Expanding the reach and increasing bookings are key challenges faced by tour and activity operators in today's competitive market. Managing multiple distribution channels and meeting the demand for booking experiences can be complicated. Including your activities in OTAs can impact extraordinarily in your bookings and establish brand awareness. To illustrate the reach of OTAs, keep in mind that in June 2023, booking.com, the most visited travel and tourism website worldwide, recorded 614 million visits. Followed by Tripadvisor.com with 189 million and Airbnb.com with 109 million visits.
With OTAs, tour operators can reach a broader audience and engage with a new audience. Tourists might prefer booking directly from the marketplaces because they can research and book products and services, such as flights, cars, hotels, and activities, also there are tourist who prefer OTAs because of security, convenience, loyalty discounts, and credible online reviews that they offer, so it is essential to have your services available for tourists in the places they are searching.
Technology-driven solutions like the Channel Manager reduce manual work, and ensure real-time inventory updates across multiple OTAs. By embracing these solutions, tour businesses can reach a wider audience, enhance the booking experience, and stay competitive in the travel industry.
A channel manager, a software solution, helps tour operators manage inventory, availability, and bookings across multiple channels, such as Online Travel Agencies (OTAs). It streamlines operations, ensures real-time updates, and increases reach and exposure for tour operators. By utilizing a channel manager, you can efficiently connect with various OTAs, saving time and resources while providing a smooth booking experience for customers.
In this article, we will explore how TrekkSoft's Channel Manager can help tour businesses overcome booking challenges and maximize the reach.
Understanding TrekkSoft's Channel Manager
TrekkSoft is a leading tour booking and management platform that offers a comprehensive suite of tools to streamline operations and drive bookings. One of its standout features is the Channel Manager, which allows tour businesses to manage the inventory and bookings across multiple distribution channels efficiently.
Also, the Channel Manager can be subscribed to as a standalone product, allowing your business to tailor solutions according to your specific requirements.
The Channel Manager offers a range of features that empower tour operators to streamline operations and maximize reach:
- Real-time inventory management. TrekkSoft's Channel Manager ensures that inventory and availability information is updated in real-time across all connected channels. Reduce the risk of overbooking and provide accurate information to potential customers.
- Automated updates. The Channel Manager automates updating inventory and availability across multiple channels. Instead of manually updating each OTA individually, you can rely on the Channel Manager to synchronize the data automatically.
- Intuitive User Interface. TrekkSoft's Channel Manager provides a centralized dashboard where you can easily access and control your inventory, bookings, and channel configurations.
By signing up for TrekkSoft's Channel Manager, tour businesses gain access to a powerful tool that simplifies managing multiple distribution channels.Some of the benefits of using TrekkSoft's Channel Manager are:
- Increased Efficiency. The automation provided by the Channel Manager frees you from the need for manual inventory updates and reduces the risk of errors.
- Enhanced reach and exposure. By connecting with various OTAs through the Channel Manager, you can tap into the customer base of these platforms and expand your reach.
- Streamlined operations. The centralized nature of the Channel Manager simplifies operations by providing a single platform to manage inventory, bookings, and channel configurations.
Let's have a closer look at how these features benefit tour businesses using the example of The Tour Company.
The Tour Company, founded in 2014, has become the second-largest tour provider in Holland, offering high-quality tours in English, Spanish, and German. With a focus on delivering exceptional experiences, and as their business grew, they faced the challenge of managing bookings from multiple online travel agents (OTAs) while also driving more direct bookings through their website and in-destination resellers.
In September 2018, The Tour Company turned to TrekkSoft for a solution. They implemented TrekkSoft's platform over a three-month period and quickly saw the benefits of more efficient workflows and increased bookings. With TrekkSoft's channel manager, The Tour Company could connect to key OTAs such as Viator, GetYourGuide, and Expedia and efficiently manage their product listings, schedules, pricing, and availability. With real-time synchronization, they could provide instant booking confirmations through these resellers, saving time and improving customer satisfaction.
