2018 Blastoff (The Future of Tour Bookings)


March 2, 2018

9 min read
Reading Time: 9 minutes

2018 Blastoff (The Future of Tour Bookings)

Zaui Business Blastoff

In 2017, the Zaui team worked Carpal Tunnel inducing hours to build the infrastructure that would lay the foundation for major platform releases in 2018.

SpaceX already put a Tesla into space in 2018 and now Zaui is hellbent on launching your business to amazing heights with the best new technology in the industry.

Before we blast into it, let’s review the major components we built last year. These are mission-critical to setting up the next level of your business and can be bolted to the ship right away. 


The Big Bang in Tickets for Tourism

  • Third-party barcodes: Zaui customers can now print 3rd party barcode formats right onto their Zaui system-generated tickets allowing a simple cross-sell of outside tours, events, or rentals. This new barcode is recognized and “Scannable” at 3rd party locations. The admin work (commissions, accounting, etc) is handled in the background enabling easy cross-selling between suppliers on one ticket. (Business Example: Reselling non-Zaui products/attractions like ski lift tickets to your guests aboard a tour shuttle)
  • Tickets with activation scan: New ability to scan tickets multiple times over a given time period allowing multiple entries to an event or attraction. (Example: 24 or 48-hour tickets that start with the first activation scan – Ideal for hop-on, hop-off transportation operations that need time dependant ticket durations)
Tour Ticket Scanning - iPad - Zaui Software
Transportation tickets are Scannable with a 24-hour activation window.
  • Street-team/guide booking functionality – POS and mobile updates that allow simple check-ins via POS and quick selling functions to track where tickets are sold and activated with the integration of location services. (Example: Track the most successful sales locations and flow of customer use patterns where tickets are being scanned most frequently)

Zaui Customer Case Studies related to Ticket Technology:

Zaui Connect (Local Automated Cross-Selling)

In 2017, Zaui launched the first local ecosystem for tourism suppliers to automate the cross-selling process between a network of local partners. We’ve seen suppliers adopt this local connection tool and increase revenues up to 40% just by embracing local cross-selling.

  • Peer-to-peer channel manager: You can now check 3rd party supplier availability in real-time with a direct selling connection to other Zaui customers with Zaui Connect. Suppliers and resellers can create, amend, and cancel bookings in real-time while automating the data entry and maintaining control of their inventory that is available for resale.
  • Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO’s) joining the party: In-destination tourism agencies can now also check availability and automatically book visitors in real-time to local Zaui tour companies, while all the hard work is done automatically.

Zaui Connect - Supplier Reseller Automation

Zaui Connect and the peer-to-peer channel manager:

New Zaui POS & Mobile Applications

  • Payment improvements: New credit card tipping/gratuity feature was added this year while enhancements were made to receipts and receipt compression, new credit card swiper integration (UniMag II Audio Jack Compatible) and updates that allow editing of customer details after transactions have been made.
  • Zaui POS app for android users (Now Available): The mobility and freedom of Zaui are now available for download on Android. It allows users to create and manage bookings, check-in guests, scan tickets, view and manage real-time inventory, view activity and guest manifests on the go, integrate receipt printers and take credit card payments on the fly.
  • Zaui Mobile for Android (Now Available)

Mobile and POS feature comparisons and downloads:

New Online Travel Agency (OTA) Integrations

2017 saw a host of new online travel agencies join the Zaui distribution network. Zaui’s real-time API connection provides the simplest channel manager for Zaui Suppliers to start receiving bookings while maintaining control of their inventory. You can set up a real-time connection with one OTA or work with them all and control how much inventory is available to sell on each.

Zaui welcomed some exciting travel agency partners in 2017 such as Expedia, Musement, and GetYourGuide that specialize in booking, rating and reviewing tours, attractions and activities. Other major OTA’s on the Zaui network include Viator and Veltra.

Expedia joins Viator, Musement and others as Zaui Software’s latest OTA integration

The world’s largest marketplaces are on Zaui, to know more visit here, The Zaui Distribution Network.

