With two new platform developments, the Vamoos travel app is allowing agents to add a whole new level of service to the customer journey. Madeleine Barber speaks to chief executive Alistair Luxmoore to find out more
Travel app Vamoos has come a long way from the simple, digital wallet it launched as in summer 2014. Yes, it’s still a place where holidaymakers can keep all their travel documents together, but it’s now also a platform where users can find live flight information, build mapped-out itineraries, check the weather and discover points of interest nearby.
“Travel agents and tour operators are very good at selling and delivering, but managing the time in between not so much,” says Alistair Luxmoore, founder and chief executive of Vamoos. “We fill the gap by helping build anticipation.”
By using Vamoos agents can provide their customers with the tools they need to plan the details of their trip ahead of time, for example choose a treatment from their hotel’s spa menu or browse local restaurants.
“We’re taking that two-week holiday and making it start from the minute they book,” explains Luxmoore. “And [prepping the app ahead of travel is] quicker than an agent getting an envelope out and putting a stamp on it.”
Vamoos Connect, a new development rolled out in February that brings travel companies and hotels together, has taken the platform one step further. Users can now order a drink from the resort bar or choose a pillow from the in-room menu on the app, as well as utilise all the other services hotels offer.
“This is about impressing clients and adding the ‘wow’,” says Luxmoore, explaining that handing over the updated app at the time of booking will “drive loyalty and repeat bookings”.
Also to support travel professionals Vamoos launched dual branding last July, which gives agents the opportunity to prepare the app for a client and hand it over with the agency’s own branding.
“We recognise it’s the agent that has the relationship with the client, so this means they can put their stamp on it,” says Luxmoore.
Vamoos is free to use before travel, so agents can download the app, familiarise themselves with the platform functionality and then pay per customer. Cost depends on the size of the agency but averages around £1 per client.
Luxmoore’s top tip for first-time users is to “start simply”. “Customers get 90% of the benefit from 10% of the features, so don’t try and build a rocket ship on the first attempt,” he says. “There’s plenty of time to scale up and start using different features down the line.”
Luxmoore shares the four most useful functions on the Vamoos platform
Flights: Instant updates from portal to dashboard mean Vamoos provides live departure times and flight statuses.
Communication: Travellers can message the hotel directly to order a drink from the pool bar to the sun-lounger or request room service – it’s a one-to-one service without phone calls or trips to reception.
Hotel information: The app hosts hotels’ information directories, so guests have access to the likes of Wi-Fi passwords and breakfast times when they’re not in their rooms.
Local tips: Clients can check out the best local restaurants, browse nearby walking trails and choose the museums and attractions they’d like to visit while on the move.