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


Driving Efficiencies Through Innovation

Driving Efficiencies Through Innovation

The innovative technology that is available today has made us all more efficient in so many ways. Smart phones allow us to have telephone conversations from just about anywhere and we are all just a few clicks away from checking our email or social media. Not sure how to get somewhere? Check your smart phone for directions. And today you can purchase just about anything right from your phone as retailers become increasingly focused on mobile ready technology.

There’s a wide range travel technology available today depending upon your specific needs. Everything from easy to use “out of the box” solutions for those just getting started to unique custom business solutions designed to specifically meet the needs of your business are available. There are even “out of the box:” solutions that can be easily customized to support your own unique brand identity. These solutions can be valuable features for online travel agencies looking to build and protect their brand.

In today’s mobile world, travel technology solutions need to have a User experience designed to maximize sales while making the research and booking of travel arrangements easy. Efficiencies in the way that a travel agent interacts with their customers can help save the time it takes them to create a travel related booking and increase an agent’s overall sales volume. For example, having the right special offers in place and being able to quickly identify them right in the availability display can be just as important as the ability to easily adjust a product selling price in today’s competitive online environment. Many of today’s online booking engines include powerful business rules features that allow business owners the flexibility to easily pre-define price adjustments and “value add” offers using wide variety of filters including type of service, supplier, travel dates and booking channel to name just a few.

Travel technology should provide your business access to all booking channels. This includes traditional business-to-business (B2B) as well as business-to-consumer (B2C) and even business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C). For those looking to expand their sales network to include home based agents, the ability to extend the use of the online booking engine to these groups will allow you to expand the reach of your sales network. Mobile ready applications are another key feature to look for.

Innovative travel technology solutions that quickly and easily combine travel components such as Cruise + Air + Hotel together to create Custom Packages have become increasingly important as travel agents look to create unique packaged offers to their consumers. The Dynamic Packaging of components has also become increasingly popular with consumers looking to create their own unique packaged experience. Booking Engines which automatically offer a hotel reservation after an airline reservation is complete not only make the booking process more efficient, but can also help your travel business increase hotel bookings significantly and drive up your overall sales volume.

Finding travel technology that will have your online business driving efficiencies through innovation is important. Finding the right technology partner to help make this happen is the key to success.


Collaboration Developing Travel Technology is Key

Collaboration Developing Travel Technology is Key

There are so many online travel technology solutions available in the market today offering so many different product options that finding the right one for your business can often be overwhelming for many. Of course you’ll want to find a solution that accesses the content you are looking with the administrative tools you’ll need to adjust a products selling price or offer a special promotion. Most of the online travel booking engines in the market today come with these basics which can be enough to get you online. But is simply getting your business online enough in today’s crowded marketplace?

A handful of large Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) control a significant portion of the mass market where price is a main driver. These online conglomerates have amassed such “buying power” with travel suppliers that they are able to secure the lowest prices available at the highest commission rates, making them difficult to compete with on price alone. Many have made significant investment in technology and infrastructure to improve their efficiency which has secured their competitive advantage even more.

But there is hope for those looking to compete online with these giants, it’s just a matter of doing your research, developing your strategy and implementing your plan. Quite often, online sales are a driving force behind a company’s decision to change technology. Online sales can save a business both time and money making it the most cost effective method to serve today’s consumer. The innovative travel technology solutions available today allows technology providers to design and develop flexible & fully scalable applications that can easily grow with your business. Many can even provide the ability for you to customize the application templates to maintain your company’s own unique branding. And to serve today’s growing number of consumers who use their mobile device to purchase travel products as well as those that switch between devices during the research and booking process, many are choosing applications that use responsive technology that can automatically adjust the screen layout based on the type of device being used.

Experience has shown that some of the best travel technology solutions are the result of collaboration. Software Developers, Suppliers and Travel Agents all provide valuable input on how to design and develop the ultimate online travel booking engine. Each of these participants in the sales process play an important role and any technology should consider the individual needs of each. This type of collaborative effort can help ensure an online solution that automates processes and increases revenues while it reduces the time and effort required to complete a transaction.

Input and feedback from Suppliers as well as Travel Agents ensures that the technology connecting them meets each of their individual needs as well as identify areas for process improvement more efficiently. For example, Easy to Use applications designed by a specialized team working with travel agent users are able to deliver an online booking engine that reduces the amount of time required to train agents and gets them selling faster. Finding a technology solution with the right combination of options for your business can be critical and the key to the success of your online travel business. Finding a technology partner that uses a collaborative approach can be just as important.