According to a recent survey by Mastercard and digital payments firm Wex, 67 percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 70 book travel online, including a majority of Baby Boomers. “Technology has become an ingrained part of everyday life for both travelers and businesses,” says Peter Pantuso, president and CEO of the American Bus Association in Washington, D.C. “These technologies present a wide range of opportunities and risks for the bus industry and operators must be informed about technology trends to make strong decisions for their businesses, their employees, and their travelers.”
In an increasingly online world, the ABA and Busie are teaming up to research digital trends and their impacts on the motorcoach industry. During ABA’s Marketplace in Omaha next month, we will be releasing a report that will focus on digital trends relating to the charter sector of the bus industry because it affects the vast majority of bus operators. ABA’s 2017 Census found that 96 percent of bus operators in North America provide charter services, making charter by far the most relevant strategic topic for an average operator in the industry.
“We’ve spoken with hundreds of operators across the country and can’t wait to share our findings with the rest of the industry,” says Busie CEO Louis Bookoff. “The ABA’s platform for educating motorcoach operators on key, real-world issues is essential to the future success of charter bus companies and we are grateful to have the opportunity to contribute to the operator community.”
The report will cover a wealth of topics spanning web traffic, cyber security and charter quotation volume. One of the key findings is that operators who incorporate online quote form technology into their website process on average 2.9x more quotes than operators who do not have an online quote form on their site. Operators who are investing in their online presence and digital customer experience are capturing new revenue opportunities as more and more consumers of all ages shift more of their travel research, planning and booking online.
Alex Berardi, president of Trailways.com, adds “the time for operators to start executing a digital strategy is now. A lot of value and business is on the table waiting for innovative operators to come online and grab it.”