A new travel app aims to revolutionise the traditional in-resort experience by allowing holidaymakers to contact reps in destination before and during their stay via live chat.
Hangout on Holiday, brainchild of Holiday Taxis founder Paul Stanyer, has already signed up operators Olympic Holidays, Party Hard Travel and Infinity Weekends and is in talks to work with more operators.
Operators will be able to offer customised, branded content via the app on the best things to do in resort, with videos to experience the destination prior to departure. The app will allow customers to book excursions in advance instead of having to find the rep at the hotel to book.
Reps can also use live chat to tell guests across multiple resorts at the same time about events that are on each day while holidaymakers can contact reps directly in resort with specific questions.
Stanyer said the company had successfully trialled the technology and now hopes to revolutionise the traditional rep model by helping operators provide clients with a more tailored experience.
He said: “Hangout on Holiday presents an exciting opportunity for operators looking to optimise their customer experience and gain a share of in-resort spend.
“We are providing the missing bit of technology. This is a tool for reps and guests to communicate with each as and when they wish.”
By allowing clients to contact a rep covering multiple resorts and book excursions through the in-app booking platform, it would also mean operators could reduce costs as they would not need as many reps in resort, he added.
Stanyer said the service could in future be of interest to travel agents, with reps broadcasting information about resorts via live streaming.
The company plans to establish its own network of independent reps and in-resort excursions for agents putting together their own holidays or smaller operators to tap into. It is looking to recruit independent reps and work with ground handlers to offer this service.
Hangout on Holiday’s management team is made up of former holiday reps: business partner David Henderson; Jacky Bedlow as finance director; and Sam Lupson as overseas director. Lupson is also the founder of Facebook community Stories of a Holiday Rep, which attracted 18,000 in four weeks and continues to grow.
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