I’ve been in the travel business for many years and have worked in cruise, hotel, and tour operations. During that time I have seen a significant shift in how passengers and guests book travel arrangements. It is no longer necessary to contact a travel agent for a reservation. Instead, you can book a vacation on the internet. As technology improved, this trend became more common. Anyone with internet access can now make such bookings.
There is a lot to be said for the personal touch that comes with speaking to a qualified travel agent when booking your vacation. However, the internet provides a wider range of travel options, all accessible from your home, office, or mobile phone. In all that time, few companies offer a ‘travel shop’ website with all the services and accessories a discerning traveler might need.
I think it makes sense that online travel operators focus on providing the customer with the most travel-related services in one location to convert them into loyal customers. Most operators focus on vacation packages and hotels, cruises and flights, as they have a greater profit margin. They leave travel accessories up to online retailers and specialized suppliers.
It may be that you have spent hours searching online for the best travel accessory suppliers to buy all the items needed to go on a vacation and get the best deal. This can include everything from travel guides to luggage, outdoor gear, passports, insurance, and travel insurance, depending on the type of vacation you choose. Cruisers know how important it is to have the right cruise clothing for both daytime and evening activities.
Some online travel shops offer these combined services. However, their customers are often overwhelmed by the sheer number of providers available. There are some quality online travel shops that offer a selection of reputable operators. These include well-known tour operators, cruise lines, hotels, car rental companies, as well as more niche travel providers. They do this because they know each traveler has a favorite operator. This allows the passenger to book directly with that particular operator without having to look elsewhere on the internet. These sites may also have a section called “Hot Deals”, which lists all of their partners’ latest offers and last-minute deals. This section is usually categorized according to the type of travel, so that the passenger can easily find the best vacation.
It is hoped that other travel companies will soon ‘wake-up’ and understand the importance of making the process of booking an online vacation less stressful.