The holidays are a notoriously busy time across every industry—and nowhere more so than travel. If you run a travel agency, it’s more than likely your phone has been ringing off the hook. Your inbox is probably stuffed with inquiries and updates. Even as we inch closer to the end of the year, you’re picking up customers looking for help with holiday travel.
This is great for your agency’s bottom line—it’s a steady stream of revenue and a chance to draw on your unique skillset. It’s always a cause for celebrate when business is booming. But running a company means hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.
If something slips through the cracks, customers will hold you accountable for their difficult or failed trip. Having business insurance for travel agencies helps you operate with confidence, knowing you’re protected in case of an accident or lawsuit. Without it, the chaos of the holiday season puts your organization at risk.
Be aware of these three situations travel agencies may encounter this holiday season so you’re ready to handle anything.
There has been an uptick in travel statistics over the past few years. In 2016, AAA predicted that nearly 49 million people would travel 50 or more miles for Thanksgiving. That’s an increase of a million travelers over the previous year and the largest increase in a decade. Likely motivators include an improving economy and reasonable gas prices, among others.
What if even more people decide to hit the road this holiday season? Are you ready to accommodate an influx of customers all looking to travel during the same range of dates? Make sure your agents and administrative support staff have processes down pat before things get too hectic.
Here’s a fun fact: Approximately one in seven travelers won’t finish booking their trips until December. While approximately six million U.S. adults had already bought their holiday airline tickets by summer’s end, many have not yet. That means your travel agency needs to be ready to accommodate last-minute requests.
Customers may want to switch their return date, add a leg to their trip, or add another traveler. Others may want to set up an entire trip on short notice. Figure out a plan ahead of time to accommodate short-notice requests so you don’t miss out on any business.
Parts of the Midwest and East Coast are already facing storm warnings during common Thanksgiving travel times. For example, the Weather Channel is advising there may be possible delays out of Chicago O’Hare and Houston airports. The same could easily happen during December and early January holiday hotspots.
Every travel agent wishes they could snap their fingers and clear up bad weather. But we’re all at the whim of rain, snow, fog and more. The best thing your agency can do is be accessible—and be ready to search for alternate arrangements . You may want to ramp customer service up to 24/7 for the holiday season if you haven’t already. If a traveler gets stranded, they want to know help is just a phone call away.
Last but not least, don’t forget to cover your operations with business insurance for travel agencies. CoverHound can help you there. Get a free quote today!