major role. The travel industry operations has changed forever due to the revolution that internet has brought. This consequential growth followed by economic slowdown has created new dynamics in the industry operations. In the recent past the introduction of smart phones and social media marketing strategies has further created both opportunities as well as chaos for the business owners to run the business.

In the last five years, many new destinations have emerged as travel hotspots, creating a boom in the global tourism business. Globetrotters started demanding more customized services, which created new challenges for the operators. The following are some of the common challenges that travel distribution industry faces:

Dynamic Demand: Travel business is highly seasonal and cyclic. While the efficiency of travel operation depends on a sound IT infrastructure to a great extent, this seasonal and cyclic nature of the industry operations often create challenges for the operation manager to do the capacity planning and estimate the right size of IT support infrastructure. If they plan for peak load, it sometime resulted in underutilization of the resources and a higher operational cost. On the contrary, if they don’t plan for peak load, it entails the risk of loss of transaction opportunities,
dissatisfactory customer experience and finally a huge business loss. A small mistake in the accurate measurement may thus lead to higher IT infrastructure cost and lower revenue margins.

Increase in Number of Sales Channels: When smart phones came into the market, the travel players start concentrating over a mobile medium that can enhance customer experience and create loyalty among them. Additionally, the impact of social media networking has start showing its fruitful results for the travel industry operations. Although, smartphones and social media marketing has created great opportunities for the industry to expand its horizons, these have also created complexities for the business owners and operation managers to strategies their marketing mix properly.

Increase in Search Volume: The increase in the number of travel portals has further changed the pattern of travel booking behavior. Instead of physically meeting the travel operators, people started searching for good itineraries over the internet; the online booking engines have further made the task easy for the travelers to book their trips online. Tough this decreases the chances of manual mismanagement, it started demanding for a highly advanced IT infrastructure. Alongside, today’s globetrotters look for deals that give them ‘value for money’. To meet the growing demand of the consumers, the travel operators started concentrating on avenues like search engines, referral sites, websites, mobile applications, and social media to enhance the business efficiency.

To sustain the operational complexities and growing competition pressure, the business owners must need to rely on a sound IT infrastructure. An effective travel technology solution not only creates better opportunities for the business growth, it also facilitates better customer experience, attracts new consumer groups, slashes operational cost and increases the overall revenue margin.

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