COVID-19 has upended traditional business practices for many travel companies – and changed consumers’ consideration and capabilities as they deal with things such as travel restrictions, reduced budgets and concerns of healthy and safety.
Flywire, an international payment solutions provider that works across industries such as travel, education and healthcare, is offering tips for travel companies on how to adapt to these changes and how to capture demand is it returns in the coming years.
The guide, “Bouncing Back 2021 Playbook: Tips, Trends and Strategies for Resilient Travel Companies,” provides suggestions across six areas: healthy and safety guidelines; terms and conditions; travel insurance; diversifying product offerings; mastering social media marketing; and reducing payment costs.
“As we adapt to the new realities of travel, operators and providers must make changes to the way they operate, while also working to find new revenue streams and increased efficiencies ... by making small adjustments to key practice areas and pursuing new initiatives, travel companies will set themselves up for long-term success,” the report states.
The topic of insurance is one that is gaining traction – as companies such a Skyscanner, Hopper, Emirates and Lufthansa have all recently announced insurance offerings. In the report, Battleface CEO Sasha Gainullin says his company, a provider of travel insurance benefits, is seeing three areas of interest from travelers: coverage that is valid even when advisories change; coverage for COVID-19 medical expenses while traveling; and single- rather than multi-trip policies.
Regarding international payments, Flywire senior client success manager Jack Palley advises travel operators do three things to reduce their processing costs: understand the fees they are paying for credit card, Paypal, wire transfer and other types of payments; evaluate new processors with consideration for not just fees but also security features and ease of integration; and offer alternative payment options to serve the diverse needs of travelers.
On the topic of terms and conditions, Nigel Hack, founder of Madrid & Beyond, provides suggestions on how operators can lower risk and preserve capital as bookings resume. First, he says companies should clearly display cancellation and refund policies to reduce the risk of disputes or chargebacks.
Second, he says companies should require customers to consent to those terms and conditions prior to checkout. And finally, Hack says operators should provide a receipt to customers to show what has been purchased, the remaining balance owed and a reminder of the cancellation policy.