There’s nothing like working in travel. A fast paced, exciting career where no two days are the same.
According to the Australian Federation of Travel Agents, travel agents are experiencing steady growth each year and are still a safe career in a rapidly digitising economy. Every year Australians are still choosing their local agents to cut down on the time it takes to travel and just focus on creating memories visiting somewhere special, somewhere familiar or somewhere off the beaten track using the specialist knowledge only accredited travel experts can provide.
Online travel marketing in Australia is incredibly competitive. According to Austrade, the tourism industry in Australia employs 924,000 people – that’s 1 in 13 Australians working in travel.
“It doesn’t matter how talented, experienced or passionate you are. You’ve got to make the most of your marketing if you want to succeed as an agent, it’s essential. I think a lot of people get intimidated by marketing when really all it boils down is wearing you heart on your slave – your passion for travel needs to be made crystal clear,” say travel agents.
“Write from the heart on your website blog, respond respectfully to online reviews and don’t be afraid to acknowledge success on social media. Email marketing is something I personally use and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Make your passion for travel your personal brand and get it out there for everyone to see, constantly.”
Technology is rapidly changing and the rapid growth of online booking platforms is placing increased importance on the online presence of bricks and mortar agents.
“If your website is lagging behind the curve, so will your revenue. Websites are not window dressing, they are essential to the growth and success of any travel business. Just think of what you do to make a choice anytime you’re deciding on how to spend money – you check online for knowledge, reviews and how long the business has been in operation.”
“I travel to a lot of conferences and need to be available 24/7 for customers around the world so mobile optimisation is really important for me. I love that B2Bpay is mobile optimised so I can send invoices and receive payment whenever it’s convenient for me – it just makes life easy and gives me the flexibility I need as a travel agent.”
In a rapidly digitising economy, travel agents have remained a strong career option and shown consistent year on year growth in Australia. According to Austrade, the reason for this comes down to travel agents offering their customers something priceless: more time.
“The fee or commission we take translates into perks, upgrades and less time organising your holiday. This part of an agent’s job hasn’t changed and I don’t see it changing in the future. At the end of the day, we take the stress out of holiday planning and contribute insider knowledge and make the most of our relationships with tourism operators to give our clients the best experience possible.”
“I love B2Bpay because it makes my business payments to my suppliers more efficient and rewarding. Everything is stored in one place and I earn extra Qantas Points on all my transactions which I put towards rewarding my staff for making sales targets or continuing to fly business class with Qantas. It’s simple and rewarding.”
With multiple travel agents available across every shopping centre or metropolitan centre, standing out is critical to your small business success. Austrade believes in sticking to your personal strengths.
“Put yourself in your customer’s shoes – when they come to a travel agent, they want the inside information on a destination – not the generic rundown they can get anywhere online or browsing a guidebook.”
“Get to know a few destinations, experiences or trips inside out. When’s the best time to go, where to stay, where to eat, where not to go – these are some the questions people come to us for. Specialising isn’t narrowing your audience, it’s staying relevant and building trust in your ongoing relationships with clients to drive repeat business.”
“I like how B2Bpay is tailored to my business and gives me more of the rewards I need in Qantas Points.”
Digital booking platforms are putting pressure on the bricks and mortar travel industry but change can be a good thing, no matter how many years you’ve been in the industry, according to Austrade.
“The customer service and human interaction you get from your travel agent cannot be replicated by online booking platforms. As long as agents stay up to date with the latest technology and implement it within their businesses they represent the perfect balance between interaction and internet. Having a strong online presence is essential for future travel agency growth within younger markets who expect it.”
“B2Bpay has been specifically adapted for small businesses like mine who need to offer online payments quick and fast. There’s no change to existing banking relationships and no special training required. The ability to earn Qantas Points on every transaction, even pesky ATO payments, is really what made me choose B2Bpay for my small business. I love having more Qantas Points on hand to reward staff with business class flights.”
“Trust is important in travel, especially for people who may be stranded overseas and need some help getting from A to B. I trust B2Bpay in partnership with Qantas Business Rewards to process my business payments and earn my business more rewards – it’s exactly what I need .”