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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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.

The World is Just A Few Clicks Away Thanks To Travel Technology

The World is Just A Few Clicks Away Thanks To Travel Technology

Thanks to the advances in online travel technology, access to book travel anywhere in the world is truly just a few clicks away for anyone with an internet connection. Airline reservations, hotel accommodations and even cruise vacations can all be booked quickly and easily online. Travel agents have been quick to learn this and have launched their own travel agency websites with online booking engines. But with so many suppliers offering so many different deals, keeping track of price adjustments and promoting special offers can be a full time job for many travel website owners. In order to keep pace with changing prices and the multitude of special promotions that Suppliers offer, travel technology solutions must have the capability to quickly and easily adjust a product’s selling price and include value add offers right in the availability display. This includes powerful business rule features that allow Client’s licensing these applications to easily define their markup, discount, value add offers and more while supporting traditional Business to Business to (B2B) as well as Business to Consumer (B2C) channels.

In addition to the basic functions such as markup and discount, todays travel technology must incorporate custom rule types such as fixed deposit amounts, master promotions and agent commissions. 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 a specific Rule by affiliate agency, supplier, departure date & location, destination and more. With numerous powerful filters, some solutions allow rules to even be defined according to the day week and time of day a booking is made. And in many cases newly added or modified rules are applied almost instantly, ensuring the best deals are offered to customers.

Travel technology solutions can provide operational efficiencies and reduce overall cost to serve a customer. Fully customizable, these applications automate processes and increase revenues while they reduce the time and effort required to complete a travel booking. Many online booking engines include a vast amount of descriptions linked to media files & rich content to assist in the shopping process. Live access to content is provided to be sure the most accurate availability and pricing is used. 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.

The travel technology solutions available today makes it easy for any size agency to compete with the largest online players. Many are easily customizable to match an agency’s brand identity and provide the features and tools to manage business online. Online travel booking engines can lead to more profits, but only after careful planning and successful implementation. Launching an online booking engine alone will not guarantee you receive bookings from your own website, you’ll need to also implement a solid online business strategy.

So 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.

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.