Messaging apps in tourism
Messengers are developing fast these days. Almost every day new interesting projects appear, and messaging companies which have got themselves firm in the market, are looking to develop their businesses further.
WeChat is a good example. This messaging app allows not only messaging but users can also call taxis, buy cinema tickets, make online purchases and even plan leisure trips. WhatsApp has been dipping into the travelling industry lately too: a lot of companies use this messaging app to advise their customers and give them all necessary information on tours.
Finally, Viber is entering the tourism market too.
Ordering tours through Viber
The world’s first tour Viber-agency is set up in Odessa (Ukraine). The project is called Pockettour.com.ua. What is special about it is that all communications with customers are performed only through Viber. By contacting the agency, clients can choose a tour, have their questions answered and have the necessary paperwork done without exiting chat window. When the paperwork is ready, it is published on the Google Drive.
This is convenient for everyone: travellers no longer need to allocate time to pop in the agency and leave the necessary documents, the company does not have not pay office rent and the client managers can work distantly.
Why did the agency choose Viber? A recently conducted poll shows that Viber is the country’s most popular messaging app among those who buy travel packages. WhatsApp is well behind Viber here. Moreover, the number of the agency’s target audience among its customers is 3 times less.
Will Viber reach out for new markets?
So far, this is the first attempt ever to conduct business through Viber. The project has been on just for a few weeks but the number of attracted customers already equals 60.
It is important to remember that not all things necessary for going abroad can be done online. For example, you would have to go to a travel agency in person to have you fingerprints taken for a Schengen visa.
Of course, in this particular case the setting up of a Viber-agency was not initiated by the Viber team but it was the decision of a Ukrainian entrepreneur. However, if the startup succeeds, it will be logical for Viber to add services that make buying tickets and booking hotel rooms easier as is the case with some other messaging apps and improve them.
As the aforementioned example shows, Viber has certain competitive advantages in certain countries and it would seem weird for the company to lose them.