How to Choose an Online Booking Software for Tours & Activities [Slides]

12 Aug 2014     |    Taz Bareham

In this day and age, over 50% of today‚Äôs travellers are choosing to book online instead of over the phone. It’s officially impossible to ignore the need for online booking software.

But tour operators are swamped with a multitude of options. With so many choices, how do you find one that perfectly meets the needs of your tour or activity business?

Here are 3 steps to finding your perfect booking software match.


Step 1: Know the costs involved


Paid vs. Free

Free software:

  • Has limited functionality.
  • Is often very basic.
  • Does not allow for the best user experience for staff or customers.

Paid software:

  • Has more flexible features.
  • Offer customer support.
  • Is more convenient for you and your customers.

Paid software is designed to save you more time and make you more money.

Cost factors to consider

  • Setup & training.
  • Licensing fee (fixed fee or commission-based).
  • Support.
  • Licence per user.


Fixed Fee vs. Commission-Based Pricing

Fixed fee:

  • Often a low monthly rate.
  • Predictable pricing.
  • Helps you scale as you grow.
  • Rate is not dependent on the bookings you make.


  • You only pay when you get a booking.
  • Costs more as your business grows.
  • Cost can change each month.
  • Better for businesses who are just starting out.


Step 2: Decide which features you want


Basic requirements:

  • Web-based (in the ‘cloud’).
  • Real-time booking.
  • Payment options (PayPal, credit card, bank transfer, deferred payment processing, cash).
  • Visual calendar.
  • Currency and language settings.


Complex requirements:


Step 3: Assess the software vendor


Option 1: Custom built software


  • Designed to your exact needs.
  • 100% in your control.
  • You can create custom features.


  • Very expensive (tens of thousands of dollars).
  • Your job to maintain it.
  • No 24/7 support when things go wrong.


Option 2: Ready-made online booking software


  • Quick to set up and get going.
  • MUCH more affordable.
  • Dedicated to system maintenance and customer support.



Take your time

It’s a big decision, because it is so central to the running of your business.

Do your research by

  • Taking free trials.
  • Evaluating each system.
  • Talking to their customers (ones that run businesses like yours).

It would be worthwhile to get a live demonstration of the software and getting all your staff (ie. the ones who will ultimately use it on a day-to-day basis) to sit in and give their input.

To include Rezdy in your research, sign up for a free trial:

You can also download the complete guide to choosing booking software by clicking here.

Embed this presentation on your website

Copy and paste the code below