Solutions from this category provide support to travel agencies through all stages of tourism management, from planning to booking to execution. Most programs also help deal with post-travel segments like reviews and recommendations. The complexity of these programs varies. For instance, some products offer simple capabilities like reservations and online bookings, while others come with more advanced features, such as, logistics management, real estate management, expenses and purchasing management, marketing and workforce management. Travelers can use these programs to plan their trips, get in touch with agencies and provide their opinions on visited destinations. Read the full software guide...
The travel and tourism industry is an exciting and busy one. Every day, someone is traveling somewhere. As such, travel and tour agencies always try to find ways to make sure they deliver the best customer service. Frequent travelers want not only cost-efficient but also fast and reliable service when booking their trips.
Travel and tourism software solutions make it easy for travel agents and tourism groups to facilitate their clients’ requests and needs. In the earlier days of the computer, when the internet was still in its infancy stage, travelers had to wait for days before their requirements were completely processed. Back then, practically everything was manual and the paper trail was quite long. With today’s advanced technology, however, the process is easier, faster, and more efficient.
Travel and tourism software solutions allow travel agencies and agents to manage flight bookings, accommodations, travel requirements (i.e. passports, visas, and the like), transportation, and even tour schedules and itineraries in one central location online. The software’s main purpose is to ensure travel and tourism agencies’ operations are run smoothly.
Most of these software solutions use the cloud for deployment. The travel and tourism agents, however, buy them as a SaaS (software-as-a-service) solution. Even if the travel and tourism agencies or companies have to pay a monthly or annual fee, many find these tools to be useful because they can access them anywhere they are and any time of the day as long as their laptop, computer, or mobile phone is connected to the internet.
Aside from travel booking agencies and agents, individual travelers can also use travel and tourism software. There are simple solutions that provide only basic features like airline reservations and hotel online bookings. As such, travelers can use any of these programs to plan and manage their trips, as well as to connect with travel and booking agencies.
The most common travel and tourism software features include booking management, schedule management, payment processing, rental management, customer communications, customer analytics, and integration with other websites. Other programs feature information about promotions, discounts, and even policies and restrictions in some travel destinations and places of accommodation.
There are many travel and tourism software products on the market nowadays. This makes the task of determining the ideal one quite difficult. Travel agents cannot just pick one because somebody recommended it to them. They need to know, first and foremost, what the different types of travel and tourism software are.
There are two main types of travel and tourism software: generalist systems and specialist systems.
This software is an all-in-one wonder. Aside from facilitating reservations, it also features booking management for activities and accommodations and even non-travel and tourism-related tasks like newsletter management, web content management, and pay-per-click ads tracking. In other words, it has practically everything.
Some travel agencies and booking agents may prefer this option because it has a myriad of features. Others, however, prefer a simpler solution as they may get overwhelmed by everything.
Generalist travel and tourism software solutions are usually available for a monthly fee.
This software sticks to what it was intended to do: provide a central location for bookings and reservations, customer management, and inventory. An example would be software that was made to manage reservations and bookings only. Apart from this, the said software solution cannot do anything else.
Another example would be a travel and tourism software that specializes in finding tour activity suppliers only. As such, this tool will not be able to help travelers or agencies looking for good airline deals.
Other options for this type of travel and tourism tool include check-in management, vouchering, and ticket office point of sale.
Specialist travel and tour systems usually have pricing based on the service or a booking fee.
Regardless of what system type you will choose—generalist or specialist—there are several things you should look for when determining the travel and tourism software to use.
Here are five things a travel and tour tool should offer.
This is the most important feature of a travel and tour software. It’s the main reason why travelers hire travel and booking agents.
The software you choose should be flexible enough that it covers the entire reservation process. This means it should not only find reservations, but it should also allow agencies to finalize and track reservations. Additionally, it should also support financial document management covering payments and invoices, payment tracking, and travel documents management like the issuing of itineraries and vouchers.
It is also important to find travel and tourism software that is automated. Travel agencies, agents, and travelers should have a smooth and convenient experience when booking reservations.
