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Why Should Travel Companies Become SOC 2 Compliant

Qasim Hussain

2021-12-23 20:54:02

Why Should Travel Companies Become SOC 2 Compliant

Now that the travel restrictions are starting to ease up around the world, the travel industry is starting to get back on its feet.  As travel companies start to reopen and vie for the attention (and booking) of customers, it’s important to assure prospective clients that your company offers the best service.

One way of gaining an edge over the competition is through compliance with various national and international standards. Among these standards is the System and Organization Controls for Service Organizations 2 or SOC 2 compliance. While this is not required by law, it adds credibility to your travel company and boosts confidence for your clients.

To better appreciate, here are a few more details about SOC 2 as well as reasons why travel companies should pursue compliance with this standard.

 

A voluntary compliance

The System and Organization Controls for Service Organizations 2 was developed by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). SOC 2 sets criteria that guides organizations on how to handle and manage customer data based on the Trust Services Criteria of security, processing integrity, availability, privacy, and confidentiality.

SOC 2 reports are adapted to each business’ practices, and allows them to design process control measures that can help them adhere to these principles of trust. There are two types of reports under SOC 2 compliance efforts:

  • Type I makes a summary of the company’s existing systems and whether it complies with the identified trust principles.
  • Type II describes the operational efficiency of the systems detailed in the Type I report.
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Advantages of having an SOC 2 compliance.

Having an SOC 2 compliance is greatly beneficial for a company, especially those in the travel industry. Travel companies regularly handle sensitive and confidential customer data including dates of birth, full names, and even credit card details. Being SOC 2

 

1. Customer protection

Protecting customer data should be paramount for all companies because having your business targeted by external attacks will cause customers to lose confidence in your business, not to mention your liabilities should they face danger or inconvenience because of their leaked data. 

Additionally, SOC 2 compliance is a testament to your company’s commitment to secure customer data and gives you a competitive edge over other companies that do not have the same compliance. Between a company that has something to show for its ability to protect its customer data and another that doesn’t, customers are more likely to go with the company that offers more value for their money.

 

2. Professional assurance

With an SOC 2 compliance under your belt, you can rest assured that your networks and your systems are secure enough to handle and manage customer data. This assurance extends to your employees and their jobs and to even to your business and industrial partners. Additionally, using SOC 2 compliant software adds confidence that your systems are built on similarly secure software.

Additionally, it also helps assure that your travel company is prepared to meet security standards that might be required by the federal government. Travel companies regularly coordinate with federal agencies. Some government branches require the use of security protocols to protect their transactions on top of customer data.

 

3. Boosts compliance efforts

The criteria and requirements to secure an SOC 2 compliance largely overlaps with other data security frameworks such as ISO/IEC 27001 or the international standard for information security management. It also dovetails with the standards as outlined in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which outlines the management and protection of sensitive patient health information–some of which are also handled by travel agencies.

If you’re looking to boost your travel company credentials by complying with various data management standards, working out how to become SOC2 compliant at the beginning could make other compliance efforts easier.

 

4. Save on cybersecurity costs

To put it straight, working on an SOC 2 compliance will require you to update your systems and probably upgrade your existing equipment. This is even before the audit, which will also cost your company. However, all these will pale in comparison if your company becomes the target of a data breach.

According to IBM, 2021 posted the highest average cost of data breaches in 17 years at  $4.24 million. This figure is expected to rise even higher in the following years. Keeping your systems updated and compliant to SOC 2 standards can help provide your travel agency with the protection it needs from the rapidly-evolving cybersecurity attacks.

 

Conclusion

Regardless of whether you're working for an international travel company or operating a small business in the same industry, you should start considering applying for an SOC 2 compliance certification. Not only does it give you something to brag and market about, it actually prepares your systems for the rigors and challenges of cybersecurity today. Additionally, it gives you a peace of mind knowing that you’re doing right by your customers. An SOC 2 compliance helps build confidence in your business and prevent data breaches that can cost your company a lot.

