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'Travel stylists' in fashion for 2014

Karun Budhraja

Vice President, Corporate Marketing & Communications, Amadeus Asia Pacific

We all have our own style. We like to dress a certain way and decorate our homes to suit our taste. And now, we even have our own ‘travel style’.

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Whether you are a “Frugal Flyer” who is looking for a rock-bottom price and seeking adventure; a “Corporate Commuter” who values their time above all else; or a “Pampered Passenger” who will pay extra for luxurious touches, you know what will make your trip enjoyable and what price you are willing to pay.

Imagine if you could have your own “Travel Stylist” – someone who knows your style and shortlists the best options for you and your budget. Someone to provide recommendations for extras to make the trip more special and eliminate any stress points. Guess what? You can.

Building bespoke holidays is nothing new, but travel agents are starting to take it a step further to become Travel Stylists – utilising technology and data to provide quick service and recommend travel options that will best suits a traveller’s individual style.

Retail makeover

In the retail industry, personal shoppers have been around for years. The personalised shopping and styling advice they offer helps a shopper to save time, and offers an enjoyable shopping experience. It often also encourages the shopper to purchase a little more than they intended – resulting in a happy customer, and an even happier retailer.

But a Travel Stylist is not only for those who have limited time and high disposable income; these experts need to offer intimate knowledge of destinations, airlines and hotels, which also gives a higher level of confidence to inexperienced travellers. This is particularly relevant in Asia Pacific, where the number of new travellers is constantly growing.

Too much choice, too little time?

Despite the added value a personal shopper can bring, consumers often assume that cheaper deals can be secured elsewhere and turn to the Internet to make purchases for clothing, electrical goods, or air tickets. Or they assume that it will save time to buy online and avoid a trip to the retail store.

There are a mind-boggling number of options to book flights, hotels and transfers online. But this amount of choice brings its own issues, often leaving a traveller more confused than when they started their search.

This is where a Travel Stylist comes in. Technology enables travel agents to differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace, and take the hard work out of the search.

One size does not fit all

Imagine for a moment that a gap has opened up in your schedule and you would like to take your family away on a mid-week short break.  Your Travel Stylist will be able to offer you tailored choices in an easily-digestible format, based on a history of information built up over time.

With new tools and technology, it is becoming easier for travel agents to upgrade the travel experience for their customers. By putting themselves in the role of the “Travel Stylist”, a travel agent can make any trip feel personally designed for their client’s individual style and ensure long-term customer loyalty.


Tags

Traveler Experience, Asia Pacific