Reimagining the Travel Agent / Tour Operator Digital Relationship

Ben Block, CEO of DH Enterprise & Associates (now TravelSmart International Group), discusses how the company is reimagining the relationship between travel agents, tour operators and digital platforms.

By combining technology, data-driven insights, and personalized customer experiences, DH Travel caters to a broad range of customers and provides them with high-value vacation options.

How Can Tour Operators Improve Relationships with Travel Agents Using Modern, Digital Tools?

DH Enterprise & Associates, a traditional tour operator, had previously moved towards a direct model of selling travel packages to consumers. However, Block recognized the importance of engaging with travel agents and created a digital solution to facilitate their access to DH Travel’s products.

What Should Interactive Digital Toolsets for Travel Agents Look Like?

Block and his team developed an interactive digital toolset that allows travel agents to access DH Travel’s products, including travel inspiration content, pre-built vacation packages, and customized trips. The toolset enables agents to share the content and itineraries with their customers while keeping the communication and booking process within the agent’s control. Agents receive alerts when their customers engage with the content, providing an opportunity to follow up and close the sale.

Privacy and data and analytics also play a crucial role in DH Travel’s business, allowing them to measure user behavior, improve the user experience, and make informed decisions about product development. By understanding customer preferences, they can suggest relevant travel options and enhance the overall customer experience.

How to Broaden Access to More Demographics

The company’s ability to leverage technology and employ a lean startup approach has also helped them to stay competitive in the fast-paced digital travel industry. For example, by recognizing the impact of platforms like Instagram on travel trends and customer preferences, they have utilized social influencer marketing to successfully tap into the younger demographic by offering affordable all-inclusive travel packages.

Tools for Travel Agents a Glance

  1. The travel industry is an increasingly digital industry. The relationship between travel agents and tour operators needs to be reimagined and adjusted accordingly.
  2. Digital solutions that facilitate travel agent and tour operator interactions include direct access to products, content, and itineraries and providing customer engagement alerts – all while keeping the communication and booking process within the agent’s control.
  3. When developing digital toolsets for travel, measuring user behavior is crucial. Applying data and analytics will improve the user experience and help make informed decisions about product development.
  4. Tracking and understanding a wide variety of marketing approaches, like social influencers, allows for both agents and operators to home in on travel trends and customer preferences and better target all demographics.