The travel industry in the current market state is facing many challenges like swiftly rising costs, meeting customer expectations and high economic pressures. With changing economic conditions and new financial regulations, there are various problems a travel business has to undergo like; the distribution of products through multiple sales channels and managing inventory, deciding which system to use, charging flat fee or commission and pressure of up selling and optimization of the business. A broad solution to all these problems lies in an online booking engine which is a comprehensive outcome for expanding, optimizing and managing travel business.
What is an online booking engine?
Online booking engine is an interface for b2c customer for booking of multiple products. It is connected with multiple GDSs and third party suppliers for fetching the worldwide inventory. It has comprehensive booking process functionality from introducing booking inquiries to making tickets and vouchers. An online existence is Powerful, fast and proficient way of marketing and communication and medium to promote and expand the travel business with nominal startup time and investment. In precise booking Engine empowers travel business by providing the technology and the inventory necessary to sale and make travel bookings online. It includes the connection to the consolidators, the display of fares and availability of travel content, pricing proficiency up to the starting point and destination level as well as the managing of the flow of the booking itself.
Why is it important for a travel business?
- Figures show that maximum bookings today are made during the evening thus an Online booking system allows you to receive booking 24*7 therefore, your travel business is always open and your web presence with built-in search optimization will draw customers to your website first.
- It is an inexpensive way to reach fresh markets and interact with them and change your online content according to the fluctuating market conditions. You can control every feature of the business through one management system which is available anywhere with just Internet connection.
- A good online booking system will lessen your workload by automating the travel business. It helps to get all the required information during the booking process and confirms that bookings can only be received when there is availability followed by automatic email to the booking party as a proof of the booking.
- Online booking system empowers travel business with boundless possibilities of automation. One can automate the inquiry, booking and payment processes; manage the inventory, customer support and more. It handles the walk-in, bookings by calls, email, and manages existing customer data in an organized system. Numerous bookings can be managed by the centralized admin panel.
- It helps to improve customer service and reduces operating cost.
- It can also increase sales and revenue by cross-selling links in the sales process, appropriate low-cost carrier content, mark-ups, packaging, negotiated fares, comprehensive service fees and own defined promotions by travel agents.
- An online travel system is connected with multiple GDSs and third party suppliers. It provides easy booking process and features like; auto ticket and voucher generation. Travel business can be expanded to different geographies with the use of features such as multi language, multi-currency and multi destination search.
- Multiple online payment options like; credit card, debit card and net banking which allows the direct customers to make direct bookings hence increasing the sale in travel business.
What to keep in mind while choosing the right online booking engine for the travel business?
- The online booking engine should be user friendly, easy to use and have dependable technology for direct bookings. It should have an easy to use grid display and fast booking process. There should be multiple room bookings and quick booking summary.
- Freedom to customization is important so that one can match every detail to their website like; set your own theme, update image gallery, maps and plug-ins for the website.
- A good online booking engine helps the travel business in generating higher revenues and profits with features like; up selling additional services , integration with other networking and marketing sites, usage of promotional codes to attract new customers and retain the loyalty of existing ones and mobile booking engine.
- One should keep in mind the global presence while choosing the online booking engine for their travel business. It should have dynamic features like; multi language, multi-currency and shopping card as this would help you to expand your clientele in new international geographies.
- Very importantly it should have multiple interfaces with software management for the integrated travel consolidators, GDSs and payment gateways etc.
- An online booking engine should be able to generate various in depth reports and statistics so that one can keep a track of the market trends and accordingly they can plan their marketing campaigns and future activities for the business.