Updated July 2022 – Running a tour and activity business is surely a fulfilling profession. And for many fortunate tour business owners, these positive experiences lead to great lasting relationships with their customers. Most of which become loyal repeat customers.

But with any job, comes great responsibilities, and it’s no different for tour and activity businesses. From delivering exceptional customer service, and creating unique marketing strategies to spread awareness, all the way to developing business plans for a smooth operation while staying on top of administrative duties. All these responsibilities are just part of the job of being a tour operator.

Fortunately, with the help of a tour operator booking system, many of the menial and repetitive tasks can be automated. Saving you heaps of time and the costs associated with having to operate these mundane yet important tasks.

In today’s article, we’ll list the advantages and disadvantages of an online booking system and showcase how an online reservation system like Rezdy can smoothen your booking processes and business operations.

Why is an online booking system important?

There are many benefits of online booking systems. And the best part of utilizing one is that it benefits both you and your customers. An online booking software simplifies the overall booking experience for all parties involved in your business.

On the customer side, an online booking system allows them to place a booking online based on their preference and your exact availability. Customers can also make payments on the spot using their preferred payment methods and receive automatic booking updates so that they’re constantly informed. In general, an online booking software will boost your business’s overall customer experience from the first point of contact.

On the tour operator side, an online booking software allows operators to stay on top of their administrative duties from one central management system. It helps to reduce mistakes, automate the majority of your processes and satisfy the overall operations and business needs.

The advantages of online booking systems

Saves you time and money

One of the key advantages of an online booking software is the fact it integrates into your website seamlessly, allowing you to accept bookings 24/7. Once a booking has been placed, the system also sends a confirmation to your customers. This means you can accept bookings without needing to be present or manning your computer.

With an online booking software, your customers can simply jump onto your website and place a booking when and where it suits them – including at the last minute. This helps to increase your chances of maximizing your booking slots.

advantages of online booking system

Simplifies and automates administrative tasks

There’s a lot that goes on in a tour operator’s day. From being inundated with customer inquiries via phone calls and emails to handling cancellations, booking changes, or even no-shows. All these situations are inevitable in the world of tour and activity operators and without an online booking software to handle these situations, it could leave your business in a vulnerable position.

An online booking system such as Rezdy provides you with advanced features that will smoothen your business operations. Features such as:

  • Real-time availability viewer allows your customers to book based on your exact availability. It ensures you avoid overbooking or double-booking slots
  • Automatic communication reduces the need to create repetitive guest communication and eliminates mistakes such as typos, incorrect customer information, and grammatical errors
  • Payment gateway integration allows your business to accept payments from multiple credit card providers and even international currencies. Allowing you to accept online payments in numerous ways
  • Some online booking systems equip you with mobile apps that will help you perform tasks such as check-in and updating time slots while on the move. You can simply download these apps on your mobile devices such as a smartphone and tablets

Boosts your bookings and maximizes your revenue

The majority of your customers are no doubt online – after all, online sales account for 65% of the global travel and tourism market. Ensuring that you’re able to broaden your distribution channels and maximize your revenue by using smart tactics is essential.

By using an online booking software that provides distribution solutions such as Rezdy Channel Manager, you can sell to potential customers of millions online. By using this tour operator marketplace, you can access the reach of 20,000+ reselling agents within the tourism industry. From your local travel agents to popular OTAs such as Tripadvisor, Viator, GetYourGuide, and many more.

Another way that an online booking system can help you grow your revenue is through up-selling. With an booking software in place, you can easily offer your customers add-ons to their bookings such as transportation services, souvenirs (i.e photos), and even meals. Promo codes, vouchers, and special pricing can also be easily set up with a booking software to further entice customers to book.

Gain insight into customer behavior and preferences

Amongst the many advantages of online booking systems, one point that stands out is the chance to better analyze and understand the way your guests are finding, booking, and enjoying your services.

disadvantages of online booking system
By utilizing a booking software, you’re equipped with intuitive reporting tools that’ll help you gain insight into your customer behaviors. You can foresee whether a particular day of the week or a certain tour proving exceptionally popular. You can also plan ahead and see whether there is enough demand in the lead-up to school holidays to require extra staff.

With in-built analytics and reporting tools, you can gain these types of insights and more. This will allow you to make informed business decisions and create an effective marketing strategy (i.e digital marketing & social media marketing).

Tour and booking management is made far simpler

There are many moving parts to operating a tour business. From handling hundreds of booking information, managing, and planning tours, organizing equipment hire, and allocating staff. All these points are just a small part of what keeps a tour business running. However, there’s an obvious benefit amongst the pros and cons of using a booking software: every aspect of the business is simplified and managed through one central system.

This makes it a lot easier for you to sort through customer information, slot availabilities, equipment allocation, and even payment.

The disadvantages of online booking systems

disadvantages of booking system

You’ll need internet access to use the system

This is a factor to consider in the advantages and disadvantages of any online business transaction, and in most cases, you’ll probably have a reliable internet connection to run your business. Online booking is likely only a problem if your business routinely operates without internet access.

Online booking could bring in substantially more bookings

If you do find the right booking system and reseller network, your bookings could potentially see a sudden and significant boost as many of our clients have experienced. In this case, you’ll want to be prepared ahead of time and plan accordingly so you have adequate staffing and resources in place for a busy season!

The wrong booking system could complicate your life

While the right online booking platform will make it easier to take, manage and grow your bookings, the wrong one could make it more difficult to do so. A poorly designed reservation system could even create the disadvantage of poor customer service if guests can’t book easily. So, it’s important to take the time to choose your provider carefully.

Rezdy is rated 4.6/5 stars on Capterra and has plenty of customer success stories. We also provide 24-hour customer support and live chat functionality to help you swiftly troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

Conclusion

Clearly, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages when it comes to online booking systems. However, each booking provider offers slightly different features and functionality, so it’s important that you select the right one for your business.

Fortunately, most companies offer a free trial that’ll let you test drive their products. Some even offer personal demo sessions that’ll help you understand their software better and find out how it can fit into your business.

For example, Rezdy offers a FREE 21-day trial and informative demo sessions with our team of experts. During the trial, you’ll get to test out all the different features we offer and have a chance to experience the simplicity of running your tour business with an online booking software.

Curious to see how Rezdy can fit within your business? Start a FREE 21-day trial or book a demo today.

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