Lisa Cowan, Director of Growth Strategy at EQGlobal wants to know what the travel industry’s top challenges are in making overseas payments
If the reported travel trends are true, the coming decade will see people becoming more eco-conscious with more focus on slow travel and an expectation to have ‘an experience’ rather than just a holiday. Generation Z will take the train, grandparents will take the kids off to an exotic location while parents pass out after pampering and prosecco to catch up on their lack of sleep.
Whether or not all of these future scenarios come to pass, some things look certain. Travel will become more individual, more tailored and more off the beaten track while more holidays will be booked from our phones than ever before.
Travel consumers have moved on considerably over the previous half century when at first, the demand was to get some sun, and then to get some sun somewhere else. Now with the watchword being ‘experience’ – everyone wants their own and one that is different to everybody else’s.
What does all this mean for the travel sector?
While it is getting ever easier to book a tailored holiday on your smartphone, it is getting harder for the travel firms to keep up, especially with payments to different suppliers in different countries providing the tailored service that customers expect.
Take snowboarding and skiing holidays – new start-up companies are enabling their customers to tailor their own holidays. Customers can choose the flights that are best suited to their needs, can pick the accommodation that their friends are staying at and even buy their ski passes when they book online from their phone.
While all of this is perfect for the skier, the travel operator has many more suppliers to deal with than the larger operators who just offer a single airline and hotel where the plane brings a new cohort of customers every week on the same day.
While new start-up companies often know their niche better and have greater agility than traditional package operators, they have two big disadvantages. Firstly, the small operators cannot compete with the economies of scale that larger firms who book more seats and beds enjoy, and secondly, the new start up won’t have the extensive back office support of experienced administrators to buy the foreign exchange needed and make payments to each of the hotels and excursions that they offer.
How do they manage this? Well, customers recognise that a tailored holiday will cost slightly more but are often surprised at the good deals that they can get that work far better for them than an off the shelf holiday. The bigger challenge is usually keeping on top of the payments to many more suppliers in different countries.
Increasingly, travel firms are turning to specialist foreign exchange and payment providers who can take care of the back-office headaches encountered when ensuring that suppliers and staff can be paid on time anywhere in the world.
These companies can help manage the risk of currency fluctuations, ensure that all of the transactions are compliant with each jurisdiction that the payments are being made and use technology to automate payments,
My company, EQGlobal, is an experienced and trusted provider of these services to the travel industry and we want to hear about any challenges you are currently facing with regards to currency fluctuations and making international payments.
We would also like to know what questions you have on this subject. Is there something you’d like to know, but never got around to asking, or something you feel you should know the answer to but don’t?
Please submit any questions or comments via this link (they will be anonymous). Travolution’s Lee Hayhurst will be putting these questions to a panel discussion that we are hosting Travel Technology Europe 2020 at London Olympia at 11am on Wednesday 26 February.
I would be delighted if you could join us where, along with Lee, I will be joined by Adam Pennyfather from the Travel Trade Consultancy and Alexander Blunt, the co-founder of Ski Zoom.
I look forward to seeing you there.
Travel Technology Europe 2020
Panel discussion: Are your profits at risk from currency fluctuations and hidden fees?
Join our panel discussion on how to simplify payments, keep overseas suppliers happy and cut out hidden fees when making overseas payments. Travel Weekly’s Lee Hayhurst will quiz an expert panel on how they manage overseas payments to reduce risk and improve their bottom line.
Lee Hayhurst, Travel Weekly (moderator)
Adam Pennyfather, Director, The Travel Trade Consultancy
Alexander Blunt, co-founder of Ski Zoom
Lisa Cowan, Director of Growth Strategy, EQGlobal
If you would like to join Lisa in the Innovation Theatre at Travel Technology Europe at 11am on Wednesday 26 February, please click here to RSVP