Travel Booking Solutions Should Be Integrated Online and Offline

Travel Booking Solutions Should Be Integrated Online and Offline

Whether consumers book their travel arrangements online or simply start their research there, today’s travel related business needs to be ready to assist them throughout the entire process. And all signs indicate consumer use of smartphones will continue to increase as more people are constantly connected to social media, so finding travel booking solutions with mobile technology is becoming increasingly important.

Integrating the online and offline research, shopping and booking experience is critical since many consumers will switch between various devices as they research and eventually purchase products online. Mobile devices enable consumers to be online anywhere at any time, allowing today’s consumer to start their research using their smartphone and then switch to a tablet or laptop to complete their purchase. While others may choose to start their research and shopping online before calling their travel agent to confirm their cruise booking. Regardless of the how a consumer ultimately makes their travel purchase, travel booking solutions need to integrate the online and offline process, provide the consumer with up to date availability and pricing and include detailed descriptions with pictures & images to assist during the research, shopping and booking process.

Applications should be easy to use and reduce the amount of time required to complete a transaction. The best travel booking solutions are flexible and easily customized to support each client’s own brand identity or unique selling style. While some technology providers may host the application, the header, footer as well as the look and feel should all be easily customizable to provide a seamless online experience. Multiple selling channels should be easily managed using a single application and designed to quickly set up additional users and affiliated websites. Whether your customer books directly with a travel agent (B2B) -or- they prefer to shop and book online (B2C), your Booking Engine needs the ability to service them quickly and easily.

Many travel booking solutions are built using secure, scalable online booking platforms that are designed to meet the demands of suppliers, traditional or online travel agencies as well as consumers. And with the pace at which fares or schedules can change, real-time connectivity with suppliers can help you ensure that the most accurate and up to the minute schedule, availability and pricing are provided. Business management tools can help provide you the controls needed to easily manage your business. Revenue Management tools include the ability to mark up or mark down a product’s selling price and even the ability to search multiple provider content sources for the best price. Display biasing capabilities and the ability to highlight value-add offers in the availability display can give your business full control of what your customers are presented. Robust reporting tools are also available that allow for quick and easy business tracking.

Finding a travel booking solution with the right combination of options for your business can be a critical decision. Finding a technology partner that will help you reach today’s mobile consumer where and how they shop for travel can be just as important.

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Content Is Key For Travel Booking Solutions

Content in Key for Travel Booking Solutions

There’s such a vast amount of travel content available today and so many different online travel booking solutions available with just a few clicks of a mouse, it is sometimes difficult to know which is the best fit for your needs. While certain booking solutions may have the functionality and features you are looking for, they may not have the supplier inventory your customers want. In other cases, you may spot an online booking solution with just the content you need, but find that it is lacking the features and functionality you require. The solution to your problems may be found with an online booking engine that has the features and functionality to properly manage your business along with flexible supplier connection capability which will allow you to access various content sources for different travel products.

If your agency is selling multiple travel products, you may want your booking engine to access hotel content using one source, but look to use a totally different connection for your airline bookings or perhaps several other sources when booking a cruise. Finding the all the right travel related content sources in a single online booking solution that has the features and functionality you need can be overwhelming to most initially or a bit of a challenge at best.

Some of the more advanced travel booking solutions even allow you to choose specific content sources by Supplier, providing the ultimate in content source flexibility. You may want to use one GDS ID to make most of your airline bookings, except for a few markets where you prefer to check another GDS ID for the fares of an air consolidator. Your air booking engine needs to be able to quickly and easily support these different connections and know when to use each. Accessing the right content source, for specific content can play a role in determining your success.

As cruise line preferred supplier relationships become increasingly important to securing the best price and commission levels, biasing the cruise line availability display to show preferred suppliers first has become an important tool for many agency owners. Some cruise lines have been quick to recognize the benefits biasing the display may bring and may offer increased commissions and marketing support to agencies with an online booking solution with this capability.

