Travel Agent Software Can Make The Agent

Travel Agent Software Can Make The Agent.jpg

Booking with a travel agent has always been a great way to find the best deal. Not only is a professional travel agent familiar with the wide variety of different travel products available, they can often get you the best rate, extra amenities and even upgrades. A good travel agent can help with your entire trip including VIP access to local attractions and airport transfers. In short, how satisfied you are with your overall travel experience may depend upon the travel agent you choose or whether you go it on your own.

But like with most professions, the tools a travel agent uses can play a huge role in how successful they are. Travel agent software can vary dramatically when it comes to the content, features and distribution channels they support. Live access to supplier content should be provided to ensure the most accurate availability and pricing is used. A travel booking solution should reduce the amount of time it takes to complete a reservation and automate processes to make it easier for agents and financial staff to manage bookings. Tools that automatically cross check a booking with a Supplier can eliminate costly errors while the automatic export of booking data for integration with external systems can save a tremendous amount of time and resources.

Travel agent software needs to include the business management tools that provide an agency owner the tools they need to adjust a product selling price or deliver a specific marketing message directly to User in the availability display. Targeted promotions and special offers can set your business apart from competition with unique offerings and VIP service and should be easy to set up and define. Display Biasing capabilities can even provide the ability to promote preferred cruise suppliers with preferential placement in the availability display. While optional products such as Dynamic Packaging allow for Users to package and price airline reservations, hotel accommodations, even cruise bookings live using a travel shopping cart. Many dynamic packaging products have been developed as an extension of an existing Booking Engine and take advantage of existing live connections with various suppliers. While custom packaging features allow agents to tailor make a travel itinerary to be sold online to consumers as a Package.

Content Source can play a key role with any travel agent software and not just with packaging engines. Access to the major GDSs, Hotel aggregators, Cruise lines and other content specific to your client’s travel needs can be critical in determining how successful your business is! You may even want to consider integration with travel insurance providers for ancillary revenues and added service. For example, ancillary products like a cruise data cache with the latest updates on cruise line pricing and availability can help you develop unique offerings or promote when the lowest price on a particular ship or itinerary is available and give you an edge over the competition.

Finding travel agent software with the right combination of options for your travel business can be critical to your success. Finding the right technology partner can be just as important.


The Airline Reservation System of Today

The Airline Reservation System of Today

The days when making a flight reservation was a time consuming process are long gone. Today, anyone can book a flight quickly and easily using an online booking engine. Whether consumers use an airline reservation system they find on an airline website or one of the many online travel agencies, they are just a few clicks away from having their airline reservation confirmed. Today’s online booking engines are easy to use and can help a travel business owner reduce their overall administrative costs.

Today’s consumer can purchase just about anything using a variety of mobile devices including their travel arrangements. The increasing popularity of mobile applications has been driven by a population that is always on the move and prefers not to carry their laptop with them. All they need is their mobile phone. The online travel applications available today are designed to take full advantage of the many powerful features and functionality offered by an airline reservation system. These easy to use booking engines allow new agents to be trained quickly and has them selling faster. There are even solutions for those who want to control their own User Interfaces while still taking advantage of the innovative technology offered by some of the most powerful booking engine’s available.

To serve the multiple travel distribution channels used today, there are Business-to-Business (B2B) solutions for Agents, Business-to-Consumer (B2C) solutions for Customers, and even Business-Business-Consumer (B2B2C) solutions to extend an agency’s business to include outside Agents looking for their own web presence.

The travel booking engine you use should be integrated with an airline reservation system that provides access 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. And customer loyalty programs have become so popular with travel suppliers that it is important to include a customer’s loyalty program ID with the reservation.

Business Management Tools are another critical feature to consider. Revenue Management tools to help an agency owner control a products selling price and offer targeted promotions or special offers can help set your business apart from competition with unique offerings. The ability to integrate your own marketing message right in the booking engine’s availability display or adjust the selling price based on how and when the booking is made can be quite powerful when competing with today’s online world.

Online booking engines with dynamic packaging tools have become increasingly popular as consumers look for a single source to satisfy all their travel needs. Online dynamic packaging solutions are often an extension of an existing booking engine designed to allow agents as well as consumers to package and price cruises, flights, hotels and other travel products in real time. Custom Packaging solutions allow agency owners to custom tailor a travel package in advance to be sold online.

