We’ve read a lot of predictions about how travel will look like after Covid-19. As the vaccines roll out, we see positive trends in many markets. Are you and your processes ready for the tourism comeback? What are you doing to prepare for the new travel demand?
In this session, we talked to Oliver Riefler, owner and founder of S-E-T-T. Founded in 1989, S-E-T-T emerged into a leading incoming travel agency, tour operator, and destination management company providing full-service solutions for Central Europe and the UAE. S-E-T-T has become a key player for professional group planning, congress and conference organizing, and handling of leisure tourism business and Sports Travel.
Their mission is to develop their clients’ vision with outstanding DMC services while considering their need for speed, convenience, and flexibility.
During the webinar, we’ve covered several topics, so here are some highlights.
So, Oliver, you’ve been a Lemax customer for some time now. Why was digitalization the critical priority for S-E-T-T?
We’ve come to a point where we said we have to be more up to date – the approach to the customers, the way we handle things. We saw that a big amount of time went on things we knew we could do better, be more efficient and cut out so-called donkey-jobs. We were entering a time of good growth, and it made so much sense to make everything easier with the support of digitalization.
Why should someone invest in the digitalization of the processes?
It’s especially important now. I think everyone now is working on the minimal possible amount of staff. If you implement a system now, you can really streamline the processes. One of the first effects you’ll see is how much more efficient you are, how much more time you have, which means also in the later stage when the business comes back it’s much easier to onboard new employees.
What are they doing now to prepare for the demand that’s coming?
I believe that it’s not a question of “if” the demand will come back – it’s just a matter of when. We’ve discussed with our customers and suppliers that we will meet as soon as possible to discuss the future together.
We’ve started with marketing campaigns for two years with the aim to show what’s new, new products, ideas, and offerings. Thirdly, we’ve secured a good number of tickets for events, sports events to be prepared. I’m not nervous about it, I believe autumn will be very different. We already see bookings from Israel, so it’s only about time now.
Has going digital affected your win rates?
Of course! For us, we have a different approach to customers now. Overview of the whole process, from inquiry to closing everything happens automatically – documents, itineraries are rewritten every time you change a date, when you have a cancellation, the system sends the cancellation to the supplier so you don’t have to think about it. So it all skyrocketed because we don’t use Excel spreadsheets. We now can be creative, and provide better responses and experiences to our customers.
Do you believe the rise in demand of travel agents will come after covid, and offering flexible cancellation policies is crucial for that?
Absolutely, that’s the key. Especially until things get to a higher level of stability. The travel industry has been hit badly in the last year. But the biggest winners will be travel agents as opposed to big self-booking portals because the destination knowledge and having someone on the ground is crucial.
To find out what other topics we’ve covered, you can listen to the whole webinar for free.