New Future For Travel Agents Online, Post-COVID-19
TRVL.com is bringing travel agents to the web. TRVL is building an online travel agent market place where agents can be found and connect with customers all over the world.
TRVL.com is a popular hotel booking platform for travel agents and a global travel agent community. Members earn a travel agent commission on 2 million hotels from suppliers like Expedia, Bedsonline, Booking and Priceline.
The COVID-19 crisis has an unprecedented impact on travel pros. Some are out of work, many are wondering if they'll ever be able to recover. The online travel agent market place that TRVL.com is building will help travel advisors to expand their business beyond the customers they have today. Travel agents will earn a commission on every booking, and travelers will pay exactly the same for a hotel as they're paying online today.
The driving force behind this initiative are travel pros themselves, who want to take matters into their own hands. 95.7% of them have voted YES to building an online market place for travel agents in a survey done by TRVL.com in April.
Travel agents entering the Gig Economy
TRVL is bringing an offline industry online. With TRVL.com's market place, travel agents are entering the Gig Economy. This allows them to connect with customers globally, to work from home and choose their working hours as they see fit.
Jochem Wijnands, TRVL founder: "We believe it is time we make the services of travel agents available to everybody online, including the millions of self-bookers - travelers that are booking travel online without any help. We believe that this will become the new normal."
Wijnands sold his previous company Prss to Apple in 2014 where it became Apple News, which launched in 2015.
Do customers want the help of online travel agents when they make a booking?
The 'How We Book Now' report (2019) of Yieldify shows that 80% of consumers would like personalised advice when booking travel online. Yieldify further concludes that the increased volume of online travel sites has led to "analysis paralysis" and 47% of travelers find travel planning to be stressful.
When asked about the future of travel booking in 2018, Dara Khosrowshahi, former CEO of Expedia, was quoted by the Seattle Times saying "I think the travel industry will move back to the model of customers visiting a travel agent. An online travel agent, that is."
TRVL.com has joined forces with the leading b-to-b marketing company in travel, Discover the World, headquartered in Scottsdale, USA. For almost four decades, Discover has been looking after the best interests of travel agents in over 100 countries.
TRVL is onboarding hundreds of new travel agents a day, and the launch date for the platform is set for September 1, when it is believed that travel bookings will start picking up again.
Richard Williams, travel agent, UK: "Competing with OTAs has been my biggest challenge as an agent. I think that bringing travel agents to the web and reclaiming some of that lost territory is right on the money."