Choosing an airline reservation system with the right combination of options for your travel business can be a critical decision. Finding a technology partner that will help you reach today’s mobile consumer can be just as important.

Time to Upgrade Your Travel Booking Engine ?

Time to Upgrade Your Travel Booking Engine

The travel industry has been focusing more and more of it’s resources on e-commerce solutions as more people rely on the internet for booking their travel arrangements. Some travel companies however have had unique challenges designing and developing their own online booking solutions. Many of the major travel suppliers have been stuck using solutions built on legacy technology that prevent them from easily add new content or make a simple change to their User Interface.

This is usually because the architecture used even a few years ago to build a travel booking engine is not at all like the architecture of today’s distributed and layered applications. Business policies and rules are typically hardcoded using an inflexible and predefined process flow in most legacy systems. This old approach makes any integration with external systems and Internet-based business applications difficult or just impossible. On top of that, this old technology that has become increasingly difficult for anyone using it to find developers who want to work with applications written in languages that are not widely used in today’s technology.

E-commerce sales save a business time and money making it the most cost effective method for many to deliver products to customers. As a result, the Internet revolution is usually the driving force behind a company’s decision to switch away from a legacy system. The “state of the art” technology available today helps software solution providers design, develop and deliver flexible & fully scalable applications that can easily grow with any size business. Some even provide the ability to customize the application to maintain a company’s own unique brand identity.

Experience has shown that the best travel booking engine is the result of collaboration. Software Developers, Suppliers and Travel Agents can all provide valuable input during the design phase to help develop the ultimate solution. Collaboration with customers and suppliers is crucial when developing a travel booking engine since each of these entities play an important role in the process since and any solution needs to meet their individual needs.

Many travel companies are building travel booking solutions that use responsive technology to serve today’s consumers who use their mobile devices to purchase travel products. Now, regardless of the type of device a customer uses, applications built using responsive technology can automatically adjust the screen layout based on the device being used. For those looking to have a dedicated Mobile App, there are several companies designing and developing booking engines with custom mobile Apps. Travel technology providers can now offer any size travel agency affordable applications built on the latest technology with the powerful tools to they need to compete online. So whether your travel business needs an air booking engine, a cruise booking engine or a hotel booking engine, be sure your travel booking solution is built using the latest responsive technology.

Choosing 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 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.

Expand Sales with Hotel Reservation Software

Expand Sales with Hotel Reservation Software

The hotel industry has been around in one form or another for centuries, long before cruise lines, automobile rentals and airlines. Each of these have played their part in the evolution of the travel industry and the development of today’s travel technology solutions. While airlines were a driving force behind the development of what became today’s Global Distribution Systems or GDSs, hotel reservation software has been quick to see the value of rich content and links to media files to help distinguish one hotel property from another. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

A travel booking engine should be designed to automate processes and reduce time and effort required to complete a reservation. Online Business to Business (B2B) as well as Business to Consumer (B2C) applications can provide a seamless online experience to Users by customizing the headers, footers and style sheets based on a Client’s specific branding. Complete private label versions are also available where the layout can be changed to meet a Client’s specific requirements. Hotel reservation software should include links to media files & rich content to assist Users with selecting the right hotel property during the shopping process. Travel booking solutions developed with Innovative responsive technology can automatically adjust the screen display size and layout based on the type of device being used, ensuring your business is mobile ready.

A hotel reservation is an important part of most travel plans and access to the right hotel reservation software can play an important role in determining how successful a travel agent is selling hotels. Access to the right content is key, so you’ll want to make sure that the hotel content available will be what your customers look for. You’ll want to make sure you have the right hotels available and at the right price! Develop a relationship with hotels your client’s use a lot and make sure you have access to any special VIP perks that might be available. This can help improve your customers overall experience and make you a star for getting them “special treatment” during their stay.

Another factor to consider is how and at what point in the sales process are hotels offered. Some travel plans start with booking a hotel room and maybe arranging a few other elements around that. Others may start with an airline reservation and then offer the option to add a hotel based on the itinerary booked. There are even packaging modules that use Cruise as the base transaction and then add other travel products like airline and hotel reservations around the cruise to create a unique packaged cruise vacation. These can either be pre-set packages or built dynamically based on an individual’s specific preferences.