Online Digital Waivers (Smartwaiver Integration)

For all those high flying activity operators, Zaui’s integration with Smartwaiver helps you cover your butt easier than ever before. Now you can send digital waivers for guests to complete before arriving for their tour, activity or event. The waivers are fully customizable and can be sent via automatic email notification.

Operators are able to make the waiver process fast and efficient by going digital. It saves space and paper in the tour office by storing waivers in the cloud. Errors are minimized and personal information is safeguarded increasing the security of your guests and your business.

Smartwaiver Integrates with Zaui

More on Smartwaivers:

Zaui Success Studies in 2017

We saw our Suppliers do some amazing things and experience tremendous growth in 2017. We’ve started a library of case studies to help other tour operators learn from their success.

Tove at the start of the dog sled race

Two of our favourite Zaui international success stories:

  • Leading the Pack – The Largest Dog Sled Operator in the World – Tromsø Wilderness Centre (Norway)
  • Transportation Secrets – Ireland’s Gemstone Airport Shuttle Service – Airporter UK (Northern Ireland)

2018 (The Future is Bright)

The new year brings a lot of excitement for Zaui Suppliers and the Zaui team. We can finally pour you a little taster of what we’ll be serving up this year! (Hint: Its fresh, bold and makes the complex surprisingly simple)

2018 Zaui Core (More Brains + Beauty)

The back office dashboard of your business will look and function a little differently this year. The new intuitive user interface will make your operation much more visual and easier to navigate.

A colour-coded visual representation of reservations and activity manifests gives you more clarity on all the important aspects changing on a daily basis.

New functional attributes have been added and we have been working hard to simplify even the most complex business processes to complete as easy as “Houston 1-2-3.”

Zaui Software - Core - 2018 Backoffice Main
Here is a quick preview of what your new Zaui Dashboard will look like

2018 KPI Engine (Keep Track of Everything)

The key performance indicators of your business are moving to the forefront of Zaui design. The new KPI engine allows you to quickly gain business intelligence and measure your organization’s performance against important milestones, goals and tailor your dashboard for the most important information.

Visual graphs quickly display important metrics like sales, bookings, web traffic and inventory levels. Customize the data overview by selecting a custom reporting period. Get breakdowns of sales channels, top-selling products and geographical representations of customers and web traffic.

Zaui Software KPI Dashboard

Further integrating location services into the Zaui Core will provide a geographic breakdown of top sales locations and a new beta feature we are testing will provide a heatmap based on guest check-in locations.

On the technology front end, we are launching a total revamp of Zaui’s online booking engine that integrates with your website. Even easier for customers to make bookings, more beautiful customer interface and better integration with your existing tools.

Heli-Logic – Smart Inventory Management (Autopilot Enabled)

Zaui’s new Heli-Logic feature was first developed to service heli-ski operations. It has since been applied to wide-ranging business applications like charter flights, corporate and VIP bookings, and tour operators that have a limited fleet and require pinpoint booking efficiency.

The Heli-Logic feature takes the complexity of balancing physical inventory (ex: available seating) and uses intelligent inventory management to balance with many operational factors (load balancing, availability of pilots, tour scheduling, operational costs (Ex: fuel), maintenance downtime, and various other factors you can set) to create optimal bookings. This new proprietary “Smart Tech” calculates operational cost/hour to determine the maximum efficiency and potential revenue of reservations by re-allocating seating and availability.

Heli-Logic Inventory Management - SKY Mountain Helicopter
High-tech Heli-Logic features for Managing Inventory

Heli-Logic Features

  • Intelligent Inventory Assignment (optimize equipment assignments based on operational cost)
  • Offer a wide range of tours and charter options with limited fleet
  • Easily block out inventory for private bookings
  • Constant rebalancing of bookings as additional bookings stream in
  • Schedule downtime for regular maintenance
  • Sell by the seat (split inventory down to the seat level)
  • Set buffer time between bookings (Ex: refuelling and maintenance)
  • Collect customer weight information and be alerted if the total weight exceeds what the Helicopter can carry
  • Assign pilots to different helicopters throughout the day
  • Accept specific equipment requests and lock bookings to equipment
  • Limit the equipment that can be used simultaneously

2018 Zaui Connect: Colonization

We launched and landed Zaui Connect in 2017. In 2018 the colonization has begun. Planet Zaui can be compared to an international space station. We are kind of like the astronaut plumbers making connections to benefit all of mankind (in this case tourism companies). Our alliances form well beyond our own atmosphere.

