As everyone continues to tell you that the Internet is the way of the world now, you might be wondering why exactly it is so important for you to offer online booking options for your customers.
As a travel company that offers tours and activities to visitors, you know that it is important to provide your customers with a fun and relaxing experience on their vacation. Well, the same is true for the reservations process.
When it comes down to it, this is why you should offer this service to your customers:
#1 Your Customers Want The Option To Book Online
- Travelers from across the globe have come to expect online bookings from the tour companies that they are working with as they plan a vacation. It is believed that more than 60 percent of travelers book their entire trips online themselves, so it is almost essential that every travel company has an online booking system in place. Your business will quickly be overlooked if you don’t allow your customers to quickly and easily book online.
- It allows your customers to see availability at a glance, making it easy for them to map out their trip. Real-time booking is one of the best features available, as it allows customers to view your true availability at any point in the day. If someone books a tour, all of your calendars are updated simultaneously and instantly.
- They can pay for their excursion and receive an instant confirmation of their reservation. All with the click of a button. This means they don’t have to worry about writing a check or swiping their credit card while they are on vacation. When the instant confirmation is delivered, your customers will only have to worry about how much fun they are going to have on your tour or activity.
#2 An Online Booking System Makes Your Life Easier
- Your company is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so you never miss a customer. Previously, travel companies were limited by their business hours and also their time zones. If you are an Australian company that wants to attract more American tourists, you no longer have to worry about the time change. Your customers can still make reservations no matter what time of day it is in their home or yours.
- You get your money quicker. With instant and secure payment options, you receive the money faster than you would if customers were mailing a check or paying when they came to your location. This allows you to better budget your business expenses and affords you the opportunity to reinvest and grow your company.
- It simplifies the reservation process. As long as you have a channel manager feature, there is no risk of over-booking your tours and activities. Also, because customers can view your calendar at a glance, you will receive less tedious inquiries.
- You can implement a cancellation policy with an automatic penalty. This means that your business needs are still met even if a client cancels a tour at the last minute. You can decide what your cancellation policy will be, depending on the type of tour and activity business you operate.
- At the end of the day, you are happier and your staff is happier. A better work environment means a more rewarding career. You will find that because the daily tasks are streamlined, your employees will have much more time to devote to more important tasks. They can take better care of the customers who are currently enjoying their vacations, and at the same time they will be able to plan ahead and make improvements for the future.
There are many different software options for online booking systems. You will want to assess your needs as a tour company before deciding on the various features you want in your system. Some features you might be interested in include language and currency options, credit card storage options, channel managers, social media integration and cloud computing capabilities.
Figure out what will work best for your business (many booking systems are more suited to other businesses, such as accommodation). Do a free trial of the software first, just to see if it will work for you, then make the switch. You will be amazed how quickly your business grows when you open it up to the wide expanse of the Internet.
If you are interested in educating yourself on your online booking options, the information in our Buyer’s Guide to Online Booking Software Selection for Tour Operators can prevent you from picking software that doesn’t suit your tour or activity business:
Or as starting point, why not try out Rezdy for free? No set-up or upfront fee, no installation, and no credit card is required:
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