How Can Video Marketing Help Your Travel Agencies Website Conversion Rate

Travel 

How Can Video Marketing Help Your Travel Agencies Website Conversion Rate  414

How Can Video Marketing Help Your Travel Agencies Website Conversion Rate

People always seek quick information when they are planning their vacations. They want to get the information they need without wasting a lot of time. If you are not using video marketing on your travel agency's website, you are missing a huge opportunity to convert your customers into leads and sales.Video marketing can help you provide information about destinations and vacation packages in an engaging manner that will leave your visitors wanting more. You can use videos as an introduction to your business, inform them about the facilities provided by your company, or show testimonials from previous clients. People love videos because they are much easier to understand than long blocks of plain text. If you have a lot of text on your website, it is time to consider investing in video marketing. The Benefits of Video Marketing For Your Travel Agencies WebsiteOne of the benefits of using videos on your travel agency's website is that it makes it easier for search engines to index these videos. This results in higher click-through rates when people search for information related to vacation destinations and travel agencies on search engines like Google and Bing.This means that more people will visit your site when they see your video on the first page of Google and other search engines, which will ultimately result in increased traffic on your site, further translating into more leads and sales for you. So, if you want more revenue from your travel site, start using videos as soon as possible.There are some other benefits your travel agencies can get from using video marketing, including: #1. Videos help you build your brandUnlike other marketing strategies, video marketing has a long-lasting impact on potential customers. When you show your customers what your business is about through videos, they will remember your brand and visit your website when they need help with their travel needs. For example, cryptocurrency enthusiasts will be interested in your brand if you provide them with blockchain videos that explain your business in an engaging way.  #2. Videos help you increase conversionsVideos are one of the best ways to increase conversions because the human mind processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. So, if you want more people to visit your site and make purchases, you should start using videos on your site right away. #3. Videos boost your website's ranking on search enginesWhen you use videos on your website, it makes it easier for search engines like Google to index these videos, which results in higher click-through rates when people search for information related to travel agencies and vacation destinations on search engines like Google.This means that more people will visit your site when they see your video on the first page of Google and other search engines, which will ultimately result in increased traffic on your site and further translates into more leads and sales. How to Make Effective Video Marketing For a Travel WebsiteTravel agencies who decide to use video marketing as part of their digital marketing strategy should keep the following tips in mind: 1. Create a video marketing strategy for your travel agency or vacation destinationBefore using video marketing, you should create a video marketing strategy for your travel agency or vacation destination. This strategy aims to help you develop a plan to create videos that will help your business get more leads and sales in the long run.Make sure to use different types of media in your video. For example, instead of just using text on the screen, try using destination photos as well or even adding music or sound effects in the background. This will help keep viewers interested when watching the travel video as it won't be boring for the audience. 2. Choose the right video platform for your businessYou also need to choose the right video platform based on your goals, audience, and resources. For example, if you want to consistently update videos with new content, then platforms like YouTube, Facebook, or Vimeo are best because they allow users to upload new videos regularly.You can upload your videos to any online platform you want, but it's best if you choose one that is already popular with people interested in your niche. For example, if you create travel videos, it's best if you share them on YouTube since it's a popular platform where people who love traveling go to watch travel videos. 3. Choose the type of video marketingThere are many types of video marketing strategies you can use. Explainer videos, training videos, product demo videos, and promotional videos are just some of the most popular types of videos you can use for your business.If you want your business to grow, then it's important that you create various marketing videos for all of your products and services. These videos help you market your product or service by giving viewers an insight into what they will get if they purchase travel packages from your agency. 4. Create a customized landing pageFor businesses, it's important that you create a strong online presence and make sure that people know about what you do and how you can help them. One way to do this is by creating high-quality marketing videos for your travel services.If you want more people to see your video content, then it's important that they can easily find it on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google search results. To ensure this happens, you should create a custom landing page for each of your videos and use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter so that people can easily share their favorite videos with their friends. 5. Make a short video that’s easy to shareShort videos are usually more effective than long ones since they are easier to watch and don't take much time. When creating an explainer video for your travel business, it's important to keep it short and sweet. This is because if travel videos are too long, people will lose interest and move on to something else. Most businesses agree that videos should be between 60 seconds and 2 minutes. That’s why you should aim to create shorter videos to catch their attention.There's no point in creating a video if people can't share it easily. To ensure your video content is easy to share, you should create videos with an interesting title and description. Also, use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter so that people can easily share their favorite videos with their closest ones. 6. Add subtitles on your travel videosIf you're going to be uploading travel videos from your vacation, make sure you add a subtitle to the video so that viewers can easily read what is being said. This will help viewers from having to listen closely and will also help them understand what you are saying in the video.Consider adding subtitles to your videos if you want to reach out to a wider audience. You can easily do this by using YouTube's closed caption feature. Just remember that it's important that your subtitles are accurate so that they don't misquote anything. 7. Add a call to actionCall to action is a term used in marketing to describe a statement that encourages a viewer to take action. For example, in an explainer video, the main purpose of the video is to get people interested and engaged with your brand. One way of doing this is by adding a call to action statement at the end of your explainer video. A call to action can be anything from asking viewers to take some kind of action or asking them a question that encourages further engagement.If you want your viewers to take action after watching your video, you should add a call-to-action statement at the end of it. This may be as simple as adding your travel business's website address or social media links in the text at the end of the video so that viewers can easily find out more about what you do. Also, if you want viewers to engage with your business on social media platforms, you could ask them questions such as "What did you learn from this travel video?" or "What were some things that surprised you?" These types of questions will encourage viewers to post their answers on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter for others to see. Wrapping UpVideo marketing for a travel agency is a great marketing strategy to engage with your audience and get them excited about your travel business. It is also an excellent way to create brand awareness, increase website traffic and drive sales. These are the main reasons why many travel businesses choose to use video marketing in their marketing strategy.If you want to learn more about how to use marketing videos and other marketing tips to help grow your business, check out this blog post on how to scale up your travel business! AuthorAndre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video production company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order). Twitter: @breadnbeyondEmail/Gravatar: [email protected] LinkedIn: Andre Oentoro