Soon, the Zaui-to-Zaui channel manager will be extending beyond just Planet Zaui. You will see Zaui suppliers given the ability to connect and cross-sell to partners on other major reservation platforms. Connected real-time inventory with endless possibilities in tourism, transportation and accommodation. It is an exciting time to be a pioneering colonist from Planet Zaui. 

We’ve seen so much strength in this geographic ecosystem that we are partnering with more major players to tap into it. We have cultivated deep regional distribution partnerships that are facilitating major growth in sales and marketing channels for our suppliers. Kory Fawcett, Zaui CTO

Zaui Distribution

Sales & Marketing Priorities & Integrations

Zaui Online Booking Engine Beautification

Zaui’s most customer-facing interface (the online booking engine) will be getting a drastically beautiful makeover in 2018. 

New Automated Consumer Notifications (SMS/Email)

Integrated notifications will keep your guests alert of any changes or updates on their bookings. With the new phone or email notifications you will be able to:

  • Send any custom notification in real-time to a subset of customers. Filter your customer list by activity, travel date, product and more.
  • Send important operational notifications (Ex: cancelled sailings, delays, weather information)
  • Use for sales (Ex: use this 10% promo code for a second tour, refer a friend and receive 15% off)

Zaui - Sales and Marketing Integrations

Picthrive Integration – Simplify Selling Photos and Videos

Zaui has integrated with Picthrive to give suppliers the digital power of selling your photos and videos immediately after an activity has been completed. Guests receive instant access to their photos allowing them to purchase, share on social media and leave with lifelong memories.

Hubspot Integration – Building the Foundation of your Online Business

Hubspot allows Zaui suppliers to integrate their online sales and marketing processes directly into their reservation system. Through a host of tools that integrate your organization’s online strategy on SEO, social media, advertising, blog writing, email tracking and inbound sales funnels, Hubspot can significantly contribute to the number of incoming customers booking through your website.

Routific Integration – Route Optimization 

Routific is the expert in efficiently planning the point A to point B’s of any business that makes pickups, deliveries, or has multiple stops a day. With Routific you are able to plan your transportation route schedule, save time and fuel by finding the most efficient routes and dispatch to drivers by sending them updated routes with a single click.

2018 Zaui POS/Mobile Upgrades

This year we are launching contactless payment integrations like Apple Pay and Touch Pay. We will also be introducing authenticated Chip-Card transactions for credit card providers Europay, Mastercard and Visa for our POS systems.

New customer waitlist/standby functionality will allow suppliers to capitalize on high-demand activities without losing business from last-minute cancellations and no-shows. New Peer-to-Peer data sharing by NFC (Near Field Communications) technology will bring a host of new features to the platform. Zaui continues to develop new notifications utilizing cloud sharing and push notification options. 

Zaui Software Payment Options

Zaui Distribution Network (Bigger, Badder, More Connected)

A long list of new online travel agencies (channel partners) are set to join the Zaui distribution network in 2018. We are currently on-boarding the following.

Among the constant growing network of exciting new partnerships, Zaui is creating new dynamic supplier pricing capabilities. The ability to offer on-demand pricing to OTA’s based on a supplier’s pricing model will allow more control and provide more revenue opportunity while working with outside sales channels. Zaui is also beta testing a feature that would allow suppliers to sell tours in OTA packages (“Tour Bundles”) alongside various suppliers in a geographic market.

The most advanced tour operators choose Zaui

If you are ready to get serious about seriously growing your business, book a demo with Zaui Software. Our friendly experts will walk you through a personalized demo showing off the most advanced features in the industry and how they will integrate to simplify your specific operations.

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