Tourism Tribe - Adventure - Clermont_to_Capella_Horse_RideMany operators and attraction managers are talking about the benefits of online booking systems. They are quick, convenient, and offer an organised approach to bookings. However, the benefits associated with online bookings do not apply to all businesses. There are certain types of businesses that will benefit the most from a booking system: Tour Operators, Activity Businesses and Attractions.

Tour Operators

Tours are loved by all travellers because they’re affordable and ease the stress of planning upcoming holidays. Also, the experience provided by a tour is often more authentic than one you attempt to build alone. If you’re a tour operator, you’ll understand how admin heavy the role can be. Without a solid set of processes and a fantastic booking system, you’re losing out on sales and distribution options.
A good system can open new distribution opportunities via third parties without the worry of controlling individual extranets. Inventory can also be stored in and pulled from the one place, ensuring operators can control their bookings and avoid over-booking. Live availability can also be updated immediately via your website and through online distributors; an easy way to control over-booking.

Activity Businesses

Activity businesses should be equipped with the latest online booking software technology. Not only do booking systems and their distribution networks make selling activities a lot easier, they also help to keep customers informed without the need to contact you. Instant confirmations and text notification reminders mean your customers know when and where to come in for their session. And if the weather is too wild for a certain adventure? Easily send a mass text to that day’s bookings and let them know the next steps to re-book. Another great advantage is the ability to instantly create a manifest with one click, saving operators from Excel and the need to switch between programs to keep track of customers.
Another advantage for activity businesses is easy voucher purchase. Staff can also upsell with some booking systems. For example, adding the option of a recorded skydive, or animal encounters at a zoo, can all be sorted at the online checkout. Your staff will know what to expect from the day by simply viewing the online bookings.

Attractions

Attractions offer different ticketing options and added extras. These different options can be a nightmare to manage, which is why attractions should get onboard with an online booking system. They can centralise all tickets and in-attraction experience into the one system.
An online system allows attraction businesses to manage and control various aspects of their businesses aside from basic and specialised ticketing. Capacity and distribution of sales can be monitored. School and sponsorship programs can exist under their own tickets or add-on. These complexities are simplified by turning to an online system and placing the high volume of information into the cloud.

Final thoughts

Online booking systems have a lot to offer busy tour operators, activity business owners and attraction managers. The trick is to make sure you choose one that can scale and adapt with your business.

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About fabienne

AvatarFabienne Wintle is Chief Digital Strategist and is an advocate for digital self-sufficiency, having empowered thousands of small businesses with the knowledge and tools required to make a living from tourism. Her special blend of digital know-how, tourism knowledge, coaching skills and a natural gift for communication make her a sought-after consultant, workshop facilitator and speaker.
She lives on Australia's Southern Great Barrier Reef in Agnes Water, Queensland where she volunteers her time to help local businesses use the internet.

1 Comment
  1. Avatar
    Kushla Gale 2 years ago

    There’s a new product in the Office 365 suite that’s included free for account holders called Microsoft Bookings.

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