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8 signs that your tour business has outgrown your booking system

Online booking systems are constantly evolving and it pays to keep pace with developments. This post explains the "must haves"

Booking systems have revolutionised the travel industry. They help run your tour, activity and attraction businesses by taking care of bookings, vouchers, confirmations, marketing and distribution. It’s possible when you first onboarded a booking system you might have picked what was right for you at the time. However, businesses change and technology advances and then reduces drastically in price, meaning you could have outgrown your current booking system. These 8 signs will help alleviate or confirm this suspicion.

1. Confirmations aren’t automated

It’s 2016! If your online bookings do not result in an automated email or text of confirmation, it’s time to find a better system. This will cut down on hours of manual labour costs and eliminate the chance of human errors in the confirmation process.

2. You can’t display your real-time pricing and availability

This feature saves your customers and your team a lot of time. Giving customers visibility of your availability means they don’t have to check via call, eliminating unnecessary steps. It can also create a sense of urgency and push customers to book sooner rather than risk missing out.

3. Managing promos, seasonal pricing and discounts is a nightmare


You should have one central location to update or set your pricing. If your current system makes you update your pricing in multiple places, you risk making an error. If you’re distributing through multiple channels, this needs to be quick and simple adjustment. If this sounds familiar, it might be time to move on.

4. There is no voucher and promo code management


Managing vouchers can be a logistical nightmare for all staff. Your booking system should have the functionality to manage these codes for you, no matter through which channel the the client purchased their ticket. If you’re experiencing this headache with your system in place, move on!

5. Manifest management is still manual and causing brain strains

Manifests are a legal requirement for many tour businesses. Does your business still manage these in Excel? Newer and more advanced booking systems can handle all this for you. Once a customer is in the system they can automatically be added to the manifest, which can then be exported into an excel spreadsheet if needed.

7. You’re not sure if the way you’re taking payments is compliant


Did you know how much compliance there is regarding taking online payments through your website? Sadly there are booking systems out there that do not meet PCI compliance requirements and that could be absolutely devastating to your business and brand if you fell victim to this. Your booking system should make it incredibly clear you’re meeting all the legal requirements.

8. You’re unable to get valuable insight into where sales are coming from


Newer booking systems will give you a 360 degree view of your revenue streams. This is incredibly important and helps you make the best decision on which distributors and marketing channels you should be focusing your attention.

Final thoughts


Innovation has turned plain old booking systems into revolutionary platforms that give business owners a 360 degree view of their business. While technology has progressed so has competition, meaning the cost of onboarding a booking system has reduced from what it was a few years ago. If your booking system is a little older and possibly not meeting modern-day requirements, it might be time for you to consider moving on.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_cta h2=”Learn how to better use Online bookings in your Tourism Business” txt_align=”center” style=”outline” add_button=”bottom” btn_title=”Join Tourism Tribe ” btn_color=”orange” btn_align=”center” add_icon=”top” i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-thumbs-up” i_background_style=”rounded” btn_link=”|||”]The Online bookings learning hub offers tutorials, support articles, webinars and the ability for members to ask a question via our support forum[/vc_cta][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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1 thought on “8 signs that your tour business has outgrown your booking system”

  1. I operate a small Historic Hotel in Toowoomba called Vacy Hall.

    I have been using RMS 9+ and its predecessors for the last 8 years and it has all the functionality listed above and over most of that time I used a 3rd party channel manager with Siteminder and their online booking button. This approach was costing me more (about $250/month) because I was effectively paying for Channel Management, online bookings and PMS integration twice – so twelve months ago I migrated my systems so all were in the RMS suite complete with the Payment Express online payment gateway for online bookings. As recent review of my systems and their suitability for my business has resulted in the following concerns:
    1. I probably only use about 50% of the functionality of RMS 9+.
    2. RMS appears to be slow in adding additional global distribution – eg additional channels under development for over 12 months.
    3. RMS does not have very user friendly booking interface with only English and only AUD for bookings
    4. RMS charges for extras $1 for online sales over a base level per month
    5. RMS charges for SMS messaging
    6. RMS a small percentage of online payments
    7. RMS is costing me about $400 per month.
    8. LIttle Hotelier the Siteminder product appears to offer most of the functionality of RMS that I require except it does not allow communication with guests through the system via SMS.
    9. Has anyone else done a data migration to Little Hotelier and can you provide me with some insights?
    10. Little Hotelier appears to be about half the price a month and it incorporates a website too – I’m looking for information about the experience of other operators moving to Little Hotelier.
    Can anyone help???

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