Updated September 2023 – In 2022, 66% of the global travel and tourism market revenue was processed online, and that is expected to grow each year. Which makes you wonder – why? Why are more and more tour and activity business owners in the travel industry, choosing to process their bookings through an online reservation system? And what do they get out of it?

Naturally, it saves time and resources, streamlines business operations, and improves reporting and analytics, but there’s more to it than that. In this article, we’ll take you through the 10 reasons why taking bookings online is a game-changer for tour operators.

10 benefits of an online booking system

1. Convenience for customers

One of the primary advantages of processing bookings online is the convenience it offers to potential customers. Almost all travelers now expect (and even more so post-pandemic) to be able to make bookings online in real-time, and even make changes or additions to their bookings if necessary. The real-time aspect is the key here – if you are taking bookings in one environment, and then processing those bookings internally in another, you lose the real-time ability to update inventory, scheduling, and payment information that customers expect these days. Overall, with an online booking system in place, it reduces the time-consuming aspect of creating a travel booking.

benefits of online bookings

2. Reduced administrative burden

Online reservation systems can also help tour and activity operators, including rentals, reduce the administrative burden. By automating the booking process, tour operators can save time and resources that would otherwise be spent on manual booking processes, such as answering phone calls, responding to emails, or making manual adjustments to schedules and inventory. This allows them to focus on other aspects of their business, such as customer service and marketing.

3. Improved efficiency

By utilizing an online booking solution, tour operators can reduce the risk of overbooking, double bookings, and errors that can occur with manual booking processes. Additionally, they will receive real-time data on their upcoming reservations, allowing them to manage their inventory more effectively and make informed decisions about pricing and promotions.

4. Streamlined payment processing

Online booking systems can also streamline the payment process for both operators and customers. By accepting online payments through a secure payment gateway, such as Rezdypay, you reduce the risk of fraud and ensure timely payments. Additionally, online payment systems can offer a range of payment options, such as credit cards and PayPal, making it easier for customers to pay for their bookings. Plus, by using RezdyPay, you get access to Mobile Wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, which have been shown to increase conversion rates on-site by up to 250% (Shopify).

benefits of online bookings

5. Improved analytics and reporting

Taking bookings online means all your data is in one place – meaning you can make data-driven decisions about your travel management business. These tools provide you with insights into your customer base, including demographics, booking patterns, and preferences. Additionally, analytics tools can help you track your revenue, occupancy rates, and marketing ROI, allowing you to optimize your travel company’s performance. By taking your bookings online, all your data and analytics can be consolidated in one place and analyzed properly and completely.

6. Increased security

There are several reasons taking bookings online is more secure than writing down or remembering payment information:

Encryption: Online booking systems use encryption technology to protect the payment information throughout the entire transmission. This means that payment details are converted into a code that can only be deciphered by authorized parties, preventing unauthorized access and limiting your exposure.

Compliance: By taking bookings online, you ensure that you are compliant with the relevant security standards and regulations, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). These standards and regulations ensure that payment information is held securely and responsibly, leading to the next point.

Limited access: Online booking systems typically restrict access to payment information to authorized personnel only. This means that your payment information is less likely to be accessed by unauthorized parties compared to when it is written down or remembered. When bookings are made offline, sometimes staff will write credit card information down (or even save it in a publicly accessible environment), which opens you up to litigation in case of theft.

Automation: Online bookings automate the payment process, reducing the risk of human error or malicious activity. This means that your payment information is less likely to be mishandled or misused compared to when it is manually processed.

Fraud detection: Online bookings use sophisticated fraud detection tools to identify and prevent fraudulent transactions. This means that your payment information is less likely to be used for fraudulent activities, such as identity theft, chargeback abuse, or unauthorized purchases.

7. Marketing strategies and social media

Certain online booking platforms, such as Rezdy, also integrate seamlessly with marketing strategies. They allow you to engage potential customers through social media through its integration with Facebook, operators can easily add a “book now” button on their social media profile that allows profile visitors to instantly book with your company. Furthermore you can also connect with Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) by using Rezdy Channel Manager, a distribution platform curated specifically for the tourism industry.

Using an online booking system allows you to easily utilize the power of social media to promote your services, share customer reviews, and run targeted advertising campaigns, driving more bookings to your platform.

8. Upsell and add-ons

Online booking software makes it easy to upsell and offer add-ons during the reservation process. You can suggest additional services or products to enhance the customer experience and increase revenue. This capability is often challenging with offline booking methods.

9. Cancellations and no-shows

Online booking systems provide the flexibility to manage cancellations efficiently. You can set flexible cancellation policies and automate refund processes. Additionally, you can send automated notifications to reduce no-shows, ensuring optimal resource utilization.

10. User experience and customer support

With internet access and mobile apps, customers can book your services on the go. This enhances the user experience and widens your reach. A user-friendly online booking platform and mobile app can significantly improve customer satisfaction. Moreover, online booking systems often offer robust customer support to assist both business owners and travelers throughout the booking process.


So, to recap – by taking bookings online instead of offline, tour operators, travel agents, and travel companies will gain:

  • More convenience for customers
  • Reduced admin
  • Improved efficiency
  • Streamlined payments
  • Improved analytics and reporting
  • Enhanced security
  • Integration with marketing strategies and social media
  • Upsell and add-ons
  • Efficient management of cancellations and no-shows
  • Improved user experience with a mobile app
  • Access to comprehensive customer support

Your travel business will continue to remain competitive and meet the evolving needs of your customers, and maybe most important of all – you won’t get left behind as more and more travelers expect the convenience and flexibility of real-time digital bookings.

Ready to begin accepting online bookings? Start your FREE 21-day trial with Rezdy today, or book a demo with our team of experts to see how our product offerings can fit seamlessly within your business.

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