BLOG: Online Adoption and Higher Education Institutions

It’s not uncommon to see low online booking tool adoption rates at higher education institutions. A few of the more common reasons for this are a lack of awareness about the availability of the online booking tool and the benefits they offer, as well as no instruction on how to use it and no ongoing support. You might be surprised at how many faculty, staff, and whole departments aren’t aware that they even have an online booking tool available for them to use, and some of those that do know might resist using it due to not knowing the benefits. This issue can be remedied pretty easily, though, with the right kind of marketing and training.


First, discuss with your travel management company (TMC) what they can provide in the way of marketing materials. Customized materials outlining the benefits, such as access to the TMC’s discounted rates, one-stop travel shopping, time savings, etc., should garner some interest from your end-users on campus. You’ll also want to include information about how to register for the tool and how to contact your TMC for questions and support issues. Also, whether this is the initial launch of your online booking tool or you’re trying to reacquaint travelers with the tool, it can be a good idea to have this marketing push coincide with a Travel Day on campus where your TMC comes in, sets up in a common area, and end-users are able to visit their booth and ask questions.


Training comes next. To make the most of this initiative, scheduling training soon after the marketing push/Travel Day is most effective for getting travelers and travel coordinators to the training sessions. You’ll want your TMC on campus to conduct those sessions. Provide them with a location that’s central on campus and they can provide sessions throughout the day where faculty and staff can drop in for training at their convenience. If there are certain colleges or departments that are far from the center of campus, training sessions at their locations should be scheduled. These training sessions are a great time for your TMC to learn if there’s a common set of questions coming out of the sessions, and if so, they should be able to provide you with a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document that you can post on your institution’s travel page.


It takes a bit of coordination between your institution and your TMC to get the details of a marketing push and training sessions worked out, but it is well worth the effort – you should definitely see a rise in your online adoption percentage. For assistance with implementing an online booking tool for your school and arranging for marketing and training, contact the higher education travel management experts at Travel Leaders / Destinations Unlimited.