Business recovery webinar FAQs: Using travel technology to maximise your business

Questions and answers from our fourth webinar, Using travel technology to maximise your business, recorded 16 July.

Please note information provided in these responses was correct at the time of recording.

TXGB – The key here is to think about what you're trying to achieve, what your needs are, and to ensure you're testing out various ways to reach the customer. At TXGB we talk a lot about the value of diversifying your distribution, finding the right mix, ensuring you achieve the right balance by working with a variety of channels as well as optimising direct sales. There is no one size fits all answer here, but if you have a platform that allows you to easily test and learn, to monitor what is working and what is not, then you can find the right solution.

TXGB – I think the consumer shift to pre-book could stick, as this works well for businesses and could shift from being a safety precaution to a value-added to the service. Those brands that use this increase in data to personalise and improve the user experience could benefit here. The world is crazy and unpredictable and if businesses can better predict demand and tailor the service (and costs) to fit it will mean they are more prosperous. – All of them. While COVID-19 has accelerated technology adoption to solve social distancing challenges, the shift towards friction-free digital-first experiences was already underway. Today's guests will increasingly expect to be able to use technology to enhance their experiences.

TXGB – As a technologist, I can confidently say technology is not the answer you're looking for here. That might surprise you, but the key to using technology is to start by looking at what you're looking to achieve, what your internal needs are and the needs of your customer. Then, use technology that meets those needs. Don't make any big uncomfortable decisions, test things out, learn by doing, be what we call in tech land - agile. This will mean you improve your business processes, from selling more to doing less and so earning a larger profit.

what3words – what3words is accurate, free, easy to use and is guest-focused. I'd recommend ensuring you're doing all you can with all the attainable resources out there to ensure guest safety, not all of them are hard. – If you're a small team — it's all about automation for me. Automation allows you to replicate your efforts and have a system that can work for you 24/7.

what3words – what3words is biggest in Europe and the UK is the largest focus for us at the moment but we're also quite popular in Germany and most recently Australia and Canada. Keep in mind that offering a what3words even if someone has to quickly learn what it is, could still mean the difference between them getting lost or not so it's not all about someone already knowing the system. – ­If the individual shops are on board then certainly. You could offer outlets the option to promote offers to town visitors when they're nearby and even use beacons in shops to push messages as visitors walk past.­ On the F&B side, we integrate directly with the venue's payment processing system, but again if the town and the venues were on-board, there's nothing to stop it being offered to shops and facilitated through the town.­ ­It's also worth noting that we can connect to off-the-shelf payment processors like Stripe so those operators who don't have anything in place can very quickly and easily take mobile orders and have funds deposited into their bank account.­

TXGB – We've been working with VisitBritain/VisitEngland on their mission to make Britain the most accessible tourist destination in Europe. We think the biggest impact we can have in this space is in the connection of content that explains the facilities and allows everyone to search and find experiences that inclusively meet their needs.

TXGB – TXGB is not a consumer brand, so consumers will not need to find TXGB. TXGB connects you (as a tourism supplier) to various consumer channels or enables you to sell more effectively to consumers directly.

TXGB – We are looking at how an "on request" booking flow would work - it would be useful to understand the demand for this and if this has increased in the current climate. Our view so far has been that pre-booking has become even more vital and expected by consumers.

TXGB – Yes, TXGB has a separate booking fee. The benefit is that TXGB allows you to access many OTAs (and other channels) from in one place - reducing admin and allowing you to see what is working for you. So rather than directly loading product with OTAs, you can manage all channels in one place, and we also provide access to other types of distribution that often have a low commission (i.e. less than 10%, and sometimes 0%).