Tour-Operator Reservation System for Tailor-made Holidays
TORS Reservation system: Setup and Usage checklist
- Setup: tasks and decisions
- Training: Typically one day will cover sales or administrative use,
- Pick a "Go live" date - move from training database to live, ensure best available levels of support round this date
- Sales (accounting) currency
- Should each booking include a base fee e.g. to cover representative fees.
- Markup level - global value and/or more flexible (e.g. based on service type, travel dates); Could use a different global markup level for agents.
- What minimum level of client information is required (e.g. name, phone and email, or just any one of these)
- Deposit amount and full payment date (e.g. 15 weeks before departure)
- Use exact selling price, or round it (e.g. to nearest pound, ten pounds, ...)
- If selling under different brands, include different document designs, allocate product. If no shared product, reporting etc. then consider using an entirely separate account.
- Transaction fees to be applied to some payment methods (e.g. credit cards)
- Location loading - define ports and resorts
- Contract loading - hotel, hire car, transfer, flight, &...
- Description (public and internal) and image loading - optional but good for quotes/itineraries and visible in user interface
- Contact methods: phone, emergency phone, email, web form
- How to hold client deposit between quote agreed and all services confirmed
- Booking terms and conditions
- Comply with Data Protection Act (in UK) by register as a data controller or as relevant to you
- Design work
Typically each tour-operator (and even brand within the operator) prefers
to design distinctive documentation. Default documentation in TORS indicates
a typical layout and shows the data available to be used, but is not
generally intended to be "client ready".
- Quotes - consider including resort, hotel & room-type photographs and descriptions, deep-links into your website, nearby events during the travel dates
- Invoices - credit card transaction fees, agents
- Itinerary - typically more detailed than quote & invoice - timings etc.
- Requests - need to be easily understandable by the supplier
- Ongoing Tasks
- Update exchange rates - possibly forward-buying currency
- Loading special offers - reservation system and website, use reports to help judge effect
- Collect and review client feedback
- Use reporting to check expected margins reached in each booking
- Review any per-hotel margins to improve value or "sellability"
- Daily reporting and follow up for missing payments, supplier requests, unanswered quotes, etc.
- Check incoming quote levels: do online advertising / natural search updates / website layout changes to help improve
- Check quote to booking conversion levels - improve by staff training, better supplier commission levels, improved quote design,
- Brochure - both hardcopy and available online
- Working with agents
- Consider a Travel PR company - for use of Travel related press contacts -notify of special offers.
- Related Systems
- Credit card processor (internet or terminal) - needs merchant accounts. Also consider: PayPal/Googgle checkout, Stripe.com - ensure compliance with PCI requirements; setup may affect charges/payment holding delay, especially for new startups.
- Flight booking: GDS, airline websites, consolidators
- Your website: subset or entirety of product available in res system. Can use TORS API's to get costs for single-centre or custom multi-centre itinerary.
- Web space (typically on your website) for any images included in customer documentation
- Accounting system e.g. Sage, or accountant may prefer their own online system
- Telephone system (PBX) - consider if it can provide statistics, use for taking payments/other simple automation, link to TORS to display relevant quote/booking to staff, and update contact log
- Mailing-list system - can be used to help ensure delivery of and collect statistics for (email) communications
Note: In general, TORS is not linked into these third-party systems, except as noted. Depending on your choice of provider and the access they allow, linking/embedding can be implemented.
Typical life-cycle of a quote/booking
- Incoming request from client
- Input itinerary (possibly during discussion with client)
- Attach itinerary to clients record to save it
- Create revisions of itinerary to give choice to client / match their needs
- Iterate until client accepts a specific revision
- Possibly pre-auth/hold deposit
- Send requests to suppliers for on-request services
- Record incoming supplier replies, chase as required
- Once on-request services confirmed, re-check non-refundables (e.g. low-cost flights) prices and book, bank deposit and invoice client
- Take full payment prior to departure, maybe send updated invoice
- Continue to communicate with client prior to departure and after post return
- Pay suppliers prior/post departure as required
- After suppliers paid, check final margin against quote expectations
- Close booking - locked for auditors