Showing posts with label slider. Show all posts
Showing posts with label slider. Show all posts
How Do You Choose the Best Tour Operator Software

A Tour operator software is made to help tour and travel agencies organize their business efforts and effectively serve clients. Observing sales is critical for the tour business, because this lets tour operators know what tours are popular and which ones are not. The best tour operator software likely will have an anti-overbooking feature, which can help to ensure that clients are not inconvenienced by an overbooked tour. Travel agencies need marketing to get clients interested in taking trips or tours, and tour operator software with specialized marketing tools can assist in marketing efforts. Clients will often have questions about tours, and not answering these questions can be a terrible business move, so software that assists communication efforts can be beneficial.

Monitoring sales is important for any business and, with tour agencies, this allows operators to know which tours are popular or unpopular. Knowing this, operators can save money by doing away with unpopular tours and maybe even make money by focusing more on the popular tours. Getting tour operator software with sales tracking can keep agencies from making costly mistakes.

A trip can only accommodate so many people, thanks to hotel and transportation limitations. Operators who aren't careful can easily overbook a trip. This mistake is costly, because overbooked clients will likely be angry that they cannot make the trip they booked and paid for. Clients who do not switch their business to another travel agency likely will expect solid discounts on future bookings. Tour operator software that includes an anti-overbooking feature will keep this from happening, but it may be an unnecessary expense if the agency has careful operators who can keep track of bookings on their own.

Marketing tours, especially toward specific demographics, will assist agencies in making sales. Most tour operator software comes with a marketing tool. At the basic level, this tool will send emails about new trips to past clients. Advanced marketing tools allow operators to market only to clients interested in a specific trip; for example, if a client took a trip to Brazil last year or showed interest in going to Brazil, then Brazilian tours will be marketed toward that client. At the same time, some advanced marketing tools may be hard for new operators to pick up and use effectively.

Clients typically have a constant stream of questions about tours and trips, and not answering these questions can be a poor business move. Tour operator software should come with a communication module that tracks all communication from the business’s website, email, fax and phone calls. Having an advanced communication tracker can help a business answer every question. People should ensure the software works with all the business’s communication channels before choosing tour software.

About Moxiter

Moxiter provides a travel technology to help DMCs, Tour operators and Travel agents grow their businesses and connect with the world making it simple, fast and incredibly efficient to run your back-office and operations, handle payments, manage contracts, dynamically create vacation packages and itineraries, distribute inventory globally and operate a direct-to-consumer online booking site.
Try our Moxiter Software: Signup Moxiter Trial

Check for more at: http://moxiter.com


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1. Online Booking Behavior

  • 59% of Asian leisure travelers want to book travel products “whenever they can” and “wherever they can”
2. Travelers Reviews

  • 95% of respondents read reviews before to booking.
  • Leisure travelers read an average of 6-7 reviews before booking;business travelers read an average of 5.
  • Leisure travelers spend an average of 30 minutes reading reviews before booking; 10% of travelers spend more than one hour reading reviews.
  • 70% of travelers look at up to 20 reviews in the planning phase.
  • At the end of February 2014, TripAdvisor has 150 million reviews – this is a 50% increase year-on-year, with around 50 million added during 2013. This works out to 90 reviews submitted every minute!
3. Social Media

  •  71% of Asian leisure travelers consider personal recommendations for a trip “very important” in the decision-making process.
  • 50% of travel companies have said that direct bookings have been generated from social media.
  • Holiday pictures are the most shared content on and after vacation.
  •  34% of Asian leisure travelers are actively looking for social recommendations and feedback on ideas via social networks such as Facebook and TripAdvisor.
  • 42% of stories shared to users’ Facebook timelines in 2012 were travel experiences, making it the top story being shared by users.
4. Video

  • 44% of Asian leisure travelers are watching videos about a destination during the research phase.
The report is available here at Tnooz.com

The study was conducted using an online survey panel of 510 travelers, all of whom traveled during the last 12 months for leisure, business, or both. Respondents were evaluated two different presentations of reviews and described their user experience with each, rating their confidence level in making a booking decision.

About Moxiter

Moxiter provides a travel technology to help DMCs, Tour operators and Travel agents grow their businesses and connect with the world making it simple, fast and incredibly efficient to run your back-office and operations, handle payments, manage contracts, dynamically create vacation packages and itineraries, distribute inventory globally and operate a direct-to-consumer online booking site.