The system you choose should be flexible so that if ever something unusual or unexpected happens, users can still manage the situation without panicking. An example would be if you want to book a flight to Paris but would want to stopover in Rome or Madrid. The problem is this particular feature may not be offered by the solution. A flexible software solution would, however, have a fix for this.
Your chosen software should allow travel agencies to sell services both online and offline, as well as to other booking agents, travel agencies, and even to individuals.
Travel agencies need to know how they are doing. So, reports are essential. This could be, for example, a report on how many bookings were successful for a particular period or a report on the number of passengers the agency has passed on to tour suppliers—and so on.
It is important to find a travel and tourism software solution that allows you to regularly monitor and manage inventory. This is one of the things that is essential to ensuring proper customer management. If you do not have a good inventory management system, there will be times when you won’t be able to or you will have difficulty adhering to clients’ requests—because you overbooked and were not able to monitor closely.
There are also a couple of other things you should consider when choosing good and reliable travel and tourism software.
The most important benefit of using good travel and tourism software is efficiency and convenience. With these solutions, travel agencies and agents will no longer need to go through long and manual procedures. As such, there will be no more seemingly endless paper trail. Likewise, there’s no need for them to hop from one establishment or office to another just to make sure all travel documents and requirements are properly handled.
Since the process is now faster and more efficient, travel agencies and agents will experience an increase in professional trust. As a result, customer satisfaction will also be enhanced.
Additionally, the travel agents and other employees of the agency will also have a better and more convenient experience. Moreover, employee satisfaction will increase. This means that implementing travel and tourism software will result in an overall experience that benefits all parties concerned.
|API||Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are programmatic intersections with external products or platforms that allow for custom integrations with your own solutions or other solutions you are using.|
|Budgeting||Planning and tracking capabilities for financial budgets and plans often used to manage funds across different departments or for investor / shareholder oversight.|
|Calendar Management||Manage and update calendars for scheduling or consolidation of events across teams, departments or business functions.|
|Contact Management||Manage large amounts of personal or business contacts in a centralized system.|
|Customer Management||Manage customer databases and/or track outstanding shipments, payments and more.|
|Dashboard||Dashboards are digital interfaces commonly used to visualise data or give quick access to important features and functions of online platforms. They often serve as an overview gateway in software applications.|
|Data Export||Exporting functionality can be used to streamline the migration of data sets and information across systems, platforms or applications.|
|Data Import||Importing functionality allows you to use data sets from other systems or platforms to cut down on data entry requirements or to more easily migrate records from similar applications you have used in the past.|
|Data Visualization||Data visualization features render a visual interpretation of data sets through the use of charts, infographics and other visual cues generally in form of a reporting dashboard.|
|Expense Tracking||Track employee travel and other expenses to stay on top of budgeting requirements and reimbursements.|
|External Integrations||Integrations with other software products or platforms to improve efficiency and compatibility across systems.|
|Forecasting||Forecast upcoming expenses, sales, revenue, user levels, etc. through the use of predictive methods and past data.|
|Inventory Tracking||Stay on top of inventory levels, to manage the storing, reordering or production of stock items.|
|Marketing Automation||Automate marketing processes, such as outreach emails, customer engagement, chat replies through the use of chatbots and others.|
|Multi-User||Supports more than just one user account and generally allows for collaboration with colleagues.|
|Notifications||Includes notification support and sends you alerts with information on important events and other time sensitive instances. For example through push notifications on mobile phones or email notifications.|
|Organization Management||High level organization management features to streamline the operation of your business.|
|Payroll||Manage employee payroll to keep track of taxes due to the government, pension schemes and payments to employees.|
|Project Management||Manage projects from conception through the planning stage to delivery and post-project reporting phases. This allows organisation teams to organise resources, plan budgets and improve efficiency in the delivery of project objectives.|
|Scheduling||Schedule tasks, resources, appointments, payments, communications, etc.|
|Supplier Management||Manage suppliers and purchases required in the day-to-day operation of a business.|
|Tax Management||Manage tax payments and reporting requirements to ensure compliance with local or national taxation regulations.|
|Travel Management||Manage travel plans and expenses for employees, prospects or potential recruits through a central environment.|
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