Considering that over 40% of travel is booking online today, it’s imperative for travel agencies to invest in good travel agency software to stay relevant in the times to come. Whether it’s booking flights, hotels, ground transportation or sightseeing, a travel agency software can help travel agencies keep their customers happy by providing them everything they need under one roof.
So what are the key features that a travel agency should look for when investing in a travel agency software? Let’s find out.
Travel Portal to your Showcase Products
A Travel portal is the most essential feature of a travel agency software as it’s the first place a travel agency’s customers would go when they want to learn more about your services. A travel portal includes various modules such as a booking engine, hot deals, fixed packages, a planning tool for DIY travel, a contact us section for taking direct inquiries and many others. When investing in a travel portal make agencies need to ensure its mobile-responsive as customers today are increasingly choosing to book travel on their smartphones and tablets.
Booking Engines for 24×7 Bookings
A good travel agency software includes online booking engines that allow customers to search and book their preferred flight, hotel and sightseeing options online. The advantage of a booking engine is that it’s shows real-time rates and availability to customers and allows them to get instant confirmation of their bookings, rather than post an inquiry and wait for the agent to check the rates, book and send the customer a confirmation. This way your travel agency can take bookings 24×7 rather than just office hours. The booking engine should include advances search filters and sorting options to help customers find exactly what they are looking for. It should also allow customer to see hotels and other options on a map for better decision making.
Back Office to Manage your Business
A lot of travel agencies today still manage everything offline, which creates operational inefficiency and is prone to costly errors. A good travel agency software includes a robust back office module that helps agencies simplify and in many cases automate routine administrative tasks, such as building and sending quotations, fetching live rates and availabilities from suppliers, processing bookings, issuing vouchers, managing accounting etc. It can also help agencies centrally configure markups, commissions, promotions and other business rules applicable on bookings. A travel agency software with strong back office capabilities can help agencies increase staff productivity by over 300%.
It’s essential for agencies to personalize the experience for their customers in 2020. A travel agency software with a CRM module makes that possible by helping agencies manage all their customers and bookings through a single interface. They can track and analyze exactly what customers book, when they book and how much they typically spend. They can also configure their personal details, including birthdays and anniversaries and send them personalized emails and text messages from the software. The best travel agency software in the market also allows agents to classify customers and assign specific markups for each class so as to reward loyal customers. It can also help agents create personalized offers and packages based on customer preferences.
B2B Agent Management
For B2B agencies working with sub-agents, a travel agency software also provides a B2B module which eliminates the hassle of exchanging countless emails and phone calls to make one simple booking. Sub-agents can simply log into your system, search for flight, hotels, transfers or even packages and make bookings on behalf of their customers. This makes life extremely easy for both you and your sub-agents/resellers. With the B2B module, agencies can set up agents, add their details, configure their markups/commissions and also set their credit limits. They can even provide private label portals(B2B2C) to their sub-agents with their own branding.
XML API Integration
One of the highlights of a good travel agency software is that it allows agents with third-party supplier contracts to integrate their feeds into the travel portal via XML API. Agents can integrate GDS & Consolidators for flights, Bedbanks/Hotel Wholesalers for Hotels and Homestays as well as ground transportation and activity suppliers to provide B2C and B2B clients a wide range of inventory in one portal. They can also integrate the payment gateways of their choice to take instant bookings securely via credit card or net banking from any part of the world.
Contracted Inventory management
Agents often have direct contracts and negotiated rates with selected hotels and other inventory providers. With the CRS/Inventory Management Module of a Travel Agency software, travel agencies can manage all their directly contracted inventory on one platform. The agent can load their hotel rooms, tours or activities into the CRS, define policies, configure rates, schedules, allocations and markups and sell their inventory along with third-party feeds on their travel portal.