When was the last time you visited a travel agency office to book your travel ticket? Or to understand holiday packages to pick from? Well, I am sure it was a long time back when the online travel business was in its nascent stage. This was a time when it wasn’t widely accepted and popular because people had apprehensions about such transactions being fraudulent.
Well, that time has passed and the online travel business is a thriving industry today. Big players like Airbnb, Expedia, Booking.com, etc., have revolutionized the travel industry. They have made online travel services reliable and secure and therefore gained people’s trust and support.
After a drop in 2020 due to COVID-19, the online travel agency sector worldwide is forecast to snowball again. According to Statista, it is forecast to touch $820.18 bn by 2023. It is clear that the online travel business is a booming industry and will continue to be so.
Rising to the occasion, even small travel agency owners are also looking to go online. For them, an online travel portal can be an ideal fit. It is because it lets them manage their agents, partners, and customers centrally and efficiently.
If you also run a travel company or are looking to start one, this post is for you. In this post, you are going to learn about the importance of an online travel portal in detail. You’ll also know the features you must seek in a travel portal.
Benefits of an Online Travel Portal
A travel portal based on your CRM can help manage your travel business easily. For example, a SuiteCRM customer portal for your travel business would be suitable if you use SuiteCRM. And Salesforce portal for Salesforce-based organization, and so on.
Reduced Running Costs
If you run a travel company, hiring several travel agents to explain tour packages and booking tickets may be costly. Instead, a SuiteCRM customer portal or any other portal for your travel business can save you expenses.
Moreover, you can also cut down the effort of maintaining records of all costumes in spreadsheets. This is because you can view all your customers’ and agents’ details centrally and manage them better with a travel portal.
A travel portal provides real-time access to all details like prices of tour packages, hotels, rental services, flights, etc. to your customers. Customers can also vet and compare the prices of hotels and packages during peak season and normal times. It helps them make a more informed choice of a tour package, hotel, etc.
Customer Care Support
A travel portal helps customers communicate and convey issues easily via a chat or call option. This helps customers get quick solutions to their travel-related issues or answers to queries.
They can also get help in selecting the right package for their tour plan via customer care support. This way, a travel portal eliminates the need to call or visit a travel agency office for every small issue or query.
Enhanced Transparency and Convenience
An online travel portal helps display accurate fares with any hidden costs. This helps build customers’ trust in your company and connect with you more. A complete comprehensive breakdown of applicable charges brings more transparency.
Besides, booking tickets and packages online is convenient. Customers don’t have to visit any office or branch to book their tickets, hotels, or rental services. They can do it all right from within the portal. Using a portal for this also helps get a much clearer view of comparison metrics like pricing, amenities, etc. This saves both their time and money and enhances their experience. Similarly, customers can also easily cancel or reschedule a booking without calling the company’s office or visiting there.
All this helps takes customers’ convenience, and booking experience, to the next level.
Large Variety of Options
An online travel portal helps gain access to a large list of hotels, rental cars, flight or bus tickets, and tour packages. Customers can get numerous options to choose from unlike in the case of an offline travel agency.
All this is not feasible with a travel agent due to time constraints and limited knowledge available on the internet.
Features to Look for in a Travel Portal
The travel portal you pick should be easily accessible to the admin, agents, and customers.
A. For Admin
As the business owner and admin, you should have control over the complete management of your customers and agents. For that, there are a few admin features below that you must look for when picking a travel portal:
1. As an admin, the travel portal should allow you to view, manage, and update customers’ booking details on the fly.
2. You should also be able to manage hotel bookings easily and efficiently from within the travel portal. The portal should provide a centralized view of all bookings to help you get better visibility and avoid any errors.
3. There should be a built-in process for the online identification of customers within the portal. It will help you avoid the hassle of manual identity verification after check-ins.
4. The portal should allow you to manage tour packages and their details like prices in real-time. You should offer the best tour package recommendations based on your customers’ preferences and budget.
B. For Agents
If you provide an online travel service that supports individual travel agents and associates; your travel portal should have the following features:
1. Individual hospitality agents and associates should be able to manage their commission for every booking. The portal should also let them track total bookings and negotiate the commission to pay to you.
2. The portal should let travel and hospitality associates and agents implement the credit systems for customers. It will help increase repeat bookings and expand the customer base.
3. The portal should also facilitate offering discounts on bookings for agents to attract more online bookings. This way, they can also adjust the commission fee according to the overall profitability of your company.
C. For Customers
Last but not least, the travel portal you pick should be user-friendly for your customers.
1. The portal should make the booking experience seamless for customers. It should let them check for the availability of travel tickets on specific dates and book them.
2. There should be a choice of multiple payment options to book. The portal should also provide the option to save a payment method for future bookings for fast transactions.
3. There should be an exhaustive list of hotels, ratings, charges, and facilities displayed. Comparison and filter options should be there to allow customers to vet and pick a package carefully.
4. Your travel portal should let customers view travel booking history and update booking details. They should get to update, cancel, or reschedule their bookings without hassle.
Launch Your Travel Portal with CRMJetty
If you own a travel company and are looking for a travel portal, we’ve got you covered. Our development team can help you develop a travel portal based on your CRM.
We provide ready-to-integrate industry-specific SuiteCRM client portal, Salesforce portal, WordPress portal, etc. If you want to expand your existing portal’s capabilities, we can help you with that also. We can discuss your portal requirements, analyze the feasibility of development or customization, test limitations, and deliver the final portal.
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