When I started working in the Travel Industry, online package holiday booking was still in its infancy. Working at Thomson Holidays at that time, I spent more time worrying about pricing for teletext than any website. Whilst the Online Travel Agencies were making an impression, there was still widespread concern about online security amongst traditional holiday customers, and many people were wary about using their credit card on the internet. Thomson's then Head of New Media, Graham Donoghue, convinced me then that if you make it easy enough for people, after they have taken the plunge the first time most people will become comfortable with online booking and come back again and again. He showed me how he was simplifying the booking process, reducing the number of steps to confirmation and reassuring users every step of the way.
Ian Showell is Consultant Business Analyst and Project Manager for 2 Aardvarks Ltd working with a number of clients on travel industry system development and process improvement projects