Travel Agents remain an important part of the travel industry and have been evolving the way that they interact with Suppliers and Customers along with the rest of the industry. Travel booking solutions such as airline booking engines, hotel booking engines and even cruise booking engines were introduced into the market years ago and have been evolving ever since. The transition to online commerce has been crucial for many agencies to remain in business. The online booking engines available today provide agents or their customers the ability to book just about anything online including an airline seat, a hotel room or even a cruise vacation.
With just a few clicks of a mouse, today’s travel agent software can access the information agents or their consumers need to research which particular hotel best meets an individual’s needs. Hotel searches can be narrowed to a specific neighborhood within a city, the hotel star rating or price range. You can even research whether a hotel property has banquet facilities, a restaurant or room service. Air travel searches can be specific to an airline, time of day or even class of service. Online searches for cruise vacations can be specific to a Sailing region, such as the Eastern Caribbean, a specific cruise line or cruise ship and even by the cruise length. Cruise ship and cabin photos along with detailed descriptions are integrated into the booking engine to help agents and customers make the right choice. They can even select which seating time option they prefer for dinner or alert the cruise line of a special occasion such as a passenger’s birthday or anniversary.
Different types of clients may have different requirements for an online booking engine. For example, the online booking engine needed to service corporate clients can be dramatically different from those for leisure travel. Corporate travel policy may dictate which specific airline, class of service or routing can be used by an individual passenger’s position or title within the company. There may be a limit to which hotel chains can be used or the type of room that can be booked. Leisure travelers may look for a tool that’s somewhat less restrictive in these areas but perhaps searches multiple content sources to ensure they get the best price for the airline seat or hotel room they decided to choose. Regardless whether a travel agency services corporate accounts or leisure clients, there are travel booking solutions available today that can help automate processes and increase revenues.
Like much of the travel industry, consolidation has forced many travel agencies to merge with other agencies or form new closer affiliate relationships. The ability to expand distribution of your agency’s airfares to affiliated agencies quickly and easily can be a powerful tool in today’s competitive airfare market. And while many agencies are forming new alliances and joining Agency Consortia, most still want to maintain their individual agency’s unique branding with their customers. The travel agent software available today can easily provide the tools for any size agency to compete with the major online players.
In this article author writes about Odysseus Solutions. The travel agent software available today can easily provide the tools for any size agency to compete with the major online players.