By Blake Ng — 8 Jan 2017
The first step to your strategy involves real-time availability. Displaying your availability on your website in real time has a huge impact on your conversion rate, and eventually in the number of bookings you’ll receive.
In order to sell more tours or activities through agents you need to create the right environment. Different agents, have different needs. In a 12 article series we’ll discuss the steps you need to be aware of to improve your distribution strategy.
Real-time availability allows you to broadcast your live availability across all of your distribution network at any given time. Imagine that you have a basket of eggs, and you are able to showcase that basket to all of your customers at once. They can each grab an egg when they want one, while all of the interested customers can continue to see what’s available in your basket. People can keep reaching for eggs at any time, as long as there are eggs left in the basket!
This is how real-time availability works for tour and activity operators. 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 one time slot is reserved, the entire system is updated and everyone is instantly informed.
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.
Once you’ve set your availability you can share it across all your distribution channels in real-time.