Many travel agencies started a long time ago. The successful ones have gone from paper systems, to today’s Internet. It’s been quite a journey. For travelers, too: from physically going to an agency to easily booking a complex trip right on your phone.
My father’s friend’s agency has gone through all it, always facing the next challenge.
Evolve or perish.
Booking a Seat on Noah’s Ark
When I was a youngster back in the eighties, my father had a friend who owned a travel agency in my hometown. He used to help us with our travel plans and plane tickets. Back then, most transactions were conducted over the phone and by looking at inch-thick reference guides. Computers were clunky. The web as we know it had not even been conceived, let alone travel booking software!
Then, in the mid-nineties, I saw some efforts being made in selling reservations online. But during peak times, servers would crash. Would-be travelers like myself would then have to pay a visit to the airline’s office to make a reservation, or grab the phone and reveal possibly sensitive information to a live agent.
A New Era for Travel Agencies
Eventually, my father’s friend got into the “groove” of the then-new technologies. He was old-school and reluctant, but he did. And his agency and his travelers won.
He is still around, approaching his nineties. When I asked him and his son about the takeaways, he highlighted these lessons.
1. Cuts Waste and Hassle
The travel search-and-book landscape looks very different today than it did back then.
- Availability check and instant confirmations eliminate email exchanges between guests and reservation agents.
- Valuable reservation staff time is saved because reservation requests no longer has to be processed.
- Guests can check availability and book instantly, thus booking a trip without having to wait for a human to confirm.
2. No Third-Party Involvement
“There are other benefits for us, agencies,” he said. Most Online Booking Manager products are “commission free” systems, installed on our own server, the reservations system is under our sole control.
- Agencies collect all payments directly.
- They can easily update their own services descriptions, facilities, prices, allocations, etc.
3. Easy to Update
With Online Booking Manager products, agents no longer have to ask a website designer to update tourist services prices on their website. They can now update them themselves.
4. Reliability and Efficiency
Online Booking Manager reservations systems are easy-to-follow, with uncluttered screens and prompts. Administrators have access to a simple online pane.
The staff loves the auto-generated confirmation emails: it saves them so much time!
Evolve or Perish
With the growing trend towards Internet-based bookings across the industry, online bookings from websites are increasing dramatically. With Online Booking Manager products you will be at the forefront of this industry bookings trend.
Just like my father’s friend’s business, which started 40 years ago and it’s now going strong towards the future.
If you would like to learn more about Nearsoft please send me a message to [email protected].