Last Updated: 06 Oct, 2020

Managing An Online Travel Agency: How An OTA’s Back Office System Works

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An Online Travel Agency (OTA) organizes and sells accommodations, tours, transportation and trips on an online platform for travelers. They are third parties who sell services on behalf of other companies.

Online travel agents are important, because they allow hotels to communicate with customers who may otherwise be out of reach. From a customer perspective, an OTA also serves as a comprehensive travel platform, potentially allowing them to find hotels, arrange flights, read reviews and make hotel bookings, all from a single location. This makes OTAs very popular and it is important that hotel owners make an effort to meet customers where they are.

Generally, these OTAs allow many benefits with added convenience with more of a self-service approach. They also include a built-in booking system which allows instant bookings. 
 

How OTA Back Office Works?

 

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An Online Travel Agency (OTA) is a web-based marketplace that implements consumers to research and book travel products and services, including hotels, flights, cars, tours, cruises, activities and more, directly with travel suppliers. Every day, millions of travelers around the world utilize OTAs to plan leisure and business travel.

The OTA offers a secure booking platform and is the traveler’s main point of contact for booking amendments and cancellations. At no cost, OTAs provide a variety of tools—from real-time access to market data to tools for managing reviews—to guide their partners be successful.

OTAs enables to your potential guests in locations and at volumes that would be difficult for you to access through your own marketing efforts. Along with, OTAs provide market insights and tools for targeting travelers, securing and processing bookings, communicating with guests and managing reviews.

Back Office Booking Engine

 

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1. Property is instantly bookable through your website

Research display that most guests will look at both OTAs and the property website to inform their decision. By presenting a simple way for them to book right on your page, you increase the chances that when they’re ready to reserve, they’ll do it directly with you.

2. So you’re not entirely dependent on OTAs

OTAs are a great way of getting your name out there. Your property views up on search results for your destination, and guests find your presence there trustworthy, but it can limit your revenue to have all of your bookings coming through a third party. Why not take charge of your earnings by getting some of your bookings from your own channel?

3. Pay far less commission

Bookings through your property website cost you much lower commission than bookings through an OTA. This means that any direct bookings will have a big impact on your bottom line.

4. Increase your bookings

There are various reasons guests are more likely to book your property when you have an embedded booking engine. For single, your booking engine is open 24/7 while your front desk may not be, so customers can book regardless of personal factors like time zones. Secondly, formerly travelers land on your site, the engine makes it easy for them to just click and reserve – rather than going back to the OTA to book and getting distracted by other options.

5. You can easily accept credit cards and process payments

A major plus of an online booking system is that guests can pay directly by credit card and the system will automatically process the reservation details – saving you time and hassle. 

This includes extra payments like deposits or charges for additional services such as breakfast and cleaning fees.

6. To regulate the guest experience through the entire customer journey

From the moment a potential customer lands on your property website, they only interact with the content you have selected. That means you can use your own branding throughout the process, and play a key role in making their user experience a positive one.

7. To allow guests to pay in their own language and currency

An online booking engine can enable your customers to book in the language they feel most comfortable in, and pay in the currency that makes the most sense for them. This provides them the comfort and ease-of-use most customers hope for, and sets their expectations even before they arrive at your property.

8. Flexibility on the type of promotions you offer

Your booking engine can easily set up last-minute deals and extended stay discounts with the click of a button. These kinds of offers build loyalty and the likelihood that your guests will have a positive experience and leave a good review.

 

Travel Inventory Management

 

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Inventory management is by far one of the high complex tasks on travel providers’ list. Time-consuming, rigid and fragmented across multiple suppliers and travel services, it is less efficient and transparent when completed manually. In the industry that values quick and relevant service, travel providers have no other option but to automate their inventory-related business processes in order to appeal to this demand.

Tour building is one of the high time-consuming operations for travel businesses. It needs booking, planning, scheduling, and pricing of various travel products for each location. A travel agency’s Central Reservation System (CRS), or travel portal, provides a connection to Global Distribution Systems (GDS) or networks of travel service providers across the globe.  

