Ask any travel agent, big or small, the first thing a travel agent will point to as a major, daunting task on which the maximum amount of time is devoted is – Designing or Curating a Package.
Even before starting to curate a package:
There is much more that goes behind curating a package than that meets the eye. Every package (Itinerary) short or long, single destination or multi-destination, domestic or international, for one person or a group of people always have some key components to be hassled with even before getting to a point where a travel agent can sit on a table to discuss the destination in detail.
From the above figure, you must have come to know how many kinds of travellers we have that need special inputs and specific knowledge of the needs of the traveller when curating a package for different specific purposes of travel. Even after all these more travellers can be bifurcated into more specific purposes like a honeymoon couple, work-vacation (a new concept arising due to the pandemic), destination weddings, and so on. All the above and more have to be taken into consideration even before starting to design a package for even just a single traveller.
You will ask what more information you need to curate a package. Let me take you through some major points that you would need to know just to put your pen rolling to curate the itinerary. The below are just points that came to my mind in the first instance, there could and are more than this I am sure.
- Traveller type
- Destination type
- Mode of transportation
- Type of accommodation
- Number of passengers
- Age of passengers
- Activity description
- Season and dates of travel
- Visa and passport validity
The list goes on….!!
You would argue why you would need all this information before deciding on a destination and finalising it. Ah!! That is the perfect question. Let’s say you go to a travel agency and ask them for a package for a destination which you have pre-decided or even if you are not sure of a destination to travel to and a travel agent gives you a package for a certain destination. Some of the questions arising in your mind after seeing the package would be the same as above.
- Is the package in my budget?
- Should I travel by flight or train (if domestic)?
- Is the season right for travelling to a specific destination?
- If it is an international trip, is your passport and visa in place?
- Are the activities specified in the itinerary according to your liking?
- Can we save some money by cutting down on any component or compromising on any?
- Is it too luxurious or enough luxurious accommodation to suit your budget?
And the questions also can go on forevermore….
Every time you pose a question or change a choice or even just think of slightly changing the date or property of stay, the whole curated package is affected and it has to be reworked or modified as most of the components are dependent or interlinked to each other. Let’s say you changed the date from weekday to weekend – and LO! The first thing to change would be budget as most of the places weekend prices would be dearer than weekday prices even your flight prices would vary with each day. And then the agency staff has to go about changing every transportation detail in the itinerary according to the small change asked to be made by you. Phew!! After all this, a package given by a travel agent to the traveller will cover all his likes and dislikes is hard to say.
Choosing a package of liking:
Nowadays each traveller has a very specific taste, budget and would like to be very particular about the place, accommodation and type of activities they undertake at the destination. The travellers have also become more independent, choosy and adventurous in selecting and designing their leisure or work-vacation activities. Due to the pandemic protocols, they are choosing to do all this package selection and finalizing through the online options available. Online solutions are the in-thing, today.
Travel agents, to keep up with the changing time, have been taking their business online. Most of the travel consultants have given their clients static websites as a solution to the ever-increasing needs of the passenger, which is not enough though.
Online – real-time – live inventories are the final solution a passenger is looking for from a travel website where they can curate an end to the end travel experience. They don’t want bits and pieces of travel components, they need a full-fledged solution to their dream vacation or travel plan. In most cases, the websites offer components of a holiday package in bits and pieces like flights, hotels, activities, transfers and other components, separately. And then for the final product, these components have to be knitted together to get a complete travel package.
Recently while browsing, I came across a system that curates an end to end solution for your travel needs may it be just a one destination itinerary or a multi-city itinerary. It was so amazing to see the system even curate packages and give you options of destinations if you are not sure of where to go for your vacation. Amazing!!! What’s more, it does not just give you a couple of options it gives you a plethora of options according to your likings feed to it. The website solution named pathfndr.io is an artificial intelligence embedded website solution with algorithms placed in it to think exactly as a passenger and a travel agent put together to give you a complete travel itinerary, with minimal effort in minimum time.
The world is getting technologically advanced by the minute. Why should a travel consultant lag behind? Technological advancements will go a long way. pathfndr.io seems a very apt and good solution for all the hassles a travel consultant faces during curating a travel itinerary.
Three cheers to Technology!!!