Updated March 2023 –As the travel industry continues to evolve, tour providers are faced with a myriad of challenges that require innovative solutions. From managing bookings to keeping up with customer demands, tour operators must identify creative ways to stay ahead of the competition. Fortunately, online booking and scheduling systems offer a solution to many of these tour provider issues. By implementing an effective online booking system, tour operators can streamline their operations, improve customer satisfaction, and boost their revenue.

But why use an online booking and online scheduling system in the first place? 

Accepting online bookings is central to your ability to run and grow your business. With an efficient online booking system, tour businesses can be confident that they are taking the right steps to streamline their operations and boost their bookings. However, if the online booking system is faulty, it may cause more problems than it is worth.

Let’s take a look at the various tour provider issues solved by online booking systems that can impact the daily running of your business.

1. Last-minute booking changes or cancelations

One of the most frustrating tour provider issues is last-minute booking changes or cancellations. These can be difficult to manage, as they require you to rearrange your schedule and resources to accommodate the change. Without an online booking system, this process can be time-consuming and prone to errors. In addition, you may struggle to apply flexible cancellation policies that allow you to recoup some of the lost revenue. This can have a significant impact on your business, particularly if you are operating on a tight budget.  

Solution: Scheduling automation

Online booking systems offer a solution to this problem through scheduling automation. By automating your scheduling process, you can quickly and easily update your resources to reflect any changes, and ensure that your team is notified of the new booking details in a timely manner.

Another benefit of online booking systems is that they make it easy to update your availability in real-time. If you need to reschedule a booking, you can do so with just a few clicks, and the system will automatically adjust your schedule accordingly. This means that your customers will always have access to up-to-date information about your availability, and can make bookings with confidence. With an online booking system with real-time availability, you can minimize the impact of last-minute changes and cancelations on your business, and ensure that you are able to operate efficiently and effectively at all times.

2. Overbooking a tour

Overbooking is a common tour provider issue that can have a significant impact on your business. If you rely on resources such as vehicles and guides to deliver your tours, it can be easy to accidentally book more tours than you can accommodate. This can lead to a range of problems, including overworked staff, dissatisfied customers, and a damaged reputation. Without an online booking system to manage your bookings and resources, it can be difficult to avoid these issues and ensure that your business runs smoothly.

Solution: Automate availabilities for tours

Fortunately, online booking systems offer a solution to the problem of overbooking through automated availability for tours. By using an online booking system that allows you to manage your resources, you can ensure that availability is automatically blocked for the other tour sessions during a particular time period. This means that you can avoid overbooking your resources and ensure that you are able to deliver high-quality tours to your customers. 

3. Constant phone calls

Constantly answering phone calls from customers who want to make bookings or inquire about your tours can be a major distraction and a drain on resources. This is especially true during busy periods when you have limited staff available to answer calls.

On a similar note, phone calls can be time-consuming and may require additional follow-up communication to confirm bookings or provide additional information. This often leads to an increased workload and can be frustrating for both your team and your customers.

Solution: Easy website bookings

One of the many tour provider issues solved by online booking systems is the fact that with an online booking system, customers can easily make bookings and payments directly through your website, without the need for phone calls or additional communication. This not only saves time and resources but also provides a convenient and streamlined booking experience for your customers. In addition, online booking systems can help you reduce the risk of errors and double bookings, as all bookings are automatically recorded and updated in real time.

4. Managing your business when you’re out and about

If you work in the tourism and travel industry, you probably find yourself outside of the office more often than you are at your desk.

Whether you’re conducting a tour, attending events or conferences, or simply out of the office, it can be difficult to keep track of bookings, manage resources, and communicate with customers. This can lead to missed opportunities, lost revenue, and decreased customer satisfaction.

Solution: Booking management via an app

Luckily, there is a solution to this prevalent problem. With an online booking system supported by a mobile booking app, you can easily manage your bookings from your desktop or mobile devices as long as you have internet access. An online booking system will help you remain on top of your bookings and automatically update your manifests. This allows you to stay connected and in control of your business, no matter where you are. 

5. Letting customers self-serve

One of the biggest challenges for tour companies is providing customers with the ability to self-serve when it comes to booking and paying for tours. This can be a daunting task for businesses that may not have the resources to manage every customer interaction. Customers may also have different requirements when it comes to bookings, such as requesting special accommodations or adding extra people to a booking, which can make the process more complicated.

Solution: Automate booking and payments

One of the major benefits of tour operator booking software is that it helps to reduce high bounce rates that can result from complicated booking processes.

With an online booking system, customers can easily browse available tours, select the date and time they want, and make their payments online. This saves time for both the customer and the tour company, as there is no need for back-and-forth communication, manual booking, and payment processing. Additionally, many online booking systems offer customizable options, allowing customers to make special requests or add additional people to their bookings, all within the same streamlined process.

6. Your cash flow is too slow

Traditional payment methods, such as checks or cash, can be slow and cumbersome to process, leading to delayed payments and an uncertain cash flow. This can create financial strain and limit the ability of businesses to invest in growth opportunities or manage expenses effectively.

Solution: Instant credit card authorization

When a customer makes a booking online, an online booking system can quickly authorize their credit card and collect payment in real-time. This means that tour businesses can receive payments faster, without having to wait for checks to clear or cash to be collected. This feature provides businesses with a more predictable cash flow and allows them to better manage their finances. 

If you’re looking to streamline your tour business and enjoy faster cash flow, then consider checking out Rezdy. With its instant credit card authorization and real-time payment collection, Rezdy makes the payment process more efficient, allowing you to manage your finances better. You can experience the benefits of Rezdy firsthand with our 21-day free trial. Try it out now and see how Rezdy can help your tour business grow.

Want to learn more? Download our Buyer’s Guide to Choosing an Online Booking System

If you are interested in educating yourself on your online booking options, the information in our Buyer’s Guide to Online Travel Booking System Selection for Tour Operators can prevent you from picking a system that doesn’t suit your tour or activity business:

online booking guide

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