Try our Moxiter Software: Signup Moxiter Trial

Check for more at: http://moxiter.com


   

Adopt Modern Technology to scale your Travel Business



   You have a successful business and except for the finer day to day challenges, there are not many glitches in operating you travel business. But have you thought how much you have scaled your till now and how that has impacted your revenue growth. How much more business are you doing compared to the last season. How good a competitor you are, when compared to your peers and other online set ups. Do you empathise with the bandwagon that is vocal about how advent of OTA’s has impacted their travel business and how a large portion of travel queries are from 'window-shoppers' for comparing quotes from online players?

If you are thinking now, it would be better to start thinking about a technology support that can be the back-bone of your travel business. Every operator is unique and so are their needs and business models. The functional areas differ from B2B to B2C; from operators selling Hotels to packages to airline ticket. So the system that you choose for yourself should be unique and best suited to your business model.

When I say 'go online', the first thing coming to your mind would be a website that featuring all the travel products that you serve but is that all you need? No, you need something much broader, much better and something that understands your business as good as you. Bring yourself to the stage where modern world sees you as artists/designer of travel dreams versus petty booking agents. And the secret sauce for that is a robust modern travel technology that helps you manage your contracted inventories, suppliers, external agents and your customer’s requirements. Considering various factors and benefits and several face to face discussion with tour operators, I'm summarising a few pre-requisites for a similar solution for your travel business outlook:

  • Adaptability
  • Scalability and Flexibility
  • Security
  • Costing
  • Support availability 
Adaptability – The Travel Technology Solution for one, should be highly adaptable and should require minimum infrastructure at your end. Cloud based or SAAS should be the first priority for any small and medium sized operator. This needs minimum infrastructure and upgrades are done automatically with minimal downtime. Also consider the time taken for training and adaptability of the system by your existing employees.

Scalability and Flexibility - The one reason for adopting a system is to scale your business. Is the software compatible for the new requirements as business grows? You may choose an indigenous system that meets your immediate requirements, but would you bet on it 3 years down the line against this highly competitive market? Will the system be capable of carrying out the desired operations? Make sure to choose the system that is created by experts and gets upgraded according to the needs of the hour.

Security - How secure is your software stack. You know as a travel agent or operator how many years of hard work and relationship building went in getting those contracted rates. Do you think the data is stored in a hacker-proof server leaving no loop holes for any unwanted events. Make sure that the system provider guarantees the best security and data backup options.

Costing - The most important question lies here - What is the ROI or return of investment if I adopt a system? The system should not burn a hole in your pocket and should be capable enough to meet all the requirements without creating an immediate financial burden and should give options to scale feature wise as your operations grow.

Support - You really do not want to wait for a day for someone to come and fix the system while you miss on prospective business. The support should be round the clock and you should have a rep at your beck and call to make sure you do not get stuck listening to IVR melodies.

Conclusion:
The system that you choose should not be aimed at changing your strategies or shift you from your current style of business. It should help you in betterment of your existing process and help you streamline your operations to a high profitivity level. It should be scalable and must have 24x7 support from the supplier.







Travel Technology Outlook 2015


Travel industry is changing drastically with the advent of travel technology. For the last few years, it has established a niche platform for the travel operators and assists them to enrich their efficiency with relevant products and services and thereby enhance their business performance. Travel technology outlook in the year 2015 can be regarded as the prospective tool for the travel industry.

If you are one of those tour operators who wants to get par with technology then you must try to focus on the following tech trends:

1) Travel metasearch: With the expansion of online travel booking there is an increase in customer search layer and marketing funnel. Online Travel Agents can be benefitted by Travel Metasearch, which will help them to invest in cost per click to divert customer bookings to their own websites. Travel metasearch has achieved growth in 2014 with an expected growth in 2015.

  • It has been analysed that whoever has the best skill to convert clicks to bookings will have greater capacity to outstrip the other competitors.
  • Travel metasearch can maintain an outstanding relationship with the OTA partners. Its technology enables them to sell more inventory than anyone else through its dynamic pooled inventory distribution design.
  • Seeking the benefits of travel metasearch, Priceline, Expedia, Trivago and Kayak have invested in meta-search channels.
  • Travel meta-search provides opportunity for direct booking in contrast to online search by large online travel agents which is often considered as “battle for eyeballs.”
  • Its results, in improving the customer experience and conversion rates.

2) Email marketing: As the number of e-mail users is increasing globally, so it has created platforms for the marketers to fully implement e-mail targeting and personalization strategies. Success in the e-mail marketing space is dependent upon the quality of the content.

The E-consultancy email census report of 2014 projects 20%, 22% and 24% of dealers, has identified three important points to focus on this year by 2015.

  • Analytics.
  • Specific data quality and
  • Distribute appropriate communications.

3) Social Media: People realized that social media like Facebook, Twitter etc. serves as a business and marketing channel in recent times.