Recognizing the importance of driving direct bookings through their website, The Tour Company integrated TrekkSoft's Booking Widget. This allowed them to offer a seamless booking experience to their website visitors, resulting in a significant increase in direct bookings from both desktop and mobile sites. The introduction of the POS Desk feature from TrekkSoft also enabled them to track and process bookings from in-destination sales agents and hotels, making it easier to calculate commissions owed.
As a result of implementing TrekkSoft, The Tour Company experienced substantial benefits. Automating the booking confirmation process from OTAs improved operational efficiency and allowed them to handle the exponential booking growth. By leveraging TrekkSoft's comprehensive platform, The Tour Company has maximized its reach, increased efficiency, and achieved impressive business growth. Their partnership with TrekkSoft has enabled them to manage multi-channel bookings in one place and positioned them for continued success in the future.
Manage OTA channels from one place
TrekkSoft's Channel Manager provides tour businesses with a centralized platform to manage inventory across various distribution channels. Through a user-friendly dashboard, businesses can seamlessly connect with popular OTAs,
In your account, go to Channel Manager and Marketplaces to see all the available integrations. There are more than 40 marketplaces you can connect with, such as:
- Viator, a Tripadvisor company,
- Musement, and more.
The advantages of diversifying distribution channels are that it allows your tour and activities to reach a wider audience and attract more bookings. Still, you can leverage each platform's audience and focus on worthwhile marketplaces for your business.
TrekkSoft's Channel Manager simplifies the integration process, making it easy for businesses to connect with these channels and manage their listings efficiently.
With the Channel Manager, you can also connect with Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs). Keep in mind that DMOs play a crucial role in promoting and marketing a specific destination to potential travelers. By partnering with DMOs, tour operators can leverage their extensive destination knowledge, marketing campaigns, and resources to gain increased visibility and exposure. DMOs often have access to various marketing channels, including websites, social media platforms, and tourism events, which can help tour operators reach a broader audience.
With TrekkSoft, you can connect with Davos Destinations-Organisation, Engadin St. Moritz, Fjord Norway, Interlaken Tourismus, and TXGB DMO. To integrate, go to Channel Manager and Features DMO Partners.
Keep track of all bookings in real-time
When utilizing TrekkSoft's Channel Manager, tour operators can effectively keep track of all bookings in real time. Here's how the integrated channel manager ensures that inventory remains up-to-date on all sales channels:
- Real-time Inventory Sync: TrekkSoft's Channel Manager seamlessly integrates the tour operator's inventory management system and various sales channels, including OTAs, the operator's website, and in-destination resellers. Whenever a booking is made through these channels, the inventory is automatically updated in real time. This means that tour operators can avoid overbooking situations and ensure accurate availability of information across all platforms.
- Automated Updates: Instead of manually updating inventory and availability information on each sales channel, the Channel Manager automates this process. The system automatically adjusts the available inventory on all connected channels when a booking is made or canceled. This eliminates the need for tour operators to log in to each channel separately and update the information, saving significant time and effort.
- Reduced Manual Tasks and Errors: Automation through the Channel Manager reduces the reliance on manual tasks, minimizing the risk of human errors. Manually updating inventory across multiple channels can be tedious and prone to mistakes. With TrekkSoft's Channel Manager, tour operators can ensure accuracy and consistency in inventory management, avoiding the pitfalls of manual data entry.
Additionally, the Channel Manager enables an omnichannel sales strategy. This strategy involves providing a consistent and cohesive booking experience across multiple channels, such as the business's website, social media platforms, and OTAs. By offering a unified experience, tour businesses can capture bookings from different customer touchpoints, improving customer satisfaction and driving more sales.
You can keep track of all your bookings with our Bookings Overview Dashboard. To get to the dashboard, on the left-hand side select Bookings > Overview.
TrekkSoft's Channel Manager is a game-changer for tour businesses looking to expand their reach and streamline operations. With its easy-to-use interface, seamless integration with popular OTAs, and real-time inventory management, the Channel Manager empowers businesses to reach a wider audience and increase bookings.
To learn more about TrekkSoft's Channel Manager and how to set it up for your tour business, get a demo. The future of tour distribution is within your reach, so take the leap and maximize your business potential with TrekkSoft's Channel Manager.