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Travel Tech Upgrades

Are you due for a technology upgrade?

Although the digital revolution has been under way for two decades, it has accelerated dramatically over the last two years as people have integrated virtual tools into every element of their professional and social lives. So as your travel club returns to activity in earnest in 2022, it’s worth considering whether your old ways of doing business could benefit from a digital makeover.

Travel will always be personal, but employing smart tech tools can help you make planning, booking and executing trips easier and more enjoyable for both you and your customers. Here are five popular technology developments that could represent areas of opportunity for your travel program.

Online Registration And Payment

When you run a trip in partnership with a tour operator, there’s a good chance the tour company takes care of registration and payment on its website. But what about trips you put together yourself? You should offer your customers the same convenience of an online registration and payment experience. Your organization may already have the necessary web technology. If not, you can set up simple registration and payment processing websites with platforms such as Wix, Squarespace, WooCommerce and Shopify.

Strategic Email Marketing

You probably have an email list for your travel club and send periodic e-newsletters letting your members know about upcoming trips. But are you making the most of its potential? Blast email services such as MailChimp and Constant Contact allow you to see who’s opened the emails you’ve sent and even generate a list of who’s clicked what links, so you can follow up with members that have taken a closer look at certain messages you’ve sent. You can also set up automated email campaigns that send birthday greetings to existing members or a series of onboarding messages when someone new joins your list.

Workflow Automation

How much time do you spend copying information from one place and pasting it into another? For most of us, it’s too much time. Instead of manually compiling the names and contact info of people who sign up for a trip, for instance, try taking advantage of workflow automation tools that do the work for you. One of the most popular is Zapier, a web-based software that can create powerful connections between your website forms, CRM system, email provider, website, social media and almost any other digital system you can think of. You set up actions that take place automatically, saving you time and busywork.

CRM Utilization

There’s a good chance your organization uses a customer relationship management (CRM) system such as Salesforce or HubSpot to keep track of client details and interactions. But are you making the most of that system? Have you built CRM groups, categories, tags or events specifically for your travel club? Do you make notes in the system about who has attended your events, opened your emails or joined you on a tour? When a qualifying lead is added to your organization’s CRM, do they automatically join your travel email list? Taking advantage of these systems can help you sell more effectively and make customers happier.

Digital Itineraries

You probably send travelers a printed itinerary in their final documents package before a trip begins. And although that’s great to have, it’s inconvenient to carry during a tour. To supplement your paper itineraries, then, offer people a digital version they can carry on their phones. The simplest way to do this is to email a PDF of the final itinerary the day before a trip. For a more robust digital itinerary tool, consider using an app like Travefy, which allows you to build easy-to-navigate digital itineraries that travelers can access on their phones. It also gives you group messaging and photo sharing during the trip.