With travel consumers becoming digitally connected and demanding
instant responses more than before, travel agents should be where their
customers are — and where else but WhatsApp where most online
conversations take place?
WhatsApp parent Meta has unveiled a developer tool, WhatsApp Cloud
API, which will enable businesses to message and chat with their
customers more easily.
Not only can the new WhatsApp Cloud API be easily integrated within
every business systems, the free tool is touted to reduce the API
integration time from weeks to minutes. This can enable businesses to
integrate the API within their back-end systems to make WhatsApp
function as part of their communication and messaging strategy. They
also can extend this to include SMS, other messaging apps, emails and
more as a part of their bigger communication plans.
According to Meta, this tool can also help businesses “eliminate
costly server expenses and help them provide customers with quick access
to new features as they arrive”.
Businesses can also forgo the API entirely and use WhatsApp’s
dedicated Business app that generate automated quick replies, greetings,
away messages, statistics and others.
With additional fees, WhatsApp can also offer features like managing
chats across multiple devices, customisable click-to-chat links, report
analyses and etc.
Travel tech specialist Chan Chee Chong, CEO of GlobalTix, has been
advocating for a greater digital uptake among travel suppliers in Asia.
Speaking during the recent CruiseWorld Malaysia 2022, Chan had
singled out WhatsApp as an efficient and inexpensive way for travel
players to engage customers in real time.
Business is free, and you don't need to spend a single dollar", he
said. "Sometimes you don't even need complex technology."
At the event, he also urged travel agents, tour operators and other
travel players to start a WhatsApp business account or any other social
media messaging platforms where customers can directly reach out to the