Travel Technology Solutions Vary

Travel Technology Solutions Vary

Today’s best travel technology solutions are designed serve multiple sales distribution channels. There are Business-to-Business (B2B) solutions for Agents to use, Business-to-Consumer (B2C) solutions for Customers shopping online, and even Business-Business-Consumer (B2B2C) solutions that allow an agency owner to extend their reach to include outside Agents looking for their own web presence. And there are applications designed to book all types of travel components.

Online air booking engines can help your travel business increase revenues while reducing the time and effort required to complete an airline booking. Some even have the ability to simultaneously search multiple content sources for the best price. Revenue management tools can mark up or mark down a product’s selling price by airline, itinerary, class of service, dates and more. And some airline reservation systems even provide access to services and amenities like interactive seat maps so passengers can easily select their seat, request special services or make their onboard meal selection in advance.

Hotel Booking Engines include the ability to search for a hotel near specific points of interest or neighborhoods within a city. Links to media files & rich content assist the User with selecting the right hotel property during the shopping process. Some travel technology solutions even use innovative responsive technology that automatically adjusts the screen display layout based on the type of device being used.

Even cruise vacations can be booked easily online with the right cruise booking software. A cruise booking engine needs to include a vast amount cruise line, cruise ship and cabin descriptions to assist during the shopping & booking process. Links to media files & rich content such as cabin photos, ship images and deck plans enhance the User experience and are often integrated throughout the booking engine display.

A hosted Booking Engine’s headers, footers and style sheets can sometimes be easily customized to provide a seamless online experience. Complete private label versions are also supported where the complete layout can be customized to meet specific requirements. It is best when Live access to supplier content is provided to be sure the most accurate availability and pricing is used. And customer loyalty programs have become so popular with travel suppliers making it critical to include a customer’s loyalty program ID with the reservation.

Travel technology solutions with dynamic packaging tools have become increasingly popular as consumers look for a single application for all their travel needs. Online dynamic packaging solutions are usually an extension of an existing booking engine but designed to allow agents as well as consumers to package and price cruises, flights, hotels and other travel products together in real time. Custom Packaging solutions allow agency owners to custom tailor a specific travel package and sell it online.

Not 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 Technology Solutions For Today’s Trends

Travel Technology Solutions For Today's Trends

The new year provides a sense of a fresh start and is a great time to get things in order and make some changes to improve our personal and professional lives. It is an excellent time evaluate the travel technology solutions your using and to reflect on the previous year’s success and failures so you can adjust your business plan moving forward. A key factor to consider is what travel trends consumers will be looking for in the coming year and what travel technology solutions are available for you to reach them. Luckily there are a ton of trend forecasters out there studying consumer trends and ready to share what they believe will be “big” in travel over the next 12 months. Some of the suggestions you have probably heard before such as longer trips for many Baby Boomers and the increasing popularity of cruise vacations.

The rise of sustainable travel and Ecotourism is a trend that can be associated with the fact that so many consider preserving natural resources and protecting the environment extremely important. As a result, many have not only adjusted how they live on a daily basis, but also how and where they decide to spend their vacation.

The physical fitness craze has even spilled over into travel with may now looking to make their travel plans around various races or events they plan to compete in. To capture this market, some have started to develop city packages around events such as marathons or other races that their clients are participating in. A local running club or sports team can sometimes be an excellent source of information and may even be able to provide a list of potential interested clients. Music festivals and other major events also draw huge crowds and can be an excellent opportunity to create a custom package for potential out of town customers interested in attending the event.

Activity based vacations have become popular with today’s consumer looking to do something more than just sitting on a beach sipping a cold drink. Scuba diving packages, rock climbing expeditions and even bicycle vacation packages are all becoming increasingly popular. You need to Identify where the sales opportunities are and what travel technology solutions are available to pull it all together.

