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.
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.
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The topic of insurance is one that is gaining traction
– as companies such a Skyscanner,
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
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.