What will I learn in this tutorial
- TXA is Australia’s national open and inclusive online booking platform.
- TXA will transform my existing ATDW product listing into a bookable product, allowing me to sell my product on a large number of tourism distributors’ websites simultaneously.
- In order to benefit from TXA I need to be using an online booking system that is connected to TXA.
- I will be able to choose which distributor websites I would like to be listed with.
What is the Tourism Exchange Australia (TXA)?
TXA is Australia’s national open and inclusive online booking platform supported by all of the State Tourism Organisations. TXA will transform your existing ATDW product listing into a “live” bookable product, thus allowing you to sell your product on a vast number of tourism distributor websites and Visitor Centres simultaneously.
Enabling your product to be bookable online should bring you significant new business as 60% of travellers indicate that they book online when the product is available and has secure payment and instant confirmation .
It is important to understand that travellers do not only view individual tourism operator’s websites but also browse many travel portals, online travel agent websites, as well as tourism distributor websites that aggregate many products and let the user conduct a search, compare different options, check availability on desired dates and complete an instant booking. Being present, visible and bookable in this space will give you the chance to sell more.
As well as your own website, you should therefore consider other distribution opportunities like larger tourism, travel or media related websites. They have well developed online marketing strategies aimed at capturing and retaining consumers and they have a greater market reach. They generally have bigger marketing budgets, consumer brand awareness and loyalty programs. Due to the nature of consumer online search behaviour, using as many of these sites as possible will not only deliver bookings through those sites but also increase the likelihood of increasing bookings through your own website. This is because an increasing number of travellers are using distributor websites, including destination marketing sites and the big online travel agents, to search for suitable products in a destination. Once located via that search travellers are going directly to operator’s own websites to book. This is referred to as the “billboard” effect.
How does the TXA simplify things?
Traditionally, registering with and managing content for each distributor and allocating your inventory and managing its availability has been a lengthy, manual, difficult, and individual process. To simplify it, TXA can automatically deliver your content, rates and availability live to multiple distributors on your behalf through a single input.
TXA is a way to market your business online through multiple travel distributors in a very simple way.
The TXA is essentially a channel manager that brings together your product information in ATDW with live inventory which can be booked online and in real time.
To have your product live and bookable on all TXA distributors websites you need to select a booking system that is integrated to TXA (see “Online Booking Systems” tutorial).
TXA puts you in total control of who sells your product and at what price. You choose which distributors you want to use, agree to the Distributor’s terms and conditions (including commission charges) and nominate your product pricing on an individual basis and simply click to opt in. You can opt out at any time.
How to join TXA?
If you want to allow customers to see your availability and rates online you need to firstly ensure your product can be booked online. This means that you will need to enable your website with an online booking system to allow consumers to book there and then.
Adding a TXA-powered book button to your website is very easy and straightforward.
You won’t need to pay a web developer to build a customised booking engine for your website. All you need to do is choose a TXA Connected Booking System and connect it to your website. Online booking systems are very reasonably priced and help increase conversion rates tremendously. Sign up to the TXA and you can have a high conversion TXA booking button embedded (see Tourism e kit Tutorial about Online Booking Systems).
Once the online booking functionality is set up on your website, the TXA will pull the information you stored in the online booking system (such as rates and inventory) and make it available to TXA distributors and your website if you wish. The TXA booking pages are industry best practice in design and functionality delivering very high “look to book” conversion.
Suppose you run the “Adelaide Hills Luxury B&B”. Imagine Wendy, a busy Sydney executive travelling to Adelaide for work next Friday. She has decided to explore the region and make the most of the business trip. She is on the Internet at home at 10.30 pm and has found your website, is so excited about your romantic getaway and is ready to book, credit card in hand! but when she looks for the book button to check availability and pay she can’t find it (there isn’t one). In a hurry, she clicks the back button to return to the search engine results list and clicks on your competitor because she only has 5 minutes and needs to book now. Your competitor has a book now button. Wendy books. You have missed a sale, without even knowing it.