Travel booking solutions also need the ability to quickly and easily define pre-set business rules so agency owners can adjust a product selling price or promote value add offers and special deals right in the availability display. Simply put, today’s online booking engine needs to keep up with all the different specials and promotions that Suppliers make available today. Selling price adjustments and value add offers need to be easy to define and provide the flexibility to set rules by a specific supplier, travel dates, booking dates, booking channel and more.

Finding a travel booking solutions that has the functionality and content you need is an important decision for your business. Finding the right technology partner to assist you in reaching your customers where they shop can be even more important.

Is Your Travel Agency Software Ready for Today’s Consumer?

Is Your Travel Agency Software Ready for Todays Consumer

The fact that travel agent software can be so critical to the success of any travel agency makes the solution an agency owner chooses an important decision. Some travel agents prefer to use an interface provided by the Supplier, while others may prefer to use third party tools that provide a single platform for multiple Suppliers. Deploying a solution that automates processes and increases bookings can be critical to the success of selling travel both via traditional retail sales locations as well as online.

With so many of today’s consumers starting their online research using their mobile devices, traditional travel agency owners need to consider deploying an online booking engine. Not necessarily to push the consumer to a self-booking solution, but rather as a tool to capture consumers shopping online at the initial research phase. It is essential that every travel agency manager understand the steps today’s consumer takes when researching and shopping for travel and to identify best way to capture these customers while eliminating any inefficiencies in the sales process.

Traditional travel agents who use the various Supplier interfaces available to make reservations are often confronted with the challenge of learning how each system works, creating the need to train agents on multiple systems and a challenge for agency managers. Keeping track of bookings and remembering which systems were used for a particular customer’s booking can bring an added layer of confusion. Agency owners may also want to ensure that a consistent marketing message is delivered to both consumers shopping online as well as Agents using a traditional B2B solution.

A single booking platform across all Suppliers is typically the best way to streamline the process into a single work flow while accessing comprehensive content across multiple suppliers. Having travel agents and consumers using a common platform also eliminates any discrepancies between an agent’s desktop and what the consumer sees online. Today’s innovative third-party travel agent software can provide the opportunity to create a standard booking experience across multiple suppliers for both consumers online as well as the agent’s desktop.

The administration and integration of travel agent software can be a critical factor as well. Travel Agency managers need a platform that can help control the booking process and create a common set of business rules to be used across the application. Agency owners need to ability to adjust a product’s selling price by a wide range of criteria including Supplier, dates, class of service, distribution channel and more. Pre-defined rules can prevent agent errors and highlight special agency offers while providing a better shopping experience and the ability to shift sales to preferred suppliers. Integration can also provide a more normalized invoicing and payment process with agency accounting and back-end systems, eliminating the need to manually retype this information. Integration can also help streamline the process and understand customer requirements better, especially for repeat customers.

Finding travel agent software that provides the right content, powerful business rules, and flexible distribution capabilities is an important decision for any travel agency owner. Finding the right technology partner to work with can be just as important.

Upgrade Your Travel Booking Engine Lately?

Upgrade Your Travel Booking Engine Lately

Technology changes at lightning speed and if you haven’t upgraded your travel booking engine in a while, you are probably missing out on some huge potential benefits for your business. Solutions for researching, shopping, and purchasing travel products have come a long way over the past several decades.

There is so much content available from so many different online travel solutions that it is sometimes difficult to know which to choose for your business. While some booking engines may have the functionality and features you need, they may not have the content your clients are looking for. In other cases, you may find a travel booking engine with all the right content, but it is missing the functionality and features you need. Finding the right combination of a single online booking solution can be challenging and a bit overwhelming for many.

The best approach is to start by thinking about what products your clients need and how they prefer to shop and purchase travel. Then consider opportunities to perhaps increase the scope of the sale with your clients and maybe include the option to purchase ancillary products like Travel Insurance protection. These products cover the traveler in the event of cancelled flights, lost bags as well as trip cancellations due to illness or bad weather and is often overlooked in the booking process.