And don’t forget that the mobile revolution is one of the biggest social trends of all, so look for travel technology solutions built using the latest responsive technology to ensure your online solution is easily available to customers regardless of the type of device they choose to use. Research indicates that many consumers use different devices as they research and eventually purchase products online. For example, many consumers start their initial research using their smartphone, but switch to a Laptop to complete the purchase. Others may choose to use a handheld device exclusively. Either way, you need to be ready to serve these customers on the device they choose.

Finding 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 can be just as important.

Collaboration Creates Great Travel Technology

Collaboration Creates Great Travel Technology

Experience has shown that some of the best solutions are the result of collaboration. Travel Suppliers and Travel Agents each provide valuable input to assist in the design and development of the ultimate travel booking engine. Each of these entities play an important role in the process and any solution needs to meet their unique, individual needs.

Airline reservation systems have been around for decades. They were started initially by the major airlines in order to automate reservations as their number of flights and associated bookings grew at an amazing pace. Initially these were internal reservation systems that were used by airline reservation staff to confirm bookings and check flight information. As the airlines flight networks grew, it was not long before the airlines began offering Travel Agents their own version of these systems to book that particular airline. It was not long after that when strategic marketing partnerships brought car rental companies and hotels into the airline reservation equation and started offering these services as well.

Today’s travel technology solutions are a result of years of technological evolution and have helped lead the online revolution. Today’s online booking engines can provide the tools for any size business to compete with even the major online players. There are a countless number of travel booking engines available in the market today and choosing the right one for your business can be critical decision. You need to identify the various travel components you’ll need as well as how your clients prefer to research and book their travel arrangements. You’ll also want to consider any alliances or preferred relationships you have with suppliers or other travel agents to make sure they are included. Over the years, many travel agencies have formed closer working relationships with other individual agencies or large Consortia. The ability to expand distribution of an agency’s airfares to affiliated agencies quickly and easily is an important tool for many selling airline tickets today.

With so many airfares and so many agencies forming alliances, the ability for an air booking engine to simultaneously search multiple content sources for the best airfare can be a crucial advantage. Today’s competitive market requires agency owners have the flexibility to easily control a product’s selling price and maintain their competitive edge. Today’s best travel technology solutions allow business owners to adjust prices based on a wide range of criteria including travel or booking dates, supplier or class of service.

Travel technology solutions have even kept pace with the consumer trend of using mobile devices to research and book travel. For instance, there are dedicated air mobile apps available for those travel businesses looking for an app for their individual brand. For those who are simply looking to make their online booking tools “mobile friendly”, there are applications available that automatically adjust the screen size and layout based on the type of device being used. Mobile Apps and mobile responsive technology are not just for big business either. Travel software companies can now provide any size travel agency affordable solutions built with the latest technology.

Finding a technology solution with the right combination of options for your travel business can be a critical decision. Finding a technology partner with flexible solutions that will help you reach your customers when and how they shop can be just as important.

Travel Technology Should be Integrated, Live and Mobile

Travel Technology Should be Integrated Live and Mobile

As competing for customers becomes increasingly competitive in any business, travel technology solutions now include features like loyalty program integration, mobile applications and secure, live connections to supplier content.

Company Loyalty programs, new technology and strategic partnerships all play an important role in today’s competitive travel and tourism industry. Loyalty programs have been used by the travel and tourism industry for years and remain an important marketing tool to retain customers for suppliers and agencies alike. A travel booking engine with Loyalty program integration can ensure your customers receive the lucrative discount offers as well as free gifts they have earned while booking with a travel agent. The Loyalty program integration with travel technology can come in the form of gift cards, travel rewards, discounts or even merchandise with the integration of an online booking engine being seamless to the end user and relatively quick to set up.

Do you know what type of special promotion or offer a supplier may offer loyal customers or whether your travel booking engine will be able to easily take advantage of these offers? A technology partner that collaborates with all the different parties involved and considers feedback from each when designing an application may be something to consider.

Travel technology solutions need to be available to customers on whatever device they choose to use. As the use of mobile devices has exploded over the past few years, an easy to use air mobile app has become an important extension of any online travel booking engine. Airline reservations were the first to gain popularity with online booking solutions, so it makes sense that an air mobile app is quickly becoming an important selling tool in today’s mobile society. While innovative responsive technology allows mobile ready travel technology solutions to automatically adjust an online booking engine’s screen size and layout based on the type of device being used.