- If you do not have an online booking system, Wendy won’t be able to check your availability. Wendy wants a quick, easy solution. She will find someone who has an instant booking system instead, simply because she doesn’t have the time to pick up the phone or send an email and wait for a reply. She expects to search, book, pay, and confirm there and then.
- If you have a booking system, Wendy will book you instantly, and you won’t miss her, or need to spend 15 minutes on the phone at 10.30 pm (or calling her back in the morning) telling her about your availability. Moreover, an integrated online booking system is the prerequisite to be part of the TXA.
Who do I contact to install a booking system?
The online booking tutorial explains to you how to select an online booking system. However, that takes valuable time so you should look into this as soon as possible, in parallel to registering for TXA.
There are many organisations that provide small and medium tourism businesses with easy to use booking systems. The tutorial about online booking will help you select one. You will however, need to ensure that the booking system you choose is connected with TXA. So before you choose, ask the vendor explicitly if their system is a TXA Connected Booking System.
How do I get my business on TXA?
TXA will marry up the information that resides in your booking system and your listing information in the ATDW.
You will therefore need the two components (a TXA connected booking system and ATDW listing) to benefit fully from TXA. However, please note, while preferable, it is not mandatory in connecting to TXA that you have an ATDW listing.
An online booking system will hold your rates and availability and make you bookable instantly on your website.
It is important you acquire enough information to assist you to choose an online booking system that is appropriate to your business. We have put together a separate tutorial called “Online Booking Systems” to help you select a suitable system. While it does not provide an exhaustive list of potential systems it is a helpful guide to the things you should consider to help you make a suitable choice.
What is my current situation?
|I am not part of the ATDW but I already have a booking system:|
|I am not part of the ATDW and don’t have an online booking system:|
|I am part of the ATDW and I don’t have a booking system:|
Step 1: register on the ATDW via my State/Territory Tourism Organisation
- Each state and territory tourism organisation has different processes for inclusion on the ATDW. See www.atdw.com.au/how_to_list.asp for their contact details.
- Complete the registration forms and submit them to your state or territory tourism organisation. The process for registration may take a couple of weeks. Keep a copy of this on a Microsoft Word document so that you can use it later as it can be useful for copying and pasting into your product description in your online booking system.
- Your business will then be listed on a multitude of websites, increasing your product’s exposure.
If you are already registered with the ATDW, please go to step 2 below.
Step 2: getting the basics right
- Read about the different online booking systems in the Tourism e kit tutorials
- Pay attention to the different pricing models of the systems
- Select your online booking system and establish your online merchant account with your bank (if required)
Step 3: connect to TXA
- If your online booking system is TXA compatible (refer to the online booking systems tutorials) connect to the TXA.
To be sold via TXA your booking system needs to be connected to the TXA technology:
- If you are using a system that is already connected to TXA (please refer to the Tourism e kit Tutorial “Online Booking Systems”) subject to you completing a TXA Application, your product is able to be sold on TXA’s distribution channels and every booking from a TXA Distributor will go straight through into your reservation system. You will be trained on the use of the TXA Dashboard which is the tool that will give you access to review the Distributor’s terms and conditions, and will be able to choose to opt in to be sold via the Distributor channels you desire.
- If you are using another reservation system that is not yet integrated to the TXA or if you need to enquire whether your system is integrated or not, we recommend you contact email@example.com. Once integrated, every booking from a TXA Distributor will go straight through into your booking system and you won’t need to run two systems or continually manually allocate inventory. You will then be trained on the use of the TXA Dashboard which is the tool that will give you access to review the Distributor’s terms and conditions, and will be able to choose to opt in to be sold via the Distributor channels you desire,plus a whole range of reports that will help your business.
Systems already integrated with the TXA
The following online booking systems and polling partners have already been integrated with the TXA:
- Discover Australia Holidays
- Jewel Business Solutions
- Micros Fidelio /Micros Opera
- Room Master
- SeaLink Travel Group
- TravelPoint Holidays – An AOT Group Company
- TXA iLoader
Visit www.atdw.com.au for the most up-to-date list.