Tools that innovate an agency’s marketing capabilities continue to evolve as technology advances. Travel agency owners can now customize and deliver the right marketing message to both their agents and customers. The typical Rules Engine in older booking engines used to be rigid and time-consuming to manage, but new technology has changed this. Today’s travel booking engine provides the ability to quickly and easily define business rules allows business owners to maximize profits. It should include the ability to promote value add offers or special deals right in the availability display. It needs to be able to keep up with all the different specials and promotions that Suppliers make available today and adjustments should be easily defined with the flexibility to meet your specific needs. Today’s travel booking solutions can offer numerous different filters and rule types allowing agents to choose from options such as rewards points, value add offers, discounts, and mark-ups. These rules may need to be applied individually or combined.

Dynamic Packaging products have become quite popular as consumers look to create their own travel experience. The ability to combine airline reservations, hotel bookings, transfers and even cruise vacations has become a major revenue source for many travel agencies. Dynamic packaging extends the entire sales process from simply selling an airline ticket to creating a completely unique travel experience. Most are developed as an extension of the existing Booking Engine and are designed to allow both agents and consumers to package and price flights, hotels, and other travel products in real time.

Finding a travel booking engine with the right combination of options for your business can be a critical decision. Finding a technology partner that will help you reach today’s mobile consumer with tools to automate your travel business can be just as important.

Airline Booking Engines Automate Business

Airline Booking Engines Automate Business

Is the airline booking engine your travel business is using designed to automate processes, increase revenues and reduce time and effort required to complete a transaction? Technology continues to evolve at lightning speed and so has the software and applications that power today’s online travel booking solutions. There are technology companies dedicated to developing applications to address the demand for travel technology solutions that automate operational processes and provide the ability to customize an “out of the box” solution to support a client’s unique brand identity. Many have researched market requirements, worked closely with customers to identify their specific needs and discovered new and innovative ways to increase revenues while reducing expenses.

Online Booking Engines are often “out of the box” solutions that are hosted by a third party technology company but allow the headers, footers and style sheets to be customized to maintain a client’s brand identity and provide a seamless online experience for customers. There are also private label versions where a technology partner can change the complete layout of an air booking engine so it is customized to meet a client’s specific requirements. And it seems like just about everything in between.

User templates are designed to streamline the selling process for Users and make it easier for agents and agency financial staff to manage bookings. Live access to airline content is often provided via Global Distribution Systems to provide the most up to date availability and pricing. Robust business management tools allow application owners to preset rules that automatically mark up or mark down a product’s selling price by airline, itinerary, class of service, travel or booking dates and more. Promotions capability allow agency owners to include specific marketing messages and value ad offers right in the availability display. Some even allow for the setup of promotional codes that can be redeemed in the booking process. Time saving administration tools that cross check bookings with Suppliers automatically compare a booking made by the airline booking engine with the Supplier’s system.

Dynamic Packaging products have become a popular option for many travel booking engines as consumers look to create their own unique travel experience. If you plan to sell to today’s online consumer, you need to keep pace with the multiple ways that they research, shop and book airline reservations today. Some will use responsive technology for greater support of various mobile and tablet screen sizes so customers can easily view and navigate through the booking process regardless of the type of device they are using. There are even a “state of the art” mobile air apps available that take advantage of the powerful features today’s online Air Booking Engines offer combined with the ease and mobility using a smart phone or tablet.

Finding an airline booking engine with the right combination of options for your business can be a critical decision. Finding a technology partner that will help you reach today’s mobile consumer with the right content and tools to automate your business can be just as important.

Travel Booking Solutions Need To Combine Content

Travel Booking Solutions Need to Combine Content

Travel Booking Solutions have come a long way since the days when airlines first launched computerized reservation systems (CRS) decades ago. Some of the more advanced travel technology solutions available today allow Users to package different travel components such as Airline tickets, Hotel accommodations and even Cruise Vacations together to create their own unique travel experience. Travel Agents have done this manually for years, painstakingly coordinating a Client’s individual flight itinerary with hotel accommodations and ground transfers. The process a travel agent goes through to build a passenger’s complete itinerary has improved over the years as technology has advanced. New content that has become available has created additional choices for consumers and the online revolution has made the internet a key marketplace today. The innovative technology developed in recent years has also played a key role in the design and development of the travel booking engines used today.