Social media is a channel where consumers are the king. They are located in the opening, central and the last part of the purchase path.
  • Promoting products with a team made up of social media and digital marketing members can optimize your advertising cost through targeting millions of brands on a Facebook Page.

4) Mobile Booking: Mobile travel bookings are projected to rise across the world. One of the largest segments of e-ticketing through e- mobile booking is expected to see a flow in 2015.
  • According to a consulting firm, in the year 2015, the US is projected to comprise one quarter of the online travel market as it advances from just 2 % in 2011.
  • Asia Pacific marks more than 20 % of travel bookings made on a mobile device along with Brazil and Germany which is less than 10 %.
  • On a global basis, mobile bookings are growing faster than desktop booking that ensures 20 % against 2 % over the first six months of 2014.
  • Smartphones and tablets account for 21 % of hotel bookings, while a peer-to-peer apartment rental is the category with highest mobile penetration of 34 % globally.


5) Google Glass: Despite of the fact that technology in its current form is trolling consumers the airport truly seems excited to be using Google Glass. The airport authority created an app that allows the Google Glass wearer to quickly call up flight information according to the gate rather than call to report.

Though it may sound magical to you but it’s true.
  • Glass was being deployed around the airport and on the runway, being used to both track the passenger’s journey through the terminal and for getting information to operations folks on the ground.
  • The use of glass worked for the airport that made information efficiency and it will certainly help other sectors of the travel industry to set free ground resources in the coming years.
Conclusion: Travel technology will undoubtedly carve out a niche for itself in specialized global travel market in 2015.It will certainly trigger the individual DMC to incorporate the ultimate technology trend to expand business in this competitive era.

When should you upgrade your Travel technology platform

Got a minute? Think about the speed at which technology is changing around you. Last year's gadgets already need replacement. Your cherished photographs and videos now appear 'blurry'. When you are running a business and are answerable to a lot of people, you need to be on top of this change. Any one of these can be detrimental to your yearly plans. Within a short span the technology you use for your travel business can become outdated or it somehow fails to cater to your requirements. Well, that should be a good reminder that you have to upgrade your technology infrastructure. It is a challenging job to look for loopholes in your current IT system but here are a few checkpoints for evaluating your tech platform.


Responsive design: Is your company website built on principles of Responsive design? It allows designers and developers to create website that can accommodate a variety of screen size, panning, scrolling and easy navigation. If you are unable to update any of the cited features then you should upgrade your platform because-
  • With the extensive use of smart phones and tablets in recent times, it has become mandatory to use responsive design to project your website and its service on all screen size. 
  • To attract user’s attention you need to implement responsive philosophy where you can create an ideal path for them to follow. 
  • It is easy to gather information on what device is being used for browsing or the visiting time of the day, their location and their visits how long they’ve been on the site. 

Mobile strategy: Mobile has become an integral part of the travel industry. There is a massive growth of mobile device. It is projected that the total number of people using 'apps' on mobiles is going to surpass desktop and laptop by 2015. Things to keep in mind -
  • Out of every five smartphone users two will definitely use their mobile device to make a purchase. 
  • Mobile users want organized information as per their requirement. Without a dedicated mobile app, its not going to happen.

Day Room Booking: Normally customers plan a trip and look for night stay but the scenario has changed to day room booking for the recent time. This concept of day room is very popular within European and American countries where as this concept is in the early stage in Asian countries. You can upgrade your system to support day room booking as this concept can generate more sales for you because-
  • Day room booking is meant for transit customers. 
  • Meant for customers waiting for connecting flights and refreshing. 
  • Meant for Executive meetings - a new MICE segment?. 
  • No booking fees and also you don’t have to pay the tariff for the entire day. 

Booking segmentation: Booking segregation is increasing as an important tool for the travel platform where you have to opt for individual count and the number of days of the vacation. Here children’s age segregation plays a pivotal role on the charges of the booking in the travel portals. If your system is unable to provide lower charges to children then you need to upgrade. Segregation of booking charges is important because children below 5 years are not charged whereas children in the age group of 5 to 10 are charged full or half that differ with the individual company rules and regulation.


The future of the travel industry will flourish with the drastic changes in technology. So simply by redesigning your website and better browsing will help you to an extent but you need a consistent technology upgradation process to compete online. You will also have to adapt the latest in travel technology just to keep the ensure the current business growth and its about time that you incorporate this in your company policy. The best way would be to go for a SaaS travel software platform (like moxiter.com) which ensures that you are always ahead of the curve and ready to run with the latest travel technology.
Grow 2.5x in 2015 (img:src)

With the beginning of a new year your agenda would definitely be to increase sales. 
Focussing on the right tools can help you lead the competition and achieve your goals.