Live access to content needs to be provided to be sure the most up to date availability and pricing is used. Your travel booking engine needs to provide live access to the type of relevant content your customers are looking for. And for those looking to expand their reach of their travel business with affiliated agents, an online booking engine needs to be able to quickly and easily add affiliated agents and websites.

But it is not just about using the latest technology, but it is also about using the technology in a way that allows your business to operate more efficiently and increase your revenues. While your technology partner may have the latest platform or development tools available, they may not have the detailed understanding of your business required to develop the best solution for you. This is where travel technology companies that collaborate with both their customers as well as travel suppliers are often able to design travel technology solutions with features that can really help a business succeed.

Finding the right travel technology solution for your online business will play an important role in determining your success. Finding the right technology partner may be even more important.

Travel Technology Packaging Solutions

Travel Technology Packaging Solutions

Travel technology solutions that are easy to use, mobile friendly and can be easily customized to client look and feel are key to competing in today’s online market place. Finding a solution with the ability to handle multiple currency and languages to truly meet a global audience on a computer, tablet or smart phone is key if going global. Mobile First should be your philosophy for all development, not just for the front end but also the administrative console as well. This way Agents as well as customers can use their tablets, iPads, phones to book and manage travel with a booking engine that is completely mobile friendly.

The ability to combine travel products either pre-packaged or dynamically online have become increasingly popular with today’s consumer. Most custom packaging products allow a travel agency to tailor make holiday travel plans and then convert them into packages to be sold online. There are some travel technology companies that have developed dynamic packaging engines around Air + Hotel Accommodations and even Tours or Activities, but very few that have successfully launched a global cruise booking solution. A cruise booking is one of the most complex travel booking transactions and only a few industry leaders offer live connectivity to cruise lines globally including ability to book into group or charter inventory. The productivity gains the fast and flexible travel technology that these companies can offer is amazing. Agents can quickly compare multiple cruise lines and prices in a single search. The best continuously updates and innovatively caches the data on their servers for quicker responses increasing agent productivity and earning power.

Some products use cruise as the base of the transaction and then add other travel products like air, hotel accommodations and even activities as part of or around the cruise. Some have unique features and the capability to offer a predefined package tailored by a vacation expert or to make their own cruise holiday package that includes flights, hotel accommodations and even activities.

Most of today’s Dynamic Packaging products were developed as extensions existing travel booking engines. These packaging engines were designed to package and price cruises, flights, hotels and other travel products in real time. The dynamic packaging module takes advantage of the existing connections with various suppliers and the dynamic and innovative rules engines available allow an online travel agency to deliver the proper marketing message to their users whether that be an agent and/or their customers.

Much of the innovation within many travel technology solutions occurs in what’s known as the ‘Rules Engine. This valuable tool allows a travel agency owner to customize and deliver the right marketing message to both agents and their online customers. The typical Rules Engine can be rigid and time-consuming to manage, but some innovative travel technology companies have changed this. Rather than a limited selection, they offer different rule types allowing agents to choose from options such as on-board credits, rewards points, value adds, discounts, mark-ups etc. They can be easily set and applied automatically based on a variety of predefined filters.

Finding the right travel technology solution for your travel business is important, finding the right travel technology partner can be even more important


Online Booking Engines Need To Be Mobile Ready

Online Booking Engines Need To Be Mobile Ready

It’s no secret that today’s consumer uses their smart phone for just about everything and it’s estimated that within the next two years there will be over 8 billion handheld, mobile ready devices in use globally. The availability of mobile applications has undoubtedly helped transform the frequency and manner these devices are used. The variety of different mobile ready technology, app stores and high speed internet connections available today have only helped increase consumer use of mobile devices. Whether making their own travel arrangements or purchasing groceries, it seems like consumers can and do buy just about anything online today.

