Updated March 2023 – As the travel and tourism industry continues to digitize its processes, modern travelers are beginning to acclimatize to seamless user experiences. From the ability to perform quick and secure online payments to receiving instant confirmation, all of these functionalities are what is expected from tour and activity businesses, today.

One feature that many tour operators have deemed as a major customer request is real-time availability. In this article, we’ll explain what real-time availability is and how it can put your business at a significant advantage.

What is real-time availability?

Displaying your availability on your website in real-time has a huge impact on your conversion rate, as it guarantees your customers a spot within your tour and activity schedule. Thus, customers are willing to secure the booking knowing that they’ll get a guaranteed spot.

Real-time availability is the automation process of broadcasting your live availability across all of your distribution networks at any given time. With a real-time availability viewer, you can showcase all of the tours that you have available, and the entirety of your distribution network can see those options. As soon as a time slot is reserved, the entire system is updated and everyone – including your resellers – is instantly informed.

Real-time availability viewer automates your processes

Put simply, if you have 10 available sessions per day, and six of those sessions have been booked out, a real-time availability viewer will only showcase those four available slots wherever your services are being distributed. This includes your website and any of your reselling partners’ platforms.

Real-time availability is extremely convenient not only for you but also for the agents who are looking to resell your tours and activities. An increasing number of agents are working solely with tour operators who offer real-time availability, as it significantly decreases the risk of overbooking and improves their own customer satisfaction ratings. If you want to work with more agents and expand your network, real-time availability is a must.

The benefits of real-time availability viewer

Saves you time

Utilizing a real-time availability viewer will save you a significant amount of time. This is because you’ll no longer need to cross-reference and double-check your calendar to fit your customers in. With a real-time availability monitor, the process of double-checking your calendar becomes obsolete as the system automates your inventory organization.

Furthermore, it’ll save you heaps of time spent responding to customer requests for availability information. Meaning, you’ll spend less time on the desk and more time focusing on more important parts of your business.

Creates a better customer experience

As technology continues to advance, everyday processes have started to become a whole lot more instant. Therefore, travelers nowadays also expect booking processes to be seamless and efficient.

With a real-time availability viewer, your customers are able to pick from your available slots that best suit them, at their own pace. This puts the onus of finalizing the booking onto your customers. However, by utilizing a real-time availability viewer, your customers will be more prone to book due to the security of knowing that they will 100% be guaranteed a spot.

Overall, a real-time availability viewer provides your customers with a better experience as they’re able to make a booking hassle-free.

Reduces hassles and headaches

When running a tour and activity business, you’re bound to handle booking changes and cancellations. With an online booking software that provides you with a real-time availability viewer coupled with other advanced features, you’d be able to reduce the hassles and headaches of managing availability changes and performing any inventory changes.

For instance, a reservation software like Rezdy automates the process in the event of booking updates. When a customer changes or cancels their booking, the system will re-list these newly available slots back onto your website and any other distribution platforms you’re on. Thus, prompting the real-time availability tool to update your availabilities.

Furthermore, Rezdy’s software goes even deeper with automatic manifest updates functionality. Meaning, all your staff in the back office are notified of any changes to further boost a seamless business operation. Thus, saving you the hassles and headaches of having to manage all these administrative duties yourself.

What are the industry’s best practices for implementing real-time availability?

Do not set a deadline for when travelers can book your tours and activities

Allow them to book up until the last minute. There are many agents that specialize in last-minute bookings, and they will book customers even on the day of the tour. If you can allow people to book up until hours before the tour begins, you will see an increase in your overall bookings through your agents.

Ideally, it’s best to give people the option to book until at least 2 hours prior to the start of the tour. Of course, you can’t have a “no deadline” at all because you need to prepare your tour, but it’s best practice to make it as short as you possibly can.

Schedule your availability up to 2 years in advance

When you offer bookings in advance, you provide travelers who love to book early with options for their stays. But beyond that, agents will find you to be a more trustworthy tour and activity company. Your advanced schedule indicates that you have a strong, stable business that is continuing to grow, and also proves that you are organized and committed to your business.

By allowing customers to book up to 2 years in advance, agents know that they can book their customers on one of your tours, and they don’t have to follow up with you in order to verify that you are still going to be offering that same tour at the scheduled time.

How can you set your business up with a real-time availability viewer?

Now that you have a basic understanding of how a real-time availability viewer will be able to enhance your tour and activity business, here’s how you can set your business up with this advanced feature.

The simplest way to start utilizing the real-time availability tool is through online booking software, such as Rezdy. Rezdy is the world’s leading independent booking software designed specifically for tours and activities. Rezdy equips your business with real-time availability functionality that pairs well with other features such as:

  • Automated guest communication that automatically sends booking confirmations and reminders once a booking has been finalized
  • The ability to accept secure online payments via integration to top-of-the-range payment gateways
  • Automatic manifest updates that will re-list your available services in the event of booking changes and updates.
  • The ability to execute a dynamic pricing strategy by showcasing your real-time prices depending on the parameters that you set. (e.g weekday and weekend prices)

Ready to start utilizing the real-time availability tool? Start your FREE 21-day trial with Rezdy today, or book a demo with our team of experts.

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to subscribe to the Rezdy newsletter, where you’ll receive weekly updates and learnings from the experiences industry, straight into your inbox.

Start utilizing a real-time availability viewer

Enjoy 21 days to take a look around and see if we are a good fit for your business.

Get started today

No obligations, no catches, no limits, nada

activity tour business
section break
section break