Let’s face it, you can purchase just about anything via the internet today and travel is no exception. Whether you are looking to make a reservation with a specific airline, confirm hotel accommodations or make a car reservation, there’s an online booking engine ready to help you just a few clicks away. Even complete Cruise vacations can be easily researched and booked online using one of the many cruise booking engines available today. The online revolution has had a significant impact in how today’s consumers research, shop and purchase travel products today.

And there are more travel choices available than ever before. Everything from low cost airlines to legacy carriers. Full service hotels or rooms for rent via services like Airbnb. Value cruise lines that cater to families or high-end luxury cruise lines geared towards a more discerning adult passengers. And everything in between. Travel booking solutions not only have to offer all these options but also need to include the detailed information that allows both consumers and travel agents to easily understand the various options.

Value or price has been a driving factor for many online sales. However, years ago the best deals were usually found when purchasing a pre-packaged vacation from a traditional Tour Operator. Many of these tour packages came with preset travel dates and combined specific airline itineraries with a limited number of hotels that were available in the program. While many consumers enjoy the ease of purchasing their vacation as a package and at a low price, it wasn’t long before many wanted options.

As Consumer trends changed over the years, more and more customers began to look for travel packages customized to meet their specific needs. This trend led to the development of travel booking solutions offering custom packages as well as the ability for an Agent or Consumer to “dynamically” build their own travel package.

No matter what type of travel you sell, choosing a travel technology solution with the right combination of options for your business can be a critical decision. Finding a technology partner that will help you reach today’s mobile consumer with the content they are looking for can be just as important.

Travel Agent Software Can Make Travel Agent

Travel Agent Software Can Make The Agent

Booking with a travel agent has always been a great way for consumers to find the best travel deal. Not only is a good travel agent familiar with the variety of different travel options available, but they can often get their customers the best rate, extra amenities and even upgrades. A good travel agent helps with their customer’s entire trip and this includes getting the VIP access many look for.

The travel agent software used years ago required agents learn and use multiple supplier systems to book all of a client’s travel arrangements. It took hours to research the different travel options and a checklist was needed to ensure all the travel arrangements were confirmed and in place. Today using an online booking engine, agency owners are now able to streamline this process as they automate transactions while reducing the time and effort required.

The popularity of the internet as a marketplace has changed the way people research and shop and it seems like almost anything can be purchased online today. The travel industry is no exception and has been the driving force behind the development of innovative online booking solutions that have changed the way consumers as well as travel agents research and book all types of travel. Whether consumers research and book their travel online themselves or use a travel agent, consumers today have choices. Today anyone with an internet connection is just a few “clicks” away from being able to quickly and easily confirm their travel plans using an online booking engine.

The right travel agent software can give you the best of both worlds! A travel agency’s online booking engine can provide it’s customers the expertise they enjoy when using a travel agent combined with the ease and accessibility of an online booking engine. An online booking engine can also help an agency owner automate processes while they maximize revenues using innovative business control tools needed to manage any size travel business. In addition to the basic functions such as markup and discount, agency owners can even define additional filters to decide which type of booking or selling channel they want to apply a business rules to. Filters include the ability to define Rules by supplier, departure date, destination and more. Newly added or modified rules are often applied instantly so you always ensure the best deals are offered to customers.

Travel agent software can provide operational efficiencies and reduce overall cost to serve a customer. Many online booking engines include a vast amount of descriptions linked to media files & rich content to assist in the shopping process. And for those customers using a Smart Phone or Tablet, applications should be built using innovative responsive technology that automatically adjusts the layout of the display based on the type of device being used.

While technology has made it easier to research and book travel online, finding travel technology with right combination of content and product features can be a critical decision for your travel business. Finding the right technology partner can be just as important.