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Don’t forget these four factors when sourcing for an online booking engine
Entrepreneurship is a harsh mistress. And as a travel agent, you’re very familiar with the demands of running a successful business. Living and working in the digital age also brings a unique set of challenges to travel agents. Competition is fierce. There’s more noise, and information overload is rife. People operate in a semi-state of constant anxiety, and too much information can quickly lead to analysis-paralysis. But while technology, in some ways, has made life harder, it’s also made it easier.
Online booking engines and accommodation wholesalers have helped ease a broad range of problems facing the modern travel agent. Communication issues are handled with ease through an online booking engine. Agents have access to a vast swath of accommodations for all classes of travellers. From those looking for luxury stays, to the more budget conscious, online booking engines are travel agents’ greatest ally.
But, again, travel agents can fall victim to information overload when searching for an accommodation wholesaler. Fortunately, though, there are ways to narrow down the field. Below are the top four things you should look for in an accommodation portfolio when deciding which online booking engine to partner with for your travel business.
1. Bigger Isn’t Always Better
Novice travel agents who are unsure of what to look for in an online booking engine can become starstruck by the size of some accommodation portfolios. Sure, it’s impressive to see a considerable number like, “We have over half a million hotels in our portfolio!” But quantity doesn’t always equal quality. Volume can quickly get out of hand. How can an accommodation wholesaler adequately audit all of those hotels? The truth is, they can’t. While you may have more choice with a sizable portfolio, you will be gambling with the quality. Remember, your reputation is everything in business, and it’s always at stake. You don’t want to send your valued customers to a roach motel.
Many online booking engines that have giant portfolios only have them because they’re using third-party suppliers and vendors. Too many fingers stirring the pot can muddy the waters. With third suppliers, these accommodation wholesalers can’t guarantee high-quality on a consistent basis.
So, when you first start shopping around for an accommodation wholesaler to work with, do check out the size of their portfolio. But be careful not to become irrationally impressed with the volume. Make sure they’re auditing their accommodations regularly.
How is Bedsonline different in this regard?
Bedsonline is different from their competitors because we directly contract with 60% of our hotels.
What does this mean for travel agents?
It means that we’re able to negotiate for better contracts, conditions, rates, and availability in the most sought-after destinations.
You’re busy. We get it. The last thing you want to do is worry about how to use a tricky interface. An accommodation wholesaler’s B2B portal shouldn’t have to come with a novel-sized instruction manual and hours-long tutorials. When you’re looking to partner with an online booking engine, you want to keep the interaction simple, straightforward, and quick. Shop around for an interface that’s easy for you to navigate and understand. Otherwise, you’ll waste time and energy sifting through a portfolio.
3. Customer Support and Service
Along with a friendly user-interface, it’s crucial that the online booking engine values your experience, wants and needs. They also need to be quick to respond to queries and remedy any issues you may have with the service. What makes Bedsonline different than their competitors, besides our high-quality portfolio, is that we want to be your partner. We approach the accommodation wholesaling business as a service for our valued travel agents. We offer an array of free resources and tools to help grow your agency, too. Not only will you get access to a broad swath of high-quality accommodations in hot locations, but you’ll also have numerous, free and valuable resources at your fingertips when you partner with Bedsonline.
You want to make sure that whichever accommodation wholesaler you choose has a variety of options available in their portfolio. You’ll need a range of different styles and tiers of accommodation.
- A range of star-ratings
- Vacation rentals
You’ll also need ground transportation to make transfers easy and convenient for your customers. Plus, it’s not all about where the customer stays. It’s also about the unique activities they’ll participate in. Travellers want unforgettable experiences, and an online booking engine with a plethora of location-specific activities can provide easy ways to access and book these experiences for your clientele.
It’s not always easy to know what the best direction and tools are for your business. But online booking engines and their accommodation portfolios make running a successful travel agency a little easier. Don’t forget these four factors when sourcing for an online booking engine. It’s crucial for your success that whoever you partner with has a robust, and high-quality portfolio.