Looking for newer solutions to streamline your day-to-day operations can be daunting. If you're unsure about what to expect from an online booking system, are unsure of how it can impact your tour and activity business, or perhaps aren't clear about whether you need one in the first place, read on.
Based on what our customers have said, here are 8 benefits for your business after adopting an all-in-one booking solution.
1. Take bookings and payments online, obviously
With an online booking system like TrekkSoft, you'll obviously be able to accept bookings online. Better yet if your booking solution allows you to take payments online as well.
Christophe Desmarais, founder of Catamaran Cruises Mauritius attributes much of his business' success, including an increase of their turnover in their first year of using a booking solution by two to threefold, to TrekkSoft.
“I do remember seeing a very rapid growth in conversion rates since we introduced TrekkSoft’s payment gateway to help with online payments.”
Similarly, Antonio, the owner and founder of Captain Tony's, report a spike in bookings after adopting our online booking solution.
“Since our office closes at 5.30pm, we often missed out on people wanting to book trips in the evenings. We noticed the majority of our online bookings came in the night, so this was a fantastic step forward for us. It took a while to get used to the system, because we run different tours on different boats from different locations, so it wasn’t an easy process to set up but once it was launched it has helped us a lot.”
2. Stand out from the crowd
Despite the travel industry's keen interest in adopting the latest technological advances, the tour and activity sector seems to be slow at picking them up. If you're quick to act on technology and adopt it to take your business further, you give yourself the opportunity to stand out from the crowd.
This was the case for Philipp Rebbman, Marketing and Sales Manager for Pearl Island Bahamas.
“TrekkSoft has helped us a lot since not many tour operators in the Bahamas have a professional booking system, giving us a huge advantage over competitors. All our marketing activities lead back to our booking system as well. For us, this is one of the most important point of sales options and a lot of our customers take advantage of our online booking system. Additionally, it adds to our professionalism. We are still a small company but the effects of TrekkSoft are enormous.”
3. Plan trips in advance
Knowing how many people to expect on a trip in advance can help you get your team, and the partners you work, with organised to deliver a great experience.
Here's what Mate from Brewer's Berlin Tours had to say about his experience with a booking solution: "We have an incredibly wide range of guests coming on our tours, from all age groups and all continents. The common link between them is their interest in seeing Berlin from the inside. Lots of guests hear about us from other guests by word of mouth, or through online reviews or other recommendations."
"TrekkSoft brought us up to the level (selling trips online) immediately and online ticket sales have become an essential part of our business. Seeing our bookings in advance, we can plan ahead better, and we’ve been able to introduce new format small-group tours by managing ticket sales precisely with TrekkSoft."
4. Manage large volumes of custom tours without losing your sanity
If you specialise in bespoke tailor-made tours or activities, managing large volumes of these trips can be tricky. A booking system that includes features such as custom fields in forms allows you to collect additional information without having to send multiple emails to customers to get an idea of what they're looking for.
This can save you a lot of time and headache. Just think about all the other things you can do with all that extra time!
“We’ve grown really fast in the past couple of years and now face challenges around that. TrekkSoft has given us a good platform to support our growing business," said Oscar Almgren, owner of Uteguiden in Norway.
“For us, it’s good to have a system that can handle large amounts of different trips at the same time. Many of our trips in the winter are custom made trips and it’s still possible to use TrekkSoft to manage them.”
5. Communicate with multiple partners, suppliers, resellers and agents
For companies looking to expand their sales and marketing channels, having a booking software that allows resellers and agents to view your availability and book directly into your system can save you a lot of time answering emails and phone calls.
Chantel Kyriakopoulou-Beuvink, owner of Natural Greece explains how this feature has helped her grow her tour company:
"We are able to increase our visibility through an expanded network of distributors, directories and listings. We’re currently listed on Responsible Travel, Tours By Locals and Tour Radar. We use the Channel Manager a lot to manage our different distribution channels."
6. Give your guides access to customer information and deliver a seamless experience
On the day of the tour, equip your guides with all the information they need to provide an unforgettable trip.
Peter Jumpterz from Carrosse de Louise, the only electric coach tour company based in Berlin, explains how his chauffeurs value this feature:
"One of our main objectives from the start was scalability, we really had to make the business scalable in order to make money. Therefore, we had to look for fully-automated solutions for all our key business processes."
"The chauffeurs, as we call our drivers, they love the system. Because beyond booking support, we needed an online tool that would give them up-to-date information on upcoming tours, access to guests, contact details, etc. without constantly calling the customer."
7. Discover different revenue streams
Another way to expand your business is to experiment with different revenue streams. Whether it's setting up an online store that sells merchandise or upselling customers based on their current itineraries, having a booking system with such features could greatly impact your business.
In an interview with Vanessa Latessa, CEO of Bus2Alps, we learned how a booking software with features that allow you to connect with partners to upsell customers can be a viable revenue stream.
"Local activities and tours are critical in the majority of our destinations. As we attempt to keep our package price low, the opportunity to upsell local activities greatly impacts our margins and provide guests with in-destination options based on their interest and budget."
She also shares some advice on how to make this strategy work:
"Offer (add-ons) to the customers at multiple stages in the booking process. Make sure they are visible during the research process, at the actual time of booking, during pre-departure emails and communication, and of course recommended by the guides during the trip.
"It is critical that the experiences we are promoting and upselling offer genuine value to the guest, not just the impression that we are promoting it for commission."
8. Save time on day-to-day admin
With all these features built into one booking system, automate a majority of your day-to-day admin and give yourself more time to focus on delivering a great experience.
Say goodbye to manually entering details of each booking, sending out and responding to emails, calling partners and suppliers, sending out calendar notifications and so on. Keep everyone you work with up to date with your bookings and offer customers an experience of a lifetime.
Find out how TrekkSoft can help your business reach its full potential above other booking solutions this season:
Published by Nicole Kow
Having graduated from the UK, Nicole travelled around Europe before joining TrekkSoft's marketing team. She is now based in KL and regularly blogs about her travels at Next Train Out.