Online travel agents (OTAs) like Expedia Local Expert and Get Your Guide present opportunities for tour operators and activity providers to access new consumer markets and strengthen their position in existing ones. The influx of OTAs in the last few years affords suppliers the luxury to pick and choose who to work with.
But how will experience providers upload their tours, manage their schedules and keep track of bookings from multiple OTAs?
This is where APIs come into the picture.
API stands for Application Programme Interface, likened to a bridge that connects data and functionalities across different softwares. Most booking and reservation systems now offer API connections with multiple OTAs, and the collection of APIs connected from a single platform is referred to as a Channel Manager.
APIs come in many forms and can share all sorts of information. The two main types of APIs that are relevant to the tour and activity providers are content and availability APIs.
When we talk about content, we're referring to your tour itineraries and product descriptions, as well as images that show off your experiences.
With a Content API, businesses simply have update one platform, typically their reservation system, and the API shares their product information across all connected OTA channels.
With Availability APIs, experience providers can share their schedules and availabilities with multiple OTAs by loading them onto just one platform. Again, this is typically their reservation system of choice.
Major marketplaces who have their own supplier extranet (e.g. Expedia Local Expert and TripAdvisor Experiences) tend to connect to reservation systems via the Availability API only. Operators are expected to upload product information separately via the supplier extranet and mapping is required.
A Unified API is one that shares both content and availability with resellers. With as little effort as a few clicks, operators can choose which tours they want to share on which platform.
TrekkSoft offers a channel management solution that uses a Unified API, one of the few booking systems to do so.
TrekkConnect - TrekkSoft's new and improved channel manager
TrekkConnect is TrekkSoft's new and improved channel manager. We're not only connected to international OTAs and resellers like Musement and Veltra, we're also connected with destination companies such as Fjord Norway.
We're excited about TrekkConnect because companies can connect as both suppliers and resellers, depending on your business model.
How does it work?
Tour operators can supply inventory and content in real-time via TrekkConnect, which is then shared across resellers of their choice. When a booking comes through the distributor, this information is shared with the supplier via TrekkConnect in real-time as well.
On the other end, distributors such as destination companies and OTAs can also connect to TrekkConnect and resell inventory on behalf of suppliers.
For suppliers interested in making additional revenue through commissions, they can also receive inventory from TrekkConnect to resell.
An easier way for you to manage your reseller connections
Apart from offering suppliers an easy way to connect and share their inventory with distributors, TrekkConnect will also focus on building new connections and maintaining existing ones.
This will greatly reduce the time and energy your IT team spends on building individual API connections with multiple resellers.
TrekkSoft is dedicated to helping our customers succeed. We're building tools that continue to expand your distribution network and grow your business, without loading your busy teams with more admin work.
We believe that TrekkConnect is part of a larger puzzle we're solving for tour operators around the world.
Would you like to learn more about OTA connections?