As travel restrictions relax, tourists are keen to take to the skies once more to visit far flung destinations. This is great news for the hard-hit travel industry. However, travel agencies need to be prepared to welcome high volumes of travelers or they risk missing valuable opportunities to recoup losses. In this post, we’ll look at some of the top challenges facing travel agencies and offer up some expert solutions.
4 travel agency challenges
Challenge: Inefficient management tools
Travel agencies have to deal with a global client and partner base. This makes managing all their data effectively one of the top challenges facing travel agencies. Invoice processing can be especially burdensome since invoices usually include tour package details, city tax inclusions, currency conversion rates and more.
Travel agencies also often act as intermediaries between vendors and their customers, so many use dedicated portals for different stakeholders. Having to constantly navigate between different systems represents one of the biggest travel agency challenges.
Solution: Use an accounting system for travel agencies
Having an all-in-one specialist online accounting software allows travel agencies to manage their entire workflows with suppliers, partners, and travelers, in one place.
Xero is an accounting system for travel agencies that allows companies to automate the entire invoicing process, as well as record and manage expenses, via an app. Xero also syncs with third-party providers like GoCardless to ensure the business runs seamlessly.
Challenge: Inability to deal with recurrent accounts
Payment management is another top challenge faced by travel agencies. Just as with any other business, smart travel agencies want to keep their regular customers happy. By managing these accounts efficiently they can expect to benefit from smoother cash flow. To do so, they need to find an efficient way to make sure their recurring customers (often business customers) are billed on a regular basis.
Solution: Automate travel agencies back office accounting systems
To overcome this challenge, travel agencies need to invest in recurring billing software, preferably one that can generate invoices on the basis of time conditions. Travel agency back office accounting systems should be upgraded with automated billing software, to manage the frequency of invoices and help build reliable relationships with customers.
A software that can send payment reminders and late fees will also help to ease recurring payment travel agency challenges.
To overcome recurrent payment friction companies can opt to use a provider like GoCardless. GoCardless makes invoicing customers on a recurring basis easy and enables payments from over 30 countries.
Challenge: Adding charges and taxes to invoices
Invoices are subject to the legal systems of their native countries, so they have to be customized. Taxes, charges, and duties also have to be added into the invoice before they’re sent out, to avoid any breaching of legalities. When travel agencies act as the middlemen between customers and booking agencies, they may have to add their own service charges to invoices as well. All of which can make things extremely complex.
Solution: Create a self-serving portal with invoice customization
To overcome this issue – one of the most frequent travel agency challenges – specialist accounting software is again the recommended solution. A dedicated travel agency software allows users to set up customizable fields which can be edited according to agency requirements. They can then add in taxes, charges and more. This speeds up and makes the invoicing process far more efficient.
Challenge: Currencies and languages
International tourism means invoices need to be customized according to the language and currency of each client. When invoices are created in languages and denominations local to clients, it becomes difficult for them to adapt to the legacy systems of the destination countries. This is one of those travel agency challenges that not only hampers an agency’s ability to target global markets but can confuse customers.
Solution: Custom invoicing software
Custom invoicing software can help travel agencies fix this issue so that clients can send invoices in the language native to their customers. Dedicated software allows agencies to choose from multiple languages for effective communication, as well as according to the denomination system of the customer’s country.
When it comes to overcoming the top challenges facing travel agents, an overhaul of accounting strategy and systems is often required. Luckily, there are plenty of dedicated providers to help travel agencies manage invoicing, recurring payments and more.
We can help
GoCardless helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of admin your team needs to deal with when chasing invoices. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.