Travel companies across the world, are mobilizing innovative, cost-effective solutions to explore technological approach to market their products or services. Travel portal development is a buzzword with all the travel agencies.
Few enterprises develop travel portals internally and have an in-house development team. Other enterprises outsource it to the third-party travel portal development companies.
The demand for developing B2C and B2B travel portal applications and software is rising exponentially in the United States, India, Africa, UAE, and Far-East regions.
What is travel portal software?
A comprehensive web-based online booking system, addressing the needs of the travel industry, it is mainly used by travel management companies, travel aggregators, B2B/B2C travel agencies, tour operators and freelance travel agents.
Travel portal development companies provide services like consulting, development, and maintenance of all aspects of B2B and B2C travel portal development along with API integration for hotel booking, flight booking, travel packages, car rental, bus booking, cruises, and insurance.
- Flight Booking (Domestic and International)
The online travel portal will be linked to the specific flight reservation process using an API that will collect information about online inventory of flight tickets from backend and publish the relevant details on the application’s front-end in a GUI format.When the user selects a result, it redirects the user to the linked payment gateway to complete the reservation.
Example – You wish to travel to Thailand from New York. The following images will guide how you can book a flight on an online travel portal
Click on ‘SEARCH’ tab after entering necessary details such as Flying From, Flying To, Departure date, and No. of passengers
Click on ‘Book’ tab to book the best flight for you
Click on ‘CONTINUE’
Enter your ‘Email Address’and click on 'Continue'
Enter traveler details and Click on ‘Continue’ to be redirected to payment gateway
Enter Payment Details and click on ‘Make Payment’ to complete flight reservation process.
2. Hotel Booking: Travel portals search for ‘Hotels’ from their own inventory and the specific API will display hotels available at lowest tariffs. When you select a hotel, the API redirects you to the payment gateway for processing.
3. Car Booking: Similar to the ‘Hotel Booking feature’, this API searches for best options available (from the inventory) in the city entered by you. Then, it redirects you to the payment gateway.
4. Bus Booking: The API displays best possible options available based on customer search in the specific city, following which the user will be redirected to the payment gateway.
5. Best Holiday Packages: Travel development companies design CMS-driven domestic/international packages according to user needs. A travel portal understands customer needs through online form enquiries.
6. Foreign Exchange: Efficient travel portals include an Admin module to display the updated foreign exchange rates of currencies to help users make the best purchase decision. Credit card payments are processed using a payment gateway.
7. Integration of Payment Gateway: You can make online payments using your Credit Card or through multiple globally-accepted payment gateways such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express, WorldPay, PayU etc.
8. Incorporate SMS Gateways: This API helps in sending SMS to end-users once the booking is confirmed or PNR is created.
9. Agent Accounts: Multilayer admin console is pre-defined when developing a travel portal.Travel portal agents use the login facility to add funds to their accounts but only up to a certain limit.They can book flight tickets or hotel deals using their deposit account. Different options available include:
- Creating sub-users
- Check booking reports
- Monitor booking status
- APIs available to cancel bookings
- Check invoices and vouchers
- Generate Commission reports
Elements of designing a travel portal
Essential elements of travel portal development include eye-catchy user interface, quality page navigation as well as SEO-friendly website. Ideally, you must choose a travel portal development company with expertise in B2B/B2C travel web portal experience, UI / UX, and can easily manage APIs for booking and hotels.
While selecting a travel portal development company, you must emphasize on including the following elements:
1. Responsive web design: Nowadays, customers browse websites on their mobile devices to make a booking. Hence, your site or app must provide excellent user experience and should be convenient to navigate using a mobile device.
2. SEM: Search Engine Marketing (SEM) ensures your website appears on the top of the search engine results. A travel development company increases visibility through organic and advertised links present on Google, Bing, Yahoo etc.
3. CTA buttons: Ultimately, your website is a tool for lead generation. Hence, it becomes crucial to place appropriate call-to-action (CTA) buttons in the relevant spaces of your travel portal.
4. Content Management: Content arranged in a haphazard manner will hamper your business. Prepare short, crispy content that will be relevant for the end-customers. Remember to address the context of the customer needs to add value. Infographics, images, and other visual content gives a better look and feel to the design of your travel website.
5. Special offers/Promotional deals: The design of your travel portal must highlight best deals/ promotional offers for increasing traffic. Many users prefer to plan their holiday when they get good discounts on the price of flight tickets. Some prefer to travel in the off season in order to save money. Hence, a travel portal development company should devise a tailored plan to manage deals and integrating the website with seasonal updates to attract more site visitors.
Enhancing Growth of Travel Companies With Big Data Analytics
It is crucial to provide relevant customer insights quickly to travel companies so that they can design their solutions appropriately. Big Data offers a huge scope to travel development companies; its enormous progress will create exciting opportunities for travel agencies and tour operators in the forthcoming years. An accurate understanding of customer tastes and preferences will enable travel companies to offer customized solutions and improve their user experience.
Harness the power of Social Media
An avid traveler can get enough information about the travel destination with the help of social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Interesting facts about places not travelled, global cuisines not tasted yet, and hotels yet to be explored.
Travel portals and agents integrate the features of travel technology to educate customer needs and create customized tour packages.
Integrating social media in your website helps in increasing your online presence along with streamlining information related to deals and holiday packages to provide an optimal travel solution.