Remember to Include Hotel Reservations

Remember To Include Hotel Reservations

Hotel companies and large online travel agencies were early to embrace attracting online customers and were pioneers in travel e-commerce. Unfortunately for many hotels, price integrity quickly became a challenge as the race to embrace e-commerce began. Suddenly hotels realized that the hotel reservation software available at the time limited their ability to differentiate their brand or the features a particular hotel property offered from the competition. Consumers were going online in droves to find the best deals and suddenly the lowest price became a determining factor in whether they even noticed a particular hotel in the crowded display.

Hotel companies were quick to react and developed hotel reservation software with access to information & rich content. This not only helped them distinguish their Brand from their competitors, but also assisted online shoppers with finding which particular hotel is best for them. The ability to search for a hotel room by a specific neighborhood within a larger city or by price range and even star rating. Detailed information about whether a particular hotel property has free internet, a restaurant or SPA services was integrated into hotel booking engines. And the rich media content provided the shopper a “preview” of the experience they could expect at a particular hotel. Hotels offer varying levels of comfort and service, so matching a client with the right hotel is important. The wealth of content and information hotel booking engines make available help strengthen and expand online business with consumers.

Somehow in the middle of all the commotion however, many consumers overlooked the benefits of working with a professional travel agent and went online themselves. But using a travel agent can ensure a consumer gets the best deal possible and the VIP service they deserve upon their arrival. Many are hotel experts and have negotiated special deals and amenities for their clients.

A Custom Packaging tool can allow travel agents distinguish the product they offer online further by tailor making a travel itinerary to be sold as a package. This can help increase overall hotel sales and be a valuable tool in setting an online travel business apart from the competition. Dynamic Packaging products are another tool becoming increasingly popular. These are typically an extension of an existing Booking Engine designed to allow Users to package and book cruises, flights, hotels and other travel products in real time.

And remember e-commerce today is not only “online”, it is also “mobile”. The best hotel booking engines use innovative responsive technology that will automatically adjust the screen size and display layout based to match the type of device being used. Hotel software should be easy to use and provide Users the functionality they are looking for. And since most travel reservations are not complete without a hotel reservation, it can be said that no travel booking solution is complete without mobile ready hotel reservation software.

But no matter what type of travel you sell, choosing a travel technology solution with the right combination of content and 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.



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.

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.

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.

Travel Agent Software Needs Complete Content

Travel Agent Software Needs Complete Content

Have you ever started to research plans for a trip or vacation in the middle of the night and you wanted to confirm all aspects of your travel right then and there? The travel booking solutions available today make this completely possible. Thanks to cutting edge technology innovations, confirming your travel arrangements no longer requires endless visits and/or phone calls with a travel agent. Today’s online travel agency provides consumers the ability to research and book all aspects of their trip themselves with all the benefits of using a travel agent.

Selling travel online is not just for the large online travel companies that dominate the market. Today’s travel agent software can be easily customized to support an individual agency’s own unique “Look & Feel” and serve as an easy to use online booking engine for travel agents and consumers alike. These web-based applications are designed to automate processes, increase revenues and reduce time and effort required to complete a transaction. Many are hosted by a technology provider with the headers, footers and style sheets customized to match the agency’s look & feel to provide a seamless online experience for customers. Complete customized versions are also supported where an agency can change the complete layout and flow of the booking engine if they desire.

Live access to content is provided to be sure the most up to date availability and pricing is used. Travel agent software typically uses an agency’s specific ID when communicating with suppliers like an airline. But airline reservations are not the only travel product that you can book on line. Hotels have been making their content available online as well for years and cruise is one of the fastest growing areas in online travel today. Improved technology combined with the fact that more and more people are taking cruises for the first time has made booking cruises a huge opportunity for online travel businesses. As cruise lines constantly add new ships and new itineraries, it is important that any solution include all the important information about the cruise line an ship as well as detailed cabin descriptions linked to media files & rich content such as cabin photos, ship images and deck plans to assist in the shopping process. Similar to air, the cruise booking engine should use live pricing and availability during the search and booking process as well.

