I don’t believe a majority of people enter a particular industry or career with a plan they’ll stick with it for the next 30 years…….for those that do make that decision or those that find things just panned out that way you become a very valuable commodity to your industry, your company or the company you work for.
Over a period of 30 years, you gain a huge amount of valuable experience and see a hell of a lot of change, particularly in this day and age where things change at such a rapid pace. Change is often quite difficult to deal with, however, the more experience you gain within your industry the easier you can adapt to change.
Like most travel companies, for us, the internet was by far the largest change we’ve encountered. We had heard a lot of rumours about the power of this ‘world wide web’ but had no idea just how big it was going to be whether we liked it or not, we had to be on board if we wanted to continue playing our part in the travel industry. There was no doubt we feared this beast but had enough evidence it was going to be the biggest player our industry had ever seen…..website, emails, booking engines, new lingo and a lot less time on a typewriter!
We remember the huge costs & frustration involved in moving into this modern way of operating a business, however, one thing the owners Yvonne & Brian emphasised and constantly reminded us of, was our personal importance within the company. Having business owners that were well established prior to the introduction of so much technology has been a significant advantage to ensuring our level of customer service could not be replaced by a machine!
This is crucial for a company like ours that specialises in two niche destinations as the booking process can be quite difficult, so clients prefer to deal with a person rather than a booking engine. Yvonne would often say ‘the computers not selling the holiday’ it’s your knowledge, experience, customer service and ability to determine what’s right for your clients that are selling it.
What the internet allowed clients to do was source an incredible amount of information in a short period of time and also proceed with a reservation without any human contact. Before too long, the global assumption had started….it’s the end of travel agents! …….unfortunately it was for a minority of agencies that weren’t prepared to embrace the change..and for those that did embrace the change, there was a period of uncertainty, however, it was only a matter of time before the problems associated with booking online were exposed.
The lack of human contact had bitten a lot of consumers in the wrong places!
In 2017 bricks and mortar Travel Agencies are thriving and we’ve learnt that the traditional values that successfully helped establish Oxley Travel, are as important now as they were all those years ago.
It would be foolish for us to neglect technology so we certainly keep an eye on what’s entering the industry and implement or improve were necessary, however, we hold very close to us the traditional ways of operating, as we believe it’s the best way to satisfy those we do business with.