With Google declaring war on agents, its time agents take initiatives.
In case you missed it, Google and Sabre have announced plans to go straight to market with hotel bookings. Whilst Google clarified that their acquisition of ITA software (flights) did not mean they will sell direct to the public, partnerships with a number of OTA’s effectively makes them a channel for flights.
What travel agents must now understand and accept and act upon, sadly, is that they are competing with Google. Sure, you can pretend otherwise. But it’s just pretend. Grown ups don’t pretend.
Putting on my conspiracy theory hat (which has quite a bit of aluminum foil so they can’t read my thoughts) and in part, wedging my tongue in my cheek, there are four elements that agents must understand in this brave new world of travel.
Get your head around it
The matrix has you. The input output carrier signals are stopping you thinking.
If you are still doing a lot of business with wholesalers that also retail, partnering or working alongside companies who are competing in the same space, it’s time to wake up.
Knock knock Neo.
This is not the same marketplace that existed a decade ago or even five years ago or in part, even at the start of the year. You have had your data harvested every time you have used your computer and now it is being used against you.
Don’t keep taking corporate or glitzy messages. Use your head.
Now, get a different web browser
You need to break your Google addiction. Why? Google is the new “Bandaid”
When it comes to travel meta data, you are the most valuable user they have. Every time you use Google it tracks your searches and loads up cookies that see what else you do.
Other activity that go through that web browser, even if Google is closed, goes back to Google. Use TripAdvisor, search for a destination, go back to something like The Age and watch the adverts the pop-up.
You are feeding your opposition. Here is a BBC list are some great alternatives. DuckDuckGo could be the answer.
Know your systems
It is really important to look at the systems you are using. Who else is being serviced by the system provider you are using? Do you understand your privacy laws or restrictions?
Love them or hate them but Julian Assange and Edward Snowden have given you the opportunity to open your eyes.
Of course, you can just ignore them and keep feeding the beast.
Learn about the companies
There is a treasure trove of information out there that can teach you everything you need to know.
roomsXML got stung by CTS travel. If we had known more about the people behind the company, there is no way we would have gone there. AFTA have changed the way they are giving accreditation on the same basis.
Protect yourself, your data, your business, your intelligence and your intellectual property by knowing who you are really dealing with.
Do you think it’s time agent start fighting back?
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