Friday, 2 December 2016
Thursday, 1 December 2016
With summer is on, people are planning for travel & vacations. Travel agencies are also pushing the operations to meet the demands. As the competition is high, its important to connect to right clients, either using a great travel agency software, supported by a good CRM team. Following are a few tips to increase the sales.
As most of sales are through online travel agency software, use a travel software which connects to social media. Most of the clients read the reviews before they make the purchase.
Travel Agency Software
Find the real interests of your potential customers and highlight them. Encourage them to send and update the reviews / comments on your travel website, which is anyways accessed by several potential clients.
Going to places is always trending in the social media. Travellers when dissatisfied or angry at a restaurant, hotel, or a flight immediately inform the world through social media. Sometimes they appreciate good service. Interact with them, win their trust, and transform them to your loyal customers. Create a separate travel blog to accommodate the end user contents.
With pictures, videos, questions or statuses you can get followers and likes. Social media will tell you where to improve. Social media is big tool to boost sale. A buzzing travel portal will always convert more sales.
Offers are an all-time favourite for customers. Declare discounts and freebies frequently. Sell hotel booking, flight booking and activities together. Travel packages attract even reluctant customers. Publish everything using the CMS of your travel portal software and share it to clients.
Use SMS sending software to sell ‘last-minute’ flight tickets at great discounts, when there are unexpected cancellations in flights or when tickets are not sold out enough. Who will not desire to get highly discounted last-minute deals to their dream destinations on their mobiles. You can also use your mobile app for this. You can keep your customers updated on new destinations etc.
Your travel software must remind them about travel insurance, special baggage regulations or about the delay of their flight. Users will always appreciate taking care of these small things.
You can concentrate on a certain demographic area, a type of travel, a destination and make a travel niche. Your travel software will play a significant role in keeping in contact with these special people even when they are on the move.
In the present date of online sales, where physically existing travel agent shops / kiosks are losing importance and a new trend of bookings through online travel portals & airline reservation systems, is developing very fast. This has created huge opportunity for travel technology companies to build great online reservation systems (airline reservation system, hotel reservation system, & holiday packages reservation system) with top GDS systems / Global Distribution Systems. Apart from cutting edge technology, the user engagement model, displaying the vest pricing and offers are key points for any reservation system to succeed.
|Airline reservation system|
Airline reservation system, commonly known as ARS, is generally considered to be the user side system for any airline or GDS. It consists of the exchange of data through the GDS system, which consolidates the worldwide airline data and share through unique web services API. This is an effective and efficient way of consolidating the global airlines availability and pricing, which is combined together with best GUI interface and published for end users on any airline reservation system (GDS based).
In online travel services marketing & sales, airline reservation system is a part of comprehensive travel reservation system, which consist-off hotel reservation system, transfer system and sightseeing module. GDS system, which is known as global distribution system is the interface between a travel reservation system and the end airlines, because it consolidates the data including the availability and pricing. The end buyers can check the availability and do the booking, which in turn is forwarded to airlines console through GDS.
Advanced airline reservation systems offer the features like oneway, roundtrip, multi-destinations all together. Thus also providing the end users the better deals / offers on every booking, they do. Most of the reservation systems are also offering the dynamic packages like airline + hotel, hotel + cars, hotels + holidays packages, clubbing the packages together. This helps the buyers to plan the travel in a better way.
Amadeus, Galileo / Travelport, Sabre and Abacus are among the top GDS systems available today. GDS consolidates the data for airlines, hotels, cars, packages and cruises. This consolidated data, is then shared to end travel reservation software / travel portals through their proprietary web services APIs.
Author is a travel technology expert and has been involved in several travel portal development projects.
Travel technology has come a long way over the last decade. Traditional methods of travel planning and booking are almost vanished in thin air. Today, travelers use technology to great extent to plan the travel, book the travel deals there by making travel process easier.
Young travelers are the generation born towards the end of the last millennium and grew in the arena of wireless internet, smart-phones, considered as gen Y. The ratio of this generation using the travel technology is high, when compared to people with 40+ age. With smartphone and mobile internet in hand, travelers are searching all the travel deals on the responsive travel websites and mobile compatible travel software. Survey shows that major part of online travel booking now comes through hand held devices.
Travel technology has evolved, not only as online booking and itinerary processing system, but it has become a way to plan the whole travel starting from flight booking, hotel booking, car booking, reminder for important documents, creating a common travel group and sharing the images / videos. The whole travel process and post travel activities are now all connected through the travel technology.
