How can golf travel agencies remain relevant in 2018?

By: June 13, 2018

In a previous post, I have already started to hint and recommend to golf travel agencies that golf travelers are looking for “experiences”.  As part of the customer experience innovation and development, I recommended a high level of service personalization.

I also said we have to understand that the so-called connected customers will choose those golf holiday services that are highly RELEVANT to their needs in the MOMENT.

This is why I thought to analyze and investigate how could golf travel agencies remain relevant in 2018 and in the future.

golf travel agencies before major changes

Today, on Priceline or Expedia or Ctrip or even TripAdvisor, a consumer can book almost every facet of his or her travel journey. I just went through the winner golf travel agencies of the 2017 World Golf Awards.

I see the changes in their services (e.g. By offering travel insurance, golf lessons, hotel transfer, golf club rental etc.). The above-mentioned smart and connected golf travelers see how golf resorts and golf clubs are becoming homogeneous, but also the offers.

They can rightly ask, where is the added value in golf travel agencies’ offers. Better prices? Local knowledge? Unique experiences?

We can also plan our golf holiday for ourselves and collect local information thanks to Google, Tripadvisor etc. Just like other travelers, golf travelers are also craving locally made and authentic experiences. This could be for instance an added value.

While golf travel agencies interpret the good experience as the combination of speed, convenience, and convenience, they forget one very important element of exceptional customer experience: the HUMAN TOUCH!

The human touch that creates real connections with our customers. Helpful and friendly employees can have as well a great contribution to your success. This way you can avoid having just a transactional relationship with your customers and lasting relationship.

Customers who are emotionally connected with a brand are 52% more valuable than customers who are just highly satisfied, reports Harvard Business Review.

If your golf travel agency is focusing on luxury golf holidays, then you should bear in mind that your potential customers will look for personal fulfillment and self-improvement.

As Millennials are entering into the circle of potential golf tourists, responsible golf travel will gain momentum. The responsible golf travel has got 3 aspects: environmental, societal and economical.

Experience tourism - golf travel agencies

To be able to build loyal customer base we must use all data and knowledge we have about our customers to make every journey as unique and personal as possible.

This includes better use of data and insights, predicting customer behavior and real-time usage of customer feedback to close the loop back to our customers and draw an emotional bond to the brand.

One of the great ways to combine human touch and unique experience is to show locals’ life, for instance, where and how they spend their spare time and NOT to send and recommend typical tourist spots and locations.

We also like to share with our friends when we get back from a holiday abroad what we ate and drank. This is why I like Tee Times Agency‘s gastronomy service: the Chez Carlos Restaurant in Vilamoura (in the Algarve), Portugal.

It is one of the longest established restaurants in Vilamoura. Its evaluation by guests moves between 4.1 – 4.5 our out of 5 in leading review sites.

If I were Tee Times Agency, I would organize events where golf tourists could meet with the local golfers and play with them or with the Portuguese national golf champion (e.g. Pedro Figueiredo).

Another good example is the South African Golf Gourmet, who is offering a gourmet experience as well.