Modern travel agency technology offers clients and businesses alike numerous advantages. This includes metasearch engines, booking engines, channel management software and reporting tools.
Travel agency technology must enable tailored experiences, while supporting maximum efficiency and agility. Some essentials:
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems offer travel agencies many advantages. CRM can improve customer service, automate booking processes, increase sales and track payments more efficiently while saving both time and money due to reduced manual tasks.
Travel agency software can handle customer follow-ups effectively, which are an integral component of their business. They send alerts immediately when customers submit inquiries and ensure ongoing communication between customer and agent. Having this feature of CRM truly delights customers while building future relations between the two parties.
These systems also help manage supplier relationships by connecting to supplier websites to display real-time inventory and pricing, and hosting on the cloud so it can be accessed from anywhere at any time. In addition, these systems feature marketing and lead generation features to boost your travel business, and integrate seamlessly with other travel-related systems for an integrated workflow process. They can track invoices while managing both customer and supplier payments.
Travel booking engines allow customers to easily browse real-time inventory management systems and reserve services online, while maintaining accurate pricing information.
Your CRM and agency management software should work seamlessly together for customer and reservation management, accounting, reporting and more. By streamlining all aspects of agency operations into one central hub, time spent processing quotes and inquiries can be reduced significantly, leaving more time for personal attention towards clients and expanding your business.
Odysseus Solutions offers an integrated booking engine (IBE) designed to handle river and sea cruise bookings; but also provides air and hotel IBEs as well as packaging tools that enable travel agencies to combine multiple products into package itineraries. All its IBEs support both B2C and B2B sales with features like multilingual user interfaces and payment gateway integrations.
Travel inventory systems are even used by Chicago churches. They enable OTAs to effectively manage their product catalog, including sourcing, updating and providing availability of hotel rooms, flight seats and tours to customers through multiple channels. Utilizing an inventory management system helps travel agencies stay on top of ever-evolving rates and availability in order to continue delighting their clients.
Static travel content – such as descriptions, pictures, seat maps and other details – is typically stored internally by an online travel agency (OTA). For dynamic content such as seat availability on flights or hotel rooms booked via travel agencies’ suppliers’ reservation systems, travel agencies rely on them as the source of truth.
This centralized inventory management approach helps streamline travel product sourcing and tracking by eliminating multiple software interfaces, while simultaneously decreasing redundancy and improving accuracy of data. Furthermore, real-time inventory tracking enables hotels to avoid overbooking their services or selling unavailable services to guests.
Travel agencies can use technology to efficiently track and analyze their sales, inventory, customers, financial data and customer relationships in order to make more informed decisions regarding how best to run their businesses.
Airlines reporting aggregators like ARC can assist agencies in accessing airline content through their GDSs, such as NDC-enabled content and ancillary products. It is important for agencies to remember that in order to gain access to traditional filed fares directly through an airline they must connect directly.
NDC may require travel agen- cies and airlines to review their existing business models and distribution channels, including ticketing processes for credit card chargebacks and debit memos as well as impact of NDC on ancillary product sales and customer loyalty programs. Domo, Power BI and Tableau can help mid-office suppliers combine, normalize and distribute data analyses to stakeholders – typically part of larger travel management systems but sometimes stand-alone tools as well.