Hotel software can vary greatly with some simply providing the ability to adjust a product’s selling price and others taking things a step further and allowing travel agents to customize and deliver a specific marketing message to their customers. Finding a travel software 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 can be just as important.

Today’s Travel Booking Engines Offer Endless Options

Todays Travel Booking Engines Offer Endless Options

The travel booking engine you choose is a key element of your online business operations and needs to support the larger overall company strategy. It is always a good idea to start by reviewing your existing customer base and determine how you might serve them better and offer them additional services. Research has shown that it is usually less expensive to sell to existing customers and avoid to additional costs and resources often required to secure a new customer. Have you considered adding a hotel option for those customers using your air booking engine? What about a packaging engine that uses Cruise as the base of the transaction and then adds other travel products like air, hotel accommodations or activities during or around the Cruise dates. Odysseus clients will now have the features and capability to offer agents and consumers to either tailor make their own cruise/holiday with flights, hotel, activities and more or from a set of predefined trip/package that is tailored by a vacation expert.

How do your end customers prefer to make their travel reservations? This can be an important question to answer to make sure the travel booking engine you choose will provide access to the distribution channels you’ll need to serve your customers. Decades ago, a good retail location with plenty of foot traffic and a few Advertisements featuring special offers were enough to drive customers into your agency. The online revolution has dramatically changed the way consumers shop for everything, including travel.

Call center applications are great for providing personalized customer service and many give Agents the tools they need to research the best options and quickly assist customers on the phone or sitting at their desk. Some customers prefer to research options online and then call and speak with an agent to confirm their arrangements, while others like to research and book their travel arrangements at their convenience. It is all about consumer choice today and your business has to be ready with a travel booking engine ready to serve customers how and where they want. If your customers are like most, the application you choose will likely need to support B2B, B2C as well as B2B2C to serve your clients.

After you determine the content you’ll need to include and the distribution channels you need access to, it’s time to consider your technology options. Will a simple “white label” booking solution work for you or does your business need something a littl more customized? Do you need to work with a host agency or an air consolidator for some or all of your products or do use plan to your own agency credentials with the Supplier? What about the ability to adjust a products selling price or include a value add offer along with a hotel reservation or cruise vacation? There are countless technology providers offering different types of solutions for your business.

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 where and how they shop for travel can be just as important.

The Explosion of New Sales Channels

The Explosion of New Sales Channels

It seems like new websites and online channels are popping up daily, revolutionizing the distribution landscape of the entire travel industry. Whether you are a travel supplier like an airline or a retail travel agent, several opportunities to quickly expand the reach of your travel booking engine to new customers are readily available. Todays’ online booking solutions provide unique and powerful tools to book airline tickets, hotel accommodations and even cruise vacations quickly and easily online providing a seamless online experience for users.

Today’s online booking engines are able to provide both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) applications designed to automate processes and increase bookings. Customizable header, footers and style sheets enable travel agents to match the look and feel of their website while providing a seamless online experience for their online customers. Some applications are even fully customizable, allowing the booking engine’s complete layout to be modified to match an agency’s specific requirements.

The explosion of online travel agencies (OTA’s) in the travel marketplace has fueled the growth of travel sold online and has allowed for a few large OTA’s to dominate the online travel market. Unfortunately the price advantage some large OTA’s can offer come with limited customer service in the event your plans suddenly change. And while many of the online travel booking solutions offered by Suppliers are easy to use, the content is often limited to a specific brand. These are two reasons why many consumers have learned the benefits of using a professional travel agent. Not only for the simple ease of having someone else take care of everything for you, but because booking with a travel agent is the best way to reserve hotel accommodations. Specialized agents using the right travel booking engine can save a tremendous amount of time and energy for even the most experienced travelers.

Whether a consumer likes to shop online, by phone or in person, today’s travel booking solutions need to be ready to serve customers how and when they decide. Applications should be built using technology that is mobile ready so consumers can access and use them across the variety of different devices so many use during the research, shopping and booking process today. Your online booking engine needs to access the content your clients are looking for at a competitive price. It should include business rules capability so that you can easily adjust a product’s selling price and offer targeted promotions to your customers.

Online travel booking solutions need to include detailed product descriptions and rich content linked to media files that can assist your agents as well as consumers booking online across the research, shopping and booking process. And for those planning to expand into new markets, consider a solution that can handle multiple languages and currencies.

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