We now live in an era where everything is practically inseparable from the internet, including business. It’s now crucial that every business – no matter what sector it belongs – has a recognizable web presence since Google has replaced the phone book. Not only does internet technology help tours and activity operators get found online, it also helps them convert visits into money through online booking (or reservation) systems.
Essentially, an online reservation system will let you accept bookings for your services online. There are three main reasons why you should at least consider putting an online booking system in place:
There’s a multitude of tour and activity operators out there who have a website and enlist on Google Places, but only a few have an online booking system in place. By having an online reservation system, you’re one step ahead of the game, tipping the scales in your favor when prospects research and compare your capabilities against your competitors.
Of course, the presence of an online booking system itself is not enough to make or break the sale. You still need to make sure the other aspects of your site (like imagery, for example) are in the best shape to minimize the amount of visitors that bounce off it.
Location is not an issue and neither is time. The virtual set-up means you won’t need to wake up at unholy hours to take booking calls from potential clients halfway around the world. While you dream of being the best tour or activity operator there is, people are going through the process of finding your site, browsing through its content, and finally booking a tour.
Travelers veer toward tour and activity sites that support online bookings not only because it’s easy but also because they usually find some great discount deals. They can read up on your business, look at your options, and finally make a booking without being hassled by a pushy sales representative.
The old barrier in the way of online payment systems was trust, but this is no longer an issue. The risk of credit card fraud or scam is extremely low for online payment gateways. The online booking system you choose should have an “SSL certificate” on its payment page to ensure users that you are legitimate.
Online reservation systems speed up your cash flow just by being there. There is less capital outlay on your end because you don’t have to hire staff to manage customers or pay rent for a physical space. Also, once customers book through it, money goes straight into your account – no lag time here.
They are also more accurate when it comes to mathematical calculations. You can set up coupon codes and discount offers without triple-checking whether you got the maths right.
Small tour or activity operators wonder whether an online reservation system is needed badly enough to invest some money in. Take time to make your decision since it will completely change your business processes. Even though this change is for the better, it will take time to train everyone to adapt to it. Make sure you undergo a free trial on a few of these reservation systems, and that free trial conditions include these “no’s” — no lock in contract and no credit card required, like Rezdy’s does.
Also, you should be able to make a decision, backed up by analytics data, on whether or not it will benefit your business. We recommend trying it out for a quarter at the very least – otherwise it’s just not long enough to be able to catch a trend.
Did you know that 86.43% of respondents from our latest Australia and New Zealand industry survey said they are using real-time bookings through their online reservation system website as their primary tool to take bookings for tour and activity operators? To learn more, why not download the eBook below:
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Get your hands on the Global Industry Survey results here:
Or grab the latest United States and Canada Industry Survey results here:
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