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Webwhat? Keep calm and let the Travel Agent handle it

We already know how to beat 'Webwhat' and it’s not at their own game.

We already know how to beat ‘Webwhat’ and it’s not at their own game.



The travel industry, the one that employs humans and spreads the wealth rather than to a limited number of people making your repayments, has its hackles up over the latest Webjet advertisement.

In some respects the reaction is warranted, but in other respects, are we just playing into their hands by taking part in the negative banter?

Personally I’m not super keen on the aspect of negative marketing and business. I do however appreciate that it does work and can attract a certain type of clientele. Sadly, we are hardwired to react to the negative messages more strongly than the positive.

roomsXML 2

roomsXML’s experience started to take market share off one of our competitors based in Australia. The opposition was quick to tell our customers that we did not have TCF, which was interesting because roomsXML only provides accommodation, TCF simply was not applicable. It would be like trying to get home insurance for your boat.

Our reaction?

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We reinforced our positive message of supporting travel agents. Yes, some customers were lost through the opposition’s marketing but we also gained and held onto the right sorts of agents who liked our positive messages.

So what’s the appropriate positive response to Webwhat?

Last year, in conjunction with KarryOn, almost like we could foresee the future (okay, it’s really just opportunistic) we ran a competition where travel agents submitted in 25 words or less what they believes that an agent could deliver compared to that of an online agency.

keep calm travel agent

The result was some light-hearted banter with some fantastic feedback from travel agents.

There were some winners and some grinners. Positive messages that reinforce the value of travel agents. There were T-shirts, there was marketing collateral and there were a lot of laughs.

We formed some great relationships. Sure, we might have printed T-shirts for travel agents that were never used, but in the end we helped promote our industry. We didn’t get a dollar for everyone we helped but overall we helped our customers and helped ourselves.

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That my friends is the answer.

Ultimately, the energy you spend in putting together negative messages is wasted. It’s a great way to have a caustic work environment that leads to staff churn and creates desperation in the workplace.

Be creative, be positive, talk about why you are better, not why your competition is worse and you are on the right track.

Keen on a T-shirt? Want to update your marketing collateral? Then contact us and let us put something together for you.

KarryOn contributor, Matt Castell, has also weighed in on the Webjet debate, saying he’s not angry but disappointed at the online travel company. Click here to read through.

How did you react after seeing the Webjet ad?