This article was originally published in 2018 and updated in November 2020.
Founded in 2012, Bokun is a booking software for tour operators, activity providers, rental companies. Based in Iceland, the company was co-founded by CEO Hjalti Baldursson and CTO Olafur Gauti Guðmundsson. The company, like other reservation systems out there, offers a suite of booking tools for small to medium sized operators.
Prior to being acquired by TripAdvisor in 2018, their client base was predominantly located in Iceland.
In April 2018, TripAdvisor announced their entry into the experience software space with the company's acquisition of Bokun.
"Until now, TripAdvisor’s Experiences unit relied on third party integrators such as FareHarbor, Peek, and Bokun, which has been working with TripAdvisor since 2016, to connect tour suppliers to its platform, but now it will be able to handle booking, inventory management and tour operations through its in-house tech company." - Skift 2018
Bokun's constant price change
Just after the acquisition of Bokun, the res tech company dropped dramatically, where operators only paid 0.1% commission per booking. TrekkSoft, like many other independently owned booking systems,
Then in August 2019, Bokun announced a change in pricing with a 2.9% service fee added for bookings via their online booking engine. They announced that there would be no service fees for bookings via Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), resellers, Bokun Marketplace and offline.
Fast forward another year later, in September 2020, Bokun emailed operators announcing yet another price change that will take effect on the 1st of November 2020. This time, the price change was more than just an increase in commissions, it was a change in the price model altogether.
Bokun now charges a fixed fee for the various tools they offer - $49 for the booking system plus 1.5% per booking, $19 for their website builder, $49 for their mobile app, $99 for agent access and more.
For some operators who did not switch to Bokun's new plan, they found themselves without a functioning booking widget without much warning.
Where Bokun outperforms other software solutions
- The most obvious is cost. Even with their Pro Plan, a price tag of $49 and 1.5% per booking is still a competitive offer for just a booking system. They also offer their channel manager and Viator listing checks for free.
- Bokun's Marketplace is well established. When they first started out in Iceland, local operators could connect with one another to resell products. This was a huge reason for operators to stick with Bokun. Since its acquisition, the Bokun Marketplace, led by TripAdvisor, has focused on building marketshare and Bokun users from around the world can connect with one another.
- It's part of the TripAdvisor family which means better listing position on both TripAdvisor and Viator. TripAdvisor as we know is the largest travel review website in the world and Viator is currently the largest OTA for tours and activities.
How TrekkSoft outperforms Bokun
1. Your TrekkSoft plan will never change
Unless you decide to change your subscription plan, our team at TrekkSoft will never impose a plan switch on you. We believe that offering operators a stable and high quality booking solution is important to your long-term success, and continuously work hard to deliver the best solution to our users.
We've operated like this for the past 10 years, and will continue to operate with your success as our core focus.
2. We're independently owned
It is important to point out that TrekkSoft is completely independent and it's something we like to shout about. We are not owned by or hold preference to any Online Travel Agency. This freedom gives us the ability to build connections with large and small OTAs that we believe will benefit our customers in the long-run.
3. We promote direct bookings to protect your profits
TrekkSoft Booking Widget 3.0
In 2019, Google reported that 48% of bookings happen in-destination. Today, due to the pandemic, direct online bookings is the #1 way consumers are booking experiences.
TrekkSoft is focused on providing the tours and activities industry with the tools, knowledge and support to grow sustainably, and a big part of this is maintaining direct business.
4. We provide personal support
Booking systems are complex, regardless of who's providing them.
With TrekkSoft, we provide personal on-boarding and training with an Integration Specialist. They will learn about your business and teach you how to set up the system to meet your requirements.
Our customer service team is fluent in English, Spanish, German, Italian and Portuguese.
Find out about our new price plan
These are some features we like to shout about
A dedicated Point-of-Sale Desk for agents and resellers
TrekkSoft offers a Point of Sale (PoS) Desk for your team to easily take bookings and payments. It was designed so it is easy to use on busy days, by busy people.
Many of our users recommend the POS Desk to their sales agents, local resellers and travel agents because it provides access to your availabilities in real-time, and tracks agent sales and commission.
Manage your resources
We think that it is important for your booking system to have a resource manager. It can be used to manage your bikes, coaches, kayaks, boats and any other resource you need to run a trip.
With a resource manager, you can ensure that there will be no over-bookings, you can set limitations (e.g. 4 adult seats and 2 child seats) and you can simply block out resources for private events or repairs.
Upsell your customers
You can add shop items or create add-ons for customers to purchase additional offers when booking any of your tours. This could include a photo package, merchandise or anything else that can increase your revenue before a customer arrives for your tour.
Accept and update bookings with mPOS (for free)
We offer a free mobile app that is available to all users on all plans. Every employee with access, including your guides, managers, admin team; can accept, update and check bookings on the move. Guides can have the most up-to-date information, take payments and scan tickets all from a mobile device.
A payment gateway created for experience providers
Since Bokun does not have their own payment gateway, operators will have to source yet another service provider to take payments online.
TrekkPay, is our very own payment gateway that accepts payments in 60 currencies. It was created specifically for the tours and activities industry so you won't have to pay exorbitant bank fees or transaction charges. TrekkPay will also manage your refunds and chargebacks for free.
An ever-growing channel manager
TrekkConnect connects your business to large distributors like GetYourGuide, Viator, Klook and Musement. The TrekkConnect channel manager provides a reliable and fast connection to your OTAs, allowing you to manage all your OTA connections on one platform, while speeding up booking confirmations too.
You'll be able to map new products to OTAs which automatically notifies you of your latest bookings and updates the OTA with your latest availabilities. Automating a large part of your booking process allows you to reduce cut-off times and maximise revenue per tour.
Gain insights from your booking data
We offer a business intelligence tool so you can really understand your customers. Your reports will let you compare past performance, collect customer data and plan for a successful year ahead.
"We created Business Intelligence to give our customers a deeper understanding into their business. They now have the tools to analyse past business performance, use that insight to predict future demand, and effectively plan for the upcoming season."
Viktor Sobor, Product Manager