The travel agency industry has experienced tremendous growth over the past few decades and advances in technology have helped fuel this expansion. Some of us are old enough to remember the days when airline reservations were stored in a flight book and airline reservation agents would work the phones to assist travel agents as well as a few consumers with their travel arrangements. As the technology evolved, the complicated formats to input “pre-paid ticket” information were replaced by electronic tickets and the airlines practically did away with paper tickets altogether. Transformational changes have occurred throughout each of the travel verticals. As more people travel more frequently the need for hotel accommodations and ground transportation also increases.
Travel agents remain an important part of the travel industry and have been evolving the way that they interact with suppliers and customers along with the rest of the industry. Travel agent software such as airline booking engines, hotel booking engines, and even cruise booking engines was launched years ago and has been evolving ever since. The transition to online commerce has been crucial for many agencies to remain in business. The online booking engines available today provide agents or their customers the ability to book just about anything online including an airline seat, a hotel room, or even a cruise vacation.
With just a few clicks of a mouse, today’s best travel agency software can access the information that agents or their consumers shopping online need to research which particular hotel meets an individual’s needs best. Hotel searches can be narrowed to a specific neighborhood within a city, the hotel star rating, or the price range. You can even research whether a hotel property has banquet facilities, a restaurant, or a room service. Air travel searches can be specific to an airline, time of day, or even class of service.
Online searches for cruise vacations can be specific to a Sailing region, such as Alaska, a specific cruise line or cruise ship, and even by the length of the cruise. High-resolution photographs of a cruise ship’s public spaces as well as sample cabin photos are complimented by detailed descriptions and integrated into the booking engine to help agents and customers when deciding what suits their needs the best. Users can even select which seating time they prefer for dinner, choose their bed configuration preference and even alert the cruise line of a special occasion such as a passenger’s birthday.
Choosing travel agent software with the right combination of options for your business can be a critical decision. Finding a technology partner that will help you reach today’s mobile consumers with the content they are looking for can be just as important.
Choosing travel agent software with the right combination of options for your business can be a critical decision.
TRAVEL AGENT CMS
A CMS is a software program that manages all the content on your website and allows you to add new features or pages, change or delete existing ones, and generally update your site with ease. With a CMS, design, and code are separated from content. You can work with the content on your website without worrying about how to write codes or what programs to use for designs.
There are many varieties of CMS, each of which is suited for different types of businesses. Some CMS are geared toward smaller organizations and websites, while others are more complex and better suited to larger ones. Regardless of which you choose, it will help you manage your site faster, better, and easier than if you had no system at all!
Important factors to consider when choosing a CMS for a travel agency
As a travel industry professional, I have seen many agencies waste time and money by choosing the wrong CMS. Agencies that don’t choose their CMS with care can end up wasting big amounts of money. Here are the factors to look out for in travel agent cms:
What are the costs and opportunities associated with adding new features to the solution? The open-source systems’ major advantage is the huge community of developers who create and share software modules. You can quickly get a great system for a modest investment, but there may be problems if the modules need to work together with other features on the solution. Commercial systems are built to make it all fit together.
Education and the learning curve
How accessible and user-friendly is the system? Does it require special training or training for the individual employee? It is especially in this niche that open-source CMS has its power. They are often developed to cover a need in a specific niche and are optimized for these specific tasks. Commercial systems can be known for their flexibility and multiple applications. Often, a commercial CMS is developed on a technical background and therefore the system is difficult to access compared to open-source systems that focus on the learning curve, user-friendliness, and workflow.
Resources used in the organization
How fast can you complete specific tasks in different systems? For example, buying a cheaper content management system might save you money in the short run but cost you time and money later if the system is hard to work with. Commercial systems often have a better track record than open-source ones.
The web is constantly evolving, and new browsers, operating systems, and new capabilities are made all the time. It is very important that the system is updated to work with these changes in order to keep your customers/users. Open-source solutions often have problems when updates are applied. If the solution is customized with specific customer features, you will experience complications when an update is applied. You should also be aware that the developers may not provide support on specific modules. Commercial solutions often offer an updated agreement, so the solution is expanded and updated automatically without any problems.
After the solution has been delivered, it is often necessary to provide support. Typically this is the case with new employees, and when the solution is expanded with new areas and perhaps new features. As described under the learning curve, the complexity of the system has a major impact on the need for support.