Qasim Hussain

2022-06-17 03:48:14

Modern Tech Solutions that Generate More OTA Bookings

Travel 

Modern Tech Solutions that Generate More OTA Bookings  120

Modern Tech Solutions that Generate More OTA Bookings

As an online travel agency, you’re always looking for new ways to generate more bookings.To aid you in this all-important endeavor, you should aim to update, automate, and digitize your reservation and engagement services using modern tech solutions. Integrating with a varied suite of emerging tech systems and travel management services will help you do just that.Here are the key integrations that are proven to generate more bookings for OTAs: Expand your Inventory with a Global Distribution SystemIntegrating with a robust Global Distribution System (GDS) is one of the best things you can do to take your OTA booking rate to the next level.This integration will grant you real-time access to a global conduit of travel bookers, accommodation providers, and vehicle suppliers. You will be kept abreast of the latest product and price changes, and you will be alerted whenever availability data goes live. GDS integration will allow you to unlock the full potential of your OTA inventory by connecting you to a vast amount of airlines, hotels, and rental car providers. By expanding your suite of services and distributing it across a network of connected distribution channels, your users will be able to bundle up various travel deals and details for the same vacation. They will have the opportunity to reserve accommodation and transportation via a centralized platform, thereby alleviating the pain point of switching between dispersed booking systems, flight scanners, and rental vehicle suppliers. As well as helping to make life much easier for your users, GDS integration will assist you in gaining valuable market exposure. Your travel services will be highlighted on platforms and devices across the globe, increasing your visibility tenfold and, in turn, vastly improving your chances of generating future bookings.Sabre consistently ranks among the world’s best GDS solutions. By integrating Sabre into your OTA portal, your users will be able to shop worldwide hotels and airlines as well as the excursions/perks they offer. This optimized access will significantly improve the booker’s user experience and, in turn, have a profound effect on your brand image.You can enable a cohesive, quick, and seamless GDS integration process by augmenting your skillset with a Sabre authorized developer. The right partner will provide both technical and non-technical support in the following areas:External implementationsSetup and configurationApplication supportTroubleshootingProgramming Enhance your Ease of Use with Artificial IntelligenceTravelers, especially corporate ones, don’t want to trawl the Internet for hours on end in search of the best booking options. They demand ease of use and direct access to the latest deals.When travelers find a booking process frustrating or fruitless, conversion rates drop and OTA brands take damage. By acknowledging these issues and making your booking platform as straightforward to use as possible, you can position your OTA as ‘user first’ and, in turn, cement your reputation as a go-to provider of seamless booking services.Artificial intelligence enables this streamlined ease of use like nothing else on the modern tech market.Powered by cutting-edge machine learning technology, cognitive AI tools can observe and interpret contextual online behavior. This allows them to generate massive datasets comprising of crucial information relating to the traveler’s booking specifications. The data observed in this instance includes:Search resultsBrowsing habitsPrevious purchasesArtificial intelligence uses this information to generate complex profiles that provide a clear insight into what the user wants from their next vacation. No matter what sub-niche form of travel the user searches for – whether it’s budget-friendly excursions, dog-friendly accommodation, horseback riding, or sustainable traveling – the AI integration will instantly scour the web for relevant booking options without human interaction. It will then provide the user with bespoke travel and accommodation choices that meet their exact preferences.By providing this targeted, tailored, and timely level of service, you will enable your users to make quick and easy travel decisions. This ease of use will go a long way in convincing users to return to your OTA when they next require a travel booking service. There’s No Time Like the Present When It Comes to OTA IntegrationWith their suitcases packed, boarding passes downloaded, and sunscreen at the ready, nomads from all four corners of the globe are eager to hit the road and take to the skies once again.After a period of enforced inactivity, the travel industry is primed and ready for a surge in post-pandemic popularity. To ensure that you’re sufficiently prepared for the oncoming onslaught of customers, you should look to integrate a suite of modern tech solutions into your OTA booking system.GDS and AI should be among the first integrations that you consider. These cutting-edge technologies will enable you to relieve accessibility and UX pain points that have long plagued the travel industry. By actively alleviating these issues, you will position your OTA as a reputable source of travel assistance, significantly improving your booking generation rate in the process. No matter what contemporary technologies you choose to adopt, streamline your integration operation with a travel booking software development specialist. The right partner will have the skillset and expertise required to customize your booking system for hotels, flights, vehicle rentals, excursions, and more.Author Bio:Tyler BoykinDirector of SalesTyler Boykin is a Director of Sales at Chetu, Inc., a global, custom software development company, where he oversees the Hospitality & Travel, Transportation, Events & Meetings, and IT Service Management accounts, as well as a myriad of partner tools. A graduate of the University of West Georgia, Tyler joined Chetu in 2013 where has risen through the ranks of the sales department and helped the company grow into an award-winning organization.

Qasim Hussain

2022-06-08 20:54:23

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