Updated January 2024 Bookings are the lifeblood of your tourism business and crucial for its success. There are now various booking systems for customers to interact with your company, either through online software or traditional offline measures. When choosing between online and offline booking systems, you may find online booking software offers advantages in convenience, reliability, and efficiency, but that more traditional methods have a more interpersonal feel.

Bookings can also be made directly through your media channels or through indirect means, including travel agents. Rezdy’s blog contains more information on the difference between these two types of booking systems and how to increase bookings across both channels.

The personal touch of offline booking

Offline booking systems are a more traditional method of making reservations through tour companies. Visiting the office of the tour operator and processing the booking adds an interpersonal feel that is arguably absent from online booking software. This human connection is one of the main advantages of offline tour reservations. However, offline booking systems take time, and in some cases money, to use. 

The rise of online tour bookings

Benefits of online booking for tours

Online booking convenience for tourists means this type of software has become increasingly popular with consumers. The benefits of online booking for tours include easy and reliable management of the booking system and faster responses to bookings lodged outside of business hours. Readily available booking systems have transformed the way tour operators accept reservations, allowing for round-the-clock international service. Rezdy’s online booking system allows tour companies to optimize and streamline their booking systems.

Online vs offline bookings

The best way to book travel is subjective, and changes from activity to activity and person to person. It’s important to consider the different types of booking systems when trying to attract a broad range of new customers.

Offline direct bookings

It may seem old-fashioned, but your business still needs offline bookings in order to survive. For complex demands, it can be extremely useful for bookers to first chat with someone for advice before making a final decision. Sometimes automated systems lack the functionality to book a complicated trip in a timely and cost-effective way. This is especially true when the booker has a limited budget or special requirements that have to be met. A tour operator can more easily cater to requests made through offline bookings in comparison to those made with an automated online booking system.

Choosing between online and offline booking

To get more bookings offline, developing a positive brand identity and reliable reputation in your community is essential.

Why customers choose offline bookings

Offline booking systems offer a personalized touch that online software does not. Travelers may seek an offline booking service through your tour company if they are after expert advice, reassurance, or just a second opinion. Customers may also utilize an offline booking service if they are planning a complex trip that involves specialist services.

For tour operators, offline bookings can enhance customer trust and loyalty in your business. Certain customers may also take comfort in knowing there was a human element involved in personalizing their travel experience.

Tips for getting offline direct bookings

Here are a few tips for increasing your point-of-sale bookings from walk-ins and phone calls:

  • Use traditional advertising methods like brochures in hotels and visitor centers, and flyers around your city.
  • Make connections with the local visitor center in your area, who may direct customers who are currently on holiday in your area right to your doorstep.
  • Develop a positive relationship with hotel concierges in the region. Concierges are relied upon for personalized advice and recommendations.

Online bookings

Online bookings play a major role in the success of any tour and activity business.

Today, many travelers use the Internet in order to create their own itineraries, and they want to be able to book their tours and activities quickly and easily. There are many different types of online booking systems and tools, meaning there are plenty of easy-to-use online booking options for customers regardless of their tech knowledge. The internet holds an infinite amount of travel advice and allows travelers to curate their perfect vacation plan based on online reviews and photos. Plus, online booking allows travelers the option to organize their travel schedule at any time of the day, while also providing assurance they can easily cancel or change their plans.

Also, travelers are increasingly relying on social media sites to provide inspiration for their holiday plans. In a sense, social media is the modern travel guidebook. Searching #travel on Instagram renders over 611 million results.

Why customers book online

Building trust in online tour bookings

The benefits of online booking for tours are numerous. Online booking systems offer customers a quick and easy way to plan, book, and pay for their next holiday. Customers may prefer doing their own research and comparing the costs and features of various travel activities and accommodation. Additionally, the ability to plan and book their next trip away entirely from the comfort of their own home holds appeal to many people. Online booking sites are often customizable, allowing customers to personalize their preferences when booking their holidays. These features have been instrumental in building trust in online tour bookings. 

Tips for getting online bookings

Here are some tips for boosting your online bookings (regardless of which type of booking system you use):

  • Manage your business’s reputation on TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor is one of the most reliable sources of travel information, and many of your customers will be checking for your business there. Professional replies to reviews can give potential customers a favorable perspective on your company.
  • Diversify your online distribution. Create coupon deals with daily deal sites like Groupon. Network with online travel agents. Stay involved on social media. Sites such as Facebook and Instagram are ideal for engaging with customers and generating brand awareness. Also, when using social media sites, remember to add a location to your posts and use popular hashtags to attract more followers. 
  • Invest in an easy-to-use online booking system that is designed to automate the booking process.

When to switch to an online booking system

In today’s fast-paced digital world, the efficiency and accessibility of tour and activity booking systems have become essential for the success of tour and activity businesses. Deciding when to transition from traditional offline methods to an online booking system requires careful consideration.

At Rezdy, we understand the importance of a smooth transition to online bookings without disrupting your business operations. With our user-friendly platform, tour operators can effortlessly manage bookings, streamline operations, and enhance the customer experience.

Personalized advice

We work closely with each of our customers to understand their specific needs and goals. Whether you’re a small startup or a large tour operator, during the onboarding stage and beyond, we’ll provide tailored solutions and advice to optimize your booking process and drive business growth.

Zero downtime setup

When you choose Rezdy, there’s no need to worry about downtime during setup. Our expert team ensures a seamless transition, allowing you to continue accepting bookings without interruption.

24/7 live chat support

We’re committed to providing exceptional support to our customers. With 24/7 live chat assistance, Rezdy users have access to immediate support whenever they need it.

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Bookings through travel agents

While many travelers can use the Internet in order to create their own vacation itineraries, the expertise and knowledge of travel agents means it is arguably the best way to book travel packages. This means it is important for tour operators to maintain correspondence with travel agents to attract new customers. When comparing online and offline travel agencies, you may find networking with online travel agents and retail travel agents will help you boost your bookings. Travel expos and online travel agent groups are two ways you can liaise with travel agents and forge new connections.

Ultimately, growing your business will result in strengthening contacts with travel agents. 

the future of travel

Why customers book through an agent

Similar to offline booking systems, travel agents offer personalized service to customers. They are capable of handling complicated itineraries and soliciting professional advice for customers. Additionally, travel agents can pass on exclusive deals and upgrades for your accommodation or activity that may not be available anywhere else. Another important convenience factor of using a travel agent is that they represent a single point of contact for all arrangements made for your trip.

Tips for getting bookings through travel agents

Here are a few other tips for increasing your bookings through travel agents:

  • Network with agents and let them know that they can earn a commission by booking through your online booking system. This will entice them to sell your tours and activities because it is beneficial to them.
  • Remember that agents will be cross-referencing your information with reviews placed online. Respond to all reviews, and do so as quickly as possible. Make online reputation management a top priority. You can also opt to team up with a professional reputation management agency to help you monitor and respond to reviews around the web.
  • Team up with other tour and activity providers in your area that complement the services you offer. Create a package deal that travel agents can sell to their customers.


Both online and offline booking systems have their place in tourism companies. Online systems allow convenient and accessible round-the-clock booking, while offline systems and travel agents offer expertise and compassion.

For your online needs, Rezdy booking software saves time and energy by allowing tour operators to manage bookings with a single, easy-to-use platform. 

Curious to see whether Rezdy is right for you? Start a FREE 21-day trial or book a free demo today.

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