The move to mobile by consumers is forcing many companies to consider a mobile strategy for their business while maintaining their traditional brick & mortar operation and online business via their website. However, there are different ways to approach developing a mobile web presence to consider. Some choose to use responsive technology when designing their mobile booking engine, while others may decide to use a dedicated Mobile App for their business.

There are several factors to consider when evaluating whether to use mobile ready responsive technology verses a dedicated mobile App. Websites are often designed to be used on large screens that are found on laptop computers and many do not consider how the application will appear to a consumer using a mobile device. Traditional website applications can be difficult to read or navigate through and requiring a consumer to zoom in or resize their screen to use the application. One solution for companies looking for a mobile booking engine is a mobile ready website connected to an online booking engine that is built using innovative responsive technology that automatically adjusts the screen size and layout to fit the type of device being used.

Dedicated mobile Apps are also becoming more popular, allowing an application to be accessed by any device with a web browser. The benefits of a dedicated mobile App can be more than just combining the power and versatility of an online booking engine with the ease and accessibility of a handheld device.

Some of the advantages of using Responsive technology when designing your website include a single application built to run across all devices, regardless of screen size. This can reduce maintenance costs by avoiding the need to maintain several versions of an application while providing a better user experience for your customers. For instance, destination maps may be a critical tool when using a hotel booking engine to research and book a hotel room. These destination map applications are usually image heavy and may require zooming in or resizing the screen. This is another good example of why you should consider a hotel booking engine that built using innovative responsive technology.

To create the best user experience possible, you need to consider that today’s consumer may start researching their travel arrangements using a handheld device but complete their purchase online using a tablet or laptop. Differences in these two approaches provide each with inherent advantages as well as disadvantages. The key to success is finding a technology partner with the solutions that best fit your business.

Drive Hotel Booking Through Innovation

Drive Hotel Booking Through Innovation

Travel Technology providers were one of the pioneers in online commerce and a critical factor to the success of today’s online travel business worldwide. The most innovative and comprehensive online travel solutions available in the market today evolved through years of collaboration with travel agents and travel suppliers. Engaging all of the parties involved in the selling process during an application’s design phase and using innovative, state of the art technology are key when developing the best online booking solutions.

For example, a hotel reservation system should be designed to automate processes and reduce time and effort required to research and complete a hotel booking. It should provide live, up to date pricing and availability using live connections where ever possible. And with so many hotel options available, both travel agents and consumers appreciate solutions that include links to media files & rich content to them assist with selecting the right hotel property during the shopping process. The ability to search for a hotel by geographic area and points of interest will help narrow the search and ensure they are where they need to be. Having easy access to hotel amenities included such as complimentary breakfast or WiFi access can be key factors when choosing a hotel property. Room size and bedding options available may be an important consideration when making arrangements for more than one traveler.

And in today’s mobile world, a hotel booking engine needs to be mobile ready. Look for applications that use innovative responsive technology that automatically adjusts the screen display layout based on the type of device being used. Expand your sales network with features that allow you to quickly add affiliate Users or websites and the ability to easily customize the look and feel for each including headers, footers, style sheets, email addresses & company name. Access to local content as well as multi language and multi currency capability are additional factors to consider if you plan to expand your business into ethnic or international markets.

The hotel reservation system you use needs to allow you to manage your online hotel bookings with full payment capability and support of cancelation policies. It should have the content your customers are looking for at a competitive price. Look a booking engine with easy to use administrative features such as Profile Management and Preferences Management that provide you the ability to turn on/off these features yourself as oppose to paying someone to do it for you.

Reporting capabilities to track your business are also critical features to look for when shopping for a hotel booking engine. Booking statistics are important tools when measuring your business compared to previous periods, but quick and easy access to information like search statistics and “Look to Book” ratios can help you identify trends and potential issues before it’s too late to make adjustments or change course.

The hotel reservation system you choose should be fast, responsive and provide the relevant content your customers are looking for while driving efficiencies through innovation. It’s just a matter of finding the right technology partner to make this happen.