Today’s state of the art travel booking solutions include the business management tools needed to control pricing and related marketing messages. Revenue management tools should provide the ability to adjust a product’s selling price, highlight value add offers in the availability display. Applications should be designed to meet the unique requirements of Global Marketplaces and easily handle multiple currencies as well as multiple languages. Travel booking solutions should include flexible & fully scalable online reservation engines that can easily grow with your business while maintaining your unique identity.

So whether your clients are looking to book an airline ticket, reserve a hotel room or even plan that perfect cruise vacation, the right travel agent software can help you serve them quicker and easier. Finding the right solution for your online travel business will play an important role in determining your success. Finding the right technology partner may be even more important

The Right Travel Software Can Revolutionize The Agent Selling Process

Travel Software Can Revolutionize Agent Selling Process

Online travel booking solutions are one of the biggest benefits that the internet has provided the travel industry. These online solutions have revolutionized the way the entire travel industry interacts and conducts business with customers. Today, anyone with access to the internet is just a few clicks away from the ability to research and confirm their travel arrangements. The travel agent software available today has automated and customized the entire booking process while providing comprehensive and innovative solutions for travel agents to better serve their customers. There are solutions available today for travel agents that will make the shopping and booking process quicker and easier for any travel component including Airlines, Hotels and even Cruise Lines.

The airlines started the trend years ago by automating the process for travel agents to sell flights by launching their own booking engines for travel agents to use. By using these early airline booking engines, travel agents were able to greatly improve their productivity selling airline tickets and provide better service to their customers. Travel agent software has been evolving ever since, constantly adding new features & functionality as well as new product lines such as hotels, car rentals, cruise vacations and even travel insurance.

Applications that are easy to use and contain the information a travel agent needs to research the options available are critical to success. For example, finding the right hotel based on an individual’s specific needs is an important part of planning any trip, but can be overwhelming with so many options available. To help simplify the process and select the right hotel for a client, many hotel booking engines integrate links to media files & rich content to assist during the shopping process. Many online cruise booking engines can even allow anyone to quickly research and book a cruise with many containing detailed ship and cabin descriptions as well as photos to help identify the best options available during the shopping process.

Easy to use travel agent software is built to automate processes and reduce the amount of time it takes to make a booking. Many are so easy to use that they can have agents selling quickly with a minimal amount of training. Some travel technology solutions can also extend booking capability to an agency’s website. This allows customers to research and book travel anytime, anywhere they choose, while still receiving the benefits of using a professional travel agent.

Some things to consider include the type of products you plan to sell, the sources you plan to secure your content from and the ability to protect your brand identity. So update the online travel solution your agents are using and revolutionize your travel business. Both you and your customers will be glad you did. Finding travel agent software with the right combination of options for your business can be critical to the success of your travel business. Finding a technology partner with solutions to help you serve today’s mobile consumer when and where they shop for travel can be just as important.

Introduction to Odysseus Solutions

We started Odysseus solutions back in July 2005, with this core interest of providing an out of the box solution to our clients that can be customized completely for one or more brands that they may have. Cruise is the core of how we started. That was the background that I came from. I started work at a cruise only agency and we were one of the first to launch an Online Cruise Booking Engine in those days. Over the four years that I was at, that was what I learnt, everyone was focused on how do we automate processes on air, car and hotel and not really many players were focused on cruise and that’s where I found that was an opportunity that would allow us to really excel. And its proven out to be the correct strategy. We took cruise to be the corner stone of our product and that opened doors with vendors who weren’t even actually selling cruises but then wanted to get into the cruise space. I actually went out and recruited a bunch of clients from different work fields, so let it be a travel agency, an online travel agency, a Mom and Pop shop and a host agency and I put a focus group together and that’s what helped in delivering today what we have in our Odysseus booking engine.