Travelers are checking the travel websites for everything, it may be weather, fight / train / bus timing update or any value added information. Mobile has become a tool for checking and sharing on the go. The mobile phone with the travel mobile app, has become an online travel agency. Searching, booking, sharing – everything is available right at finger tips.
Travel technology companies have taken a great part in this growth story. These companies have developed some great travel products in last few years. Travel website development and travel apps are much in demand. All the leading travel agencies are partnering with top travel technology company to deliver a product, which can actually create a wave in travel domain. Next two years, it will be interesting to see as to how the travel domain grows.
Global Distribution System / GDS System is computerized and centralized web service that provide travel related transactions covering airline reservation, hotel reservation, cruise reservation and car rentals. In brief, central reservation systems that book and process the PNR for global airlines are known as Global Distribution Systems / GDS Systems.
Originally, GDS systems were set up for airline reservations but later its extended to process hotels, cars, cruise and holiday packages. GDS system makes it convenient for users to purchase tickets from different airlines or providers thereby forming the backbone of internet based travel booking services. GDS system reaches out to more than 300,000 plus IATA registered travel agents powered by four major GDS networks like Sabre, Amadeus, Worldspan and Galileo. Thus the GDS systems today, are used by travel agents and online customers all over the world to book flights, hotels, rentals and other travel related services. The key point here is that any GDS system will not hold the inventory, but the inventory is held on vendor’s reservation system itself as GDS has real-time access to the vendor’s database.
GDS can also be understood as a network operated by a company that enables automated transactions between booking agents and vendors so as to provide travel related services to end consumers. A GDS system usually links rates, services, bookings consolidating products and services across the major travel sectors like hotel reservations, car rentals, airline reservations and other activities.
GDS system’s primary customers are mainly travel agents, who are either following OTA model or using a web based software to connect to GDS.
To understand, how global distribution system works, take for example the case of Amadeus GDS. Amadeus is used globally by over 90,000 travel agency locations and over 32,000 airline sales offices for distribution and selling of travel services. This service processes more than 480 million transactions per day, which is huge and over 3 million total bookings per day. GDS along with Online Distribution Data or ODD in the form of connectivity modules allow hotels to connect with Travel agents and online customers.
GDS are owned and operated as joint ventures by major airlines, hotel groups, companies and car rentals. Sometimes they are also called as automated reservation system or ARS or computerized reservation system or CRS.
Modern GDS system typically allow users to take advantage of booking hotel rooms, rental cars, airline tickets, as well as for other activities like outdoor tours. They also provide access to railway and bus reservations in some segments of markets, although these are not always integrated with the main system.
For many years, GDS had a dominating position and role in the travel sector. To avoid high GDS fees airlines have started to distribute flights directly from their websites through web services or APIs, thus bypassing GDS to a large extent, another way of bypassing is by facilitating direct connections to the travel agencies.
Author is a travel technology expert and has been involved in several travel portal development projects.
Thursday, 29 September 2016
Your travel business may be small or big, but it can’t survive in the present world without an Online Booking Software. You may have hosting a very good travel website design on your domain and it may also be attracting a-lot of visitors as well. But without travel software, you may not be able to realize its full potential. With online travel software in place, you can not only connect to potential clients but also achieve the sales online. Integrating a travel agency software will change your website to an online booking system platform.
|Travel Agency Software|
But how to integrate, is an intriguing issue. There are three basic methods of integration to your existing website:
Top travel software provides the white label links, which can be connected in any travel website. Your web designer can simply import these links in iframe. Thus your website will host the search box and will enable the complete online booking software on your website.
You add the code snippet or a widget, from travel software provider, to your website code. Sections of on the online booking UI will be added to the desired places in your website (e.g., search box, hotel room or flights on special offer).
API integration is one of the most common methods used today. You need a professional travel software development company to achieve this. APIs provide the web services XML, which should be programmed to connect to third party server to bring the data. Its always advisable to hire an experienced travel portal developer to do this for you. Hotel APIs or Flight APIs integration will give you the complete control on look n feel of the system and customization.
With API integration, travel companies can -
• Have B2C, B2B, corporate and white-label modules
• Manage multiple suppliers including GDS & hotel consolidators
• Manage separate sub-domains / domains for end users and agents
• Update the markup from the backend
• Have IP based currency option
• Have comprehensive reporting system