We often receive feedback from travellers that we’re at least US$1,000 more affordable than the next best comparable quote in the market. Therefore, you might ask yourself: Are we too good to be true? As consumers, we often tend to assume that cheap equals poor quality. But being cheaper can also be a reflection of innovation and efficiency. Here are 5 reasons why conscious travel start-ups like Fair Voyage can offer you lower prices than other agencies:
1. No expensive distribution network
We do not have an expensive network of fancy retail offices or on-site customer service personnel. All of our marketing, advice and sales activities are done through our website, via live chat, phone or video calling, or other online channels. This allows us to serve our global client base and eventually enable flexible 24/7 customer service for your benefit. Our travellers based in Switzerland appreciate the opportunity to meet on appointment at a nice location of their choice, rather than having to come to us.
2. No expensive office space
We share a co-working space at Impact Hub in Zurich and allow our team members to work from home, instead of hosting our own expensive office space. This not only helps us reduce costs, but also helps to bring more diversity into our team. For example, young mothers enjoy the opportunity to work flexibly from home, and culturally diverse team members from far-away countries may work with us remotely.
3. Cost-efficient payment transactions
Transaction costs are another big component of margins in the travel industry. Did you know that common payment gateways such as Paypal often charge fees in excess of 5% for international cross-border transactions? Many online platforms who use such gateways need to build these costs into their margins. To be able to offer you local prices, we’ve gone the extra mile to identify low-cost payment services providers and are about to integrate them into our system.
4. Innovative client advice and support
As with any travel agency, the time we spend giving you our personal advice is one of our biggest costs. Giving you our best independent advice is essential to our mission, and we will never sacrifice on the quality of our advice to reduce costs. However, there are a few things we are doing to improve our advice for you: Whenever you ask us a new question, we reviewing our system to try and make this information more easily available to you in the future. We’re integrating and automating our communications to avoid mistakes. And, most importantly, we’ll soon enable you to communicate directly with your local tour operator through our platform.
5. Planning for bigger scale
Typical travel agencies only serve a limited number of clients. This means that they need to make a higher margin on every single transaction. We’re a start-up with a big vision to become a global platform. By opening up our system to local tour operators and automating much of our operations, we’ll be able to serve more travellers efficiently. This bigger scale will help us justify our low margins per transaction.
That’s our plan. As of now, we are still at a fairly early stage in our start-up journey. To make our vision come true, we still rely very much on every single booking to continue building a user-friendly platform and eventually help you plan your next conscious trip to any destination globally. By booking your Kilimanjaro climb, wildlife safari or other trip with us, you become part of our conscious travel growth story and help us to achieve our sustainable travel mission.