ASATA Column – Trust Rules the Web


“Price does not rule the web, trust does” – an apt quote made about the internet in 2000; its relevance most recently questioned by Paul Byrne from OpenJaw Technologies in a opinion piece.

In Byrne’s opinion, trust is required any time there is uncertainty and risk in social and business relationships; uncertainty about the outcome of the transaction, the amount at stake and that the trustee may abuse the trust.

Byrne believes trust is vital for success in online travel booking. Where the behaviour of others cannot be controlled or predicted, there is a need to reduce consumers’ fear.

Lack of trust, he says, is the “main barrier” to consumer participation in e-commerce. Trust, based upon beliefs about the trustee, may reduce risk and influence consumers’ tendency to transact.

And in online retail transactions, consumers perceive “significant risk”, says Byrne.

And this is where your ASATA travel agent plays a part in your travel transactions. We fight your battles, lobbying on your behalf for better travel conditions. We act as an impartial arbitrator in grievances against ASATA members, offer advice, and can investigate and make recommendations.

Members’ adherence to a strict code of conduct, expert guidance through extensive knowledge and experience, and ability to provide you with value, choice and convenience, mitigate any risk you would take entrusting your travel booking to an online entity lacking a human face.

It is this ‘human face’ that emerged in a recent questionnaire to travel companies as one of the most important factors in building trust with consumers; being human, contactable, accessible and responsible to consumers, and resolving issues and providing feedback were revealed as critical to building that trust.

Experts recommend that travel companies keep it personal, treating their customers as individuals; be open and honest, straightforward, have integrity and deliver on promises no matter how big or small – traits ASATA members pride themselves on delivering.

And that is why entrusting your travel to an ASATA member will bring you travel with peace of mind. Trust us, it’s part of our DNA. 

Otto de Vries