The rise of the internet has not only created a flourishing online travel agent (OTA) sector – it has also given travellers the tools to compare fares and travel options at their fingertips. Given this ease of comparison, a price difference of even $1 can drive them to choose one OTA over another, creating a very competitive marketplace. In the long term, however, securing success and competitive differentiation in this busy sector isn’t simply about lowering prices – it’s about truly understanding and providing what travellers want. For us at DestinoJet.com, achieving this understanding is an important driver of our work with Amadeus Travel Intelligence.
Our partnership with Amadeus Travel Intelligence has benefitted us both on the B2B and B2C side of our company by giving us a much deeper understanding of current and potential customers, helping us to improve acquisitions and conversion rates, across all of the six Latin American countries we operate in.
The Amadeus Agency Insight product suite was designed to help OTAs and travel agents like us make sense of information and best reach travellers. In this crowded marketplace, the key to an OTA’s success is differentiation though product offers. Cost per acquisition is rising, and it is important to know when to present a promotion to the customer, and indeed, what destinations to promote and who to promote them to.
Search Analysis has been incredibly beneficial for us, giving insight into, for example, the markets that are growing in popularity. We then use this information to check with our sales and marketing teams to be sure our Google AdWords and other marketing efforts are in line with those markets. For example, we recently saw that Sao Paolo as a destination was trending upwards; we ran a promotion pushing the location and increased bookings.
Packages are key in Latin America, and Search Analysis has also helped us grow here. We were offering seven-day packages to Miami, but were still missing out on what travellers wanted. Search Analysis showed us that three-day packages were popular – we began offering those and immediately saw an increase in sales.
But Booking Analysis is really the Holy Grail for us. We use it to see how our main competitors are doing, and to benchmark our own position within the wider market. We can also see booking trends for specific routes and therefore understand where we need to focus our efforts.
The information we gain from Amadeus Travel Intelligence tools is invaluable to our business. We have been able to improve our negotiations with suppliers, including airlines, which is how we are hugely up on the Cancun-Medillin route whilst the market is down 10%: we negotiated a special fare for that route with a specific airline for a defined period of time.
We aren’t the biggest OTA in the market, nor are we the smallest. But with these Agency Insight tools, we have some real leverage with the airlines. We can talk to them about different routes and work together to provide a better service to our customers. When a specific location is trending, we know about it and can blog or produce content on Twitter or Facebook. We can also use the information from Search Analysis and Booking Analysis to improve journey packaging.
More than ever before, we are able to understand the demands of customers and the shortcomings of competitors in the market. These insights can aid marketing, as we can use them to optimise search results, develop products and routes, and negotiate with airlines.
The Agency Insight product suite and the use of travel intelligence data have given us invaluable tools to identify gaps in the market, undercut competitors and communicate with customers through social media and blog posts. It’s much smarter and more precise than anything we’ve seen before, and it pays dividends by increasing bookings through improved journey packaging. It cuts down on costs for any wasted, misdirected actions and it optimises search engine results. This is an invaluable asset for any company wanting an edge on the market.