The global crisis has affected most the business around the globe. Most businesses have turned digital and are operating their business online. The airline and the hotel business have turned digital way before the pandemic situation hit the world for the convenience of its consumers. It also eases the consumer to analyze better the deals and offers on various websites. Such companies generally post various deals and promotional offers on their websites to attract customers.
The Internet plays a vital role in business. It is evident from the consumers’ behaviour that the internet has led to an industrial revolution (Soegoto & Mega, 2020). The internet acts as a marketing tool that lets the efficient transfer of information between the seller and the buyer (Agag & El-Masry, 2017). Most airline and hotel booking websites display the hotel’s inside on their platform to lure the buyers more. This in turn also gains the customers’ trust in the website and lets them decide better. The internet has become a high return nurturing distribution channel for travel companies.
There are multiple factors that decide the attitude of the consumers toward the products and services offered by travel companies. The travel company business is considered the second-most largest business on the web followed by computer technology (Bukhari, Ghoneim & Dennis, 2012). There is still a lack of knowledge within the companies about how to tempt their consumers. A simple trick to do so is by satisfying the consumers’ expectations. The designer should keep in mind while designing to sure a website is easy to use and everything is transparent to its consumers.
The scenario has become more vivid when we came across various websites to plan for our vacation trip. There are a lot of websites on the internet where one can book a flight and reserve a hotel, but choosing the right website was difficult for each one of us as there are websites that do not respond to the problems faced by people regarding their booking most of the times.
Firstly, we all come from different geographies and have different preferences. We had to decide on a place first to begin our planning for the trip but in the current scenario, it was very difficult for each one of us to meet and decide. We decided to make conference calls and come to a conclusion about the place we wanted to visit, but it became very inconvenient for us as it created a lot of confusion. Then, we chose Skype for the same. But we soon realized that Skype had very few options to conduct a meeting and moreover requires a very stable connection. The group then switched over to Zoom. Zoom is a web-based conferencing app for meetings with plenty of options to share one’s screen and various documents with the group. After a lot of confusion, the group came up with a conclusion to visit Paris, France.
Having decided on the travel destination, we had to decide on the website which we should consider as our travel partner. It was very difficult for the entire group as almost every website offers equal perks and privileges on its platform. Being a student, the most important factor for us to decide on was getting the best deals and offers for our travel journey. But it seems very absurd to consider a website only based on offers. Later we decided to go on with the websites’ past records as well as their customer reviews. Each member of the group took a few websites to study and decide about the same and came up with four potential websites. As soon as we began our research, we realized that the airline fare offered by all of them was nearly equal(See graph 1 in appendix).
We wanted to book the flight tickets first and then go with reserving a room for the stay. We began with Kayak.com very excitedly as it had the cheapest flight available. The cheapest price on the website was $972. But the duration of the flight was 33h45m (See table in appendix). This would have become very inconvenient for each one of us. According to customer reviews on the website, 3 out of 5 reviewed the website a good to go, but there are a lot of cons on the website, the biggest one being the absence of a loyalty program as kayak.com is a simple search engine and one cannot directly book a ticket on the website. The timings on the websites were also inconvenient for everyone.
Similarly, we came across three different websites namely expedia.com, orbitz.com, travelocity.com. The fares on all the three websites were the same which is $1052 and the duration of travel was 13h10m. This created a dilemma among us about which website to choose, but soon we decided which website to choose. Although all three websites offered the same airfare, there were a few differences. It was important for us to choose a website that can offer the best and most reliable prices on airline fares and hotel bookings. We decided to look for cheaper and better hotels on three of the websites and soon realized that expedia.com offered the cheapest and the best hotel in Paris, France (see graph 2 in appendix). The entire team came up with a conclusion to go with Expedia.com as soon as we spotted the hotel prices on the website were merely $27 which was quite affordable for us to go with(see table in appendix). The factor which pushed us to go with the decision was the additional loyalty program offered by
Expedia.com which no other companies offer. The loyalty program is another tweak undertaken by the companies to attract consumers and it is beneficial to the flyers as well.
Hence, the team has decided to go on with Expedia.com for the travel plan as it had a promising experience for its consumers with a bunch of positive consumer reviews.