The vendors that enable such distribution channels can update, adjust, and modify inventory and pricing quickly and seamlessly. A CRS thus enables travel businesses to manage enormous inventories of flights, cars, bus services, hotel rooms, resorts, activities, vehicles, tours, cruises, and other services and handling multiple types of reservations in one place.

A travel portal may include booking engines for hotels, flights, activities, and transportation reservations. Accessing the system from any computer with an Internet connection, an agent can instantly make up a complete itinerary for a client or change bookings and airline tickets, if needed. There must be options for group or corporate travel and custom travel plans. Tour operators can utilize the software to organize and book tours too.

It improves your efficiency as a business

With PMS and channel manager integration your availability is updated immediately upon receiving a reservation, not only in your own system, but across all of your channels.

It simplifies the administrative process for you and your staff

Rather than involving you to respond to email inquiries and accept reservations over the phone, an online booking system does the work for you. You can then spend more time interacting with your guests and keep the rest of the staff more organized and efficient, because everyone will have access to live information about the current occupancy at the hotel.

It allows you to gather valuable data about your guests

Data collection is absolutely critical, especially in the hotel industry where guests are demanding a more personalized experience. Guest data can help you tailor your marketing campaigns to attract the most motivated guests to your hotel brand.

It directly improves the guest experience at your property

A cloud-based system allows your guests to book their preferred room type on their computers, from their tablets or on their phones. With short forms and secure payment portals, it makes the process of online booking a room simple, easy and enjoyable. Remember, this is their first impression of your hotel and it will have a lasting impact on their perception of your brand. It should be user-friendly if your guests will complete the process and book online.  

Why Essential Travel Agency Back Office Software for Travel Agency and Tour Operator?

 

Travel Agency Software is also leading Travel Agency Back Office Software Solution to automate Back Office Activity with Advanced Back Office System to Manage Bookings and Inventory, Supplier Connectivity, Invoices, Make Reports for Travel Agent, OTA and Travel Agency.

Choose Best Travel Agency Software For Online Travel Portal

 

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Travelopro offers travel agency software, travel software, OTA, travel reservation software to travel agencies, tour operators & travel companies worldwide.

Travelopro leading Travel Technology Company is the Travel Agency Software Provider offer best travel agency software with latest travel trends to manage bookings, travel package customization, travel itinerary creation, payments, invoice management, excellent travel booking solution to improve customer service, increase business leads, and maximize profits for travel business of Travel Agent, Travel Agency, Online Travel Agency (OTA), Inbound Tour Operator, Outbound Tour Operator, Destination Management Company, Travel Management Company, Corporate Travel Company and Travel Portal Development Company.

The basic Online Travel Agency (OTA) needs modules of flights, hotels, transfers, cars, sightseeing, insurance and holiday packages. Every module contains multiple suppliers and consolidators integrating which you will get the live contents (price, details, availability, images, policies etc.). With these XMLs and APIs we develop a complete online booking system with B2B and B2C module.

Travel Agency Back Office Software allows day-to-day management of Reservation, Payment, and Receivable and Payable for Tour Operator and Travel Agency. It examine Automated Supplier Ordering, Online B2C Booking, B2B Booking, Create Invoices, Vouchers, Receipts and get insight and find critical spots in Travel Business.

Back-office Operations : 

  • Management of credit limits and deposits for sub-agents
  • Auto-generation of travel documents such as quotes, vouchers, e-tickets as well as financial documents like client and supplier invoices and payments with fully-customizable templates for each type of document
  • Ability to manage customers and their booking records within the system or connect your existing CRM system into the booking platform seamlessly
  • Integration with third-party email marketing tools for running email campaigns
  • Management of local taxes and fees applicable on the bookings
  • A comprehensive reporting module to help you keep track of sales, commissions and sub-agent performance
  • Accounting ledgers for reconciliation with suppliers and agents to help track profitability
  • All the reports and ledgers are able to show consolidated data for both online bookings as well as bookings made by your employees/agents offline
  • Centralized management of online and offline bookings
  • Configuration of advanced business rules and policies for B2B and B2C channels

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Oct 10, 2020

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