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.

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.

Drive Hotel Booking Through Innovation

Drive Hotel Booking Through Innovation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.