Attend trade shows: Experiencing the art of knowing and exploring different trade values can be a key tool for your growing organisation. Most of the trade shows are focussed on B2B deals, it is a good opportunity to connect with buyers and sellers. So, if you want to expand in a new territory, finding partners can be a lot more easier among peers who are attending the same trade show as you are. But you will have to keep a tab on which trade-show to attend and which ones to skip.


Scout for Channel Managers:  This might be the most obvious strategy for most of you. If you want to increase sales, just increase the reps, increase the channels. It follows the basic unitary principle taught in junior Maths class and it works out almost always. Hiring good channel managers can impact your sales numbers in matter of weeks.


Replace your old Technology: Technology is evolving each day. Keeping track of the latest software can open up unexpected opportunities for your business.. This is specially relevant in travel as technology has not touched this industry as much as it has some other like manufacturing, for instance. New technology could help you find better leads, high worth clients or automate your entire process. Chances are you might end up saving on annual IT bills on switching vendors. This becomes all the more true with newer and better tech providers in the market.


Get a travel CRM:  One of the key tools for your organisation is the travel CRM. The role played by a travel CRM is pivotal as it manages interactions with current and future customers which helps in organising, automating, synchronising sales, marketing and customer service. You see, we have listed all the stages in a booking cycle and that is why this is what makes it a key software for any business to have. The better your team uses and maintains CRM, the better is your growth.


Analyse Customers’ Choice: As your organisation is customer oriented so it is mandatory for you to keep a track about your customer and about their preferences. Any query and feedback helps you to rectify your shortcoming and also provide you the opportunity to tempt the customer to avail the offer pitched by you.


Promote your USP: Highlight your USP to position your company at a different level than your competition. It makes the customer convinced about the service and the value of your product. A delighted customer will always come back in future. Promoting your USP also helps in winning referrals as your satisfied customers don't have to put in effort while describing your values. Its already on their minds.


Price it right: Pricing is very important for any DMC. Right pricing should justify your service and product so that your assurance towards profitability is more. Even a small increase in price can bring dramatic change in your sales. By Pricing, I don’t mean just your margin, you also need to take care of currency conversion factor. Far too often, travel businesses rely on manually updated conversion rates which marks up your inventory by upto 5% as compared to businesses who depend on automated real-time exchange rates. So the key to correct pricing is to factor in all the parts that go in it.

"Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a system for managing a company’s interactions with current and future customers." - Wiki definition. Most of us know what exactly a CRM is. Then why did I repeat it? To emphasize on the word in bold - customers.

As a Travel Business stakeholder, your primary concern is having a universal set of happy & satisfied customers and multiplying that set manifolds over a short period of time. A good CRM system is the first step in that direction.

When?
For Travel businesses, it is a very pertinent question - "When does a company need a CRM"? Very often the question is on the validity of the following hierarchy-
  1. Leads 
  2. Customers and 
  3. CRM System
Which of these should come first? Traditional wisdom would suggest the sequence as outlined above but, traditional businesses are finding it hard to grow fast these days. It is becoming increasingly tough when faced with competition from multiple sales channels. 

For any organisation, a CRM system should always come first. Any lead that you miss without a CRM, is more than just a single customer that you missed; It translates into a habit and results in un-recorded losses. 

Complexity doesn't mean profitability


Why?
Often when business stakeholders say "Spreadsheets are good enough for us", they fail to account for this -
Spreadsheets are fine only till your business has reached a certain threshold.
When a Travel Business is being setup and has just started to grow, it is the perfect time to try out multiple CRM alternatives. When the business volumes start going up, it becomes increasingly difficult to change your business processes. Your commitment to client engagement starts from day one. 

If you have relied on spreadsheets till now, it's time you start measuring -
  • Number of leads generated per month
  • Paying Clients/Leads ratio
  • Growth of leads month-on-month
The numbers don't lie. If the numbers are stable and growth hard to come by, then you have missed out on converting more leads into paying customers. Spreadsheets have cost you dearly.

How?
Cost is a very important consideration for growing Travel Businesses. Thankfully, technology has grown faster and is now more affordable. Gone are the days of complex software installations and associated high maintenance costs. With cloud technology, we now have software being offered as a Service (SaaS model). For starters, the software is hosted on the cloud and all you need as a buyer is internet connectivity. What is in it for your business?
  • Plug & Play - zero installation time
  • Lower setup & maintenance costs
  • Automatic updates

Bottom Line
"Spreadsheets are not tools for client engagement". Depending solely on spreadsheets does more harm than any good over a period of time. Travel Businesses should look at CRMs as an important investment in client engagement.