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Travel Agents Improve Product Communication
Allensnek, South Africa: The travel industry is all about distribution of data. If the updated package specials are not sent quickly and accurately to shops and then communicated to customers, they will go out of business.
Traditionally travel agents spend huge amounts of money on big posters and other window signage. Their most important sign is called an airfare board. This board displays latest relevant airfares. These airfare boards are updated manually by staff using white board markers and a piece of paper with notes on it. Airfares are specific to an area and also to the target market.
The process of designing, printing, shipping and hanging a new poster for a special product can take as much as 2-3 weeks. The total cost, including man hours and shipping, of a single poster can be as much as $100. By the time the poster reaches a travel agent, the design of the next poster should be in advanced stage of design.
The airfare boards are rarely updated, because travel consultants don’t have the time. These boards also lose their appeal quickly after continuous re-writing of rates.
There are many limitations to the manual poster process, the biggest two are cost and time, not too mention the static nature of a printed (or manually updated!) poster. Only one special can be displayed at any time, it is really very limited.
A “Dynamic Digital Signage” solution has benefits over the manual process. Controlled from a central location, this type of solution can be continuously updated, so time to market is immediate and specials can be launched overnight.
Limited duration specials suddenly become easy to manage and control as expiration times can be set independently for each item to be displayed. The large flat-panel screens are also more appealing. Screens can be mounted horizontally (as in the pictures above) or vertically, providing a “dynamic poster” look and feel.
Airfares can be updated on the digital display directly from a rates database, allowing special short term airfares to be placed on the screen almost immediately, creating a focus point on the screen that is more likely to attract the attention of a prospective customer or even a casual “passer by”.
Last minute/empty bed promotions are easy to create with a dynamic sign board and can even be different for every location (e.g: different promotions can be displayed in each city or region).
This type of system has to be reliable, easy to use and offer very flexible content creation and design options. The combination of Scala’s InfoChannel® Designer, Network Manager and Player offer a reliable 24/7 system that is managed and updated quickly and easily by the existing design team.
“In the 18+ months that we have been using the InfoChannel® system in the travel industry we have not had a single player fail or hang! Without Scala we would never be able to offer the level of service to our customer that we do.”, Cornel van Lingen, General Manager, Public Display Technologies.
As the underlying Scala InfoChannel® platform is also interactive, it supports large format touch screens, allowing even more possibilities for the future. For example, centrally controlled and updated signage systems can be created that allow customers to use large touch screens to interactively select and view different vacation packages or hotels available, including the ability to show videos for each package/ hotel, etc.
Initial ROI calculations show that a Scala InfoChannel® system can be installed for about the same price as printing two posters per month and updating the airfare board once a week.
With such a strong ROI case there is no doubt that any serious travel agency, that wants to survive and remain competitive, will have to adopt this exciting new technology sooner rather then later. The future is here now and Scala has made it possible!
Public Display Technologies is part of a new breed of Digital Signage and Communication providers specializing in the delivery of cost effective, scalable, feature rich digital signage platforms built using the Scala InfoChannel® system for digital signage networks. Partnering with Scala, PDT is able to design, deliver and implement complete digital signage solutions ranging from simple plasma and LCD displays to a full kiosk and user interaction systems – that is reliable, flexible and cost effective.