Scaling Up Your Tour Business? Here is What Your Booking Software Needs


September 1, 2022

6 min read
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Do you have plans to scale up your business?

If the answer is yes, you must have the right tech partner with helpful tools and features. The technology partner—your booking software—can make it easier, more efficient, and less expensive to scale a business. 

In case you have already adopted booking software, it’s time for you to evaluate whether your online booking system has the capacity to meet your growing needs. 

Your initial online booking system setup may just be a simple booking interface to reduce administrative work and lower operational costs. As you grow, you need more tools to enhance the guest experience and gain a competitive edge.

Here is a quick walk-through of what you need to scale your business. 

Channel Manager to Step Up Distribution

Distribution is a key factor in your growth plan. Selling your tours and activities through various distribution channels such as Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) helps you reach travellers worldwide. While widening your distribution network, managing these new channels can be daunting.

Channel Manager is your solution! The channel management tool on your online booking system acts as your centralized dashboard to view your resellers. It helps you automate partner and sales relationships. And it can effectively manage resellers in your sales network.

Channel Manager enables real-time inventory mapping. It ensures consistency across all channels and avoids overbooking by any of your resellers. The Channel Manager also lets you decide the products you want to offer to other resellers. 

For example, Zaui’s Channel manager lets you decide how you want to define the partnership with resellers. Sometimes you may want to limit your inventory for certain resellers and open more of it to other resellers. The Channel Manager tool allows you to do that with ease. In short, as a supplier, you will be in the driver’s seat, with complete control over your inventory.

Automated Email and SMS to Improve Communications

When your guests grow in number, reaching out to them may not be easy. But, that shouldn’t stop you from communicating with them. 

Keeping your guests in the loop with all the information they need to know is vital in providing them with a seamless pre and post-tour experience. Even after the trip, you have many opportunities to collect business reviews and attract them with offers to come back.

Automating emails and SMS can handle all these communications and avoid the tedious work of creating emails manually for every booking. An online booking system can help you do this! You can pre-draft emails on your reservation system and set the time and date for these emails to go out. 

When customers make a booking, your system can automatically send the booking confirmation email to your customer. If you want to send pre-trip information, you can set that too in your system. And more importantly, you can send an email requesting reviews from your customers after the trip. 

Learn the five essential guest communications emails every operator should send to nurture guest relationships and promote brand loyalty.

Digital Waivers to Elevate Guest Experience

Still working with paper waivers? You are missing an opportunity to digitize your business and take your customer experience to the next level. 

The long waiting line caused by the last-minute waiver completion process is never a pleasant experience for your guests. As you scale your business, your focus should also be on providing a seamless check-in experience for customers.

Digital liability waivers can streamline the waiver process and avoid frustrations caused by paper waivers. You can send these digital forms to guests immediately after booking or shortly before arrival. They can open the document, read and sign it at home or on the go, right from their devices. It avoids any unnecessary delay on the check-in day. 

A tourist using digital waivers offered by Zaui booking software

Your staff doesn’t need to walk around with their clipboards and pens, distributing the paper waivers. And they don’t need to manage the stack of waiver forms, sort them out and keep them secure. 

It allows your staff to spend more time caring for your guests than managing administrative work. Also, consider the money you save on printing and storing the waivers. You can spend the resources efficiently elsewhere.

Upselling Features to Increase Revenue

Upselling is another great revenue-generating opportunity as you grow. It’s not just about revenue, it’s also about equipping your customers with what they need to make the most out of their trip.

When you are on a pen-and-paper booking system, it may not always be easy to convince your customers to add another tour or product to their existing booking. However, online bookings might be different.

Guests already on your website and have placed a product or route in their cart might be willing to add more to their itinerary. You can easily promote add-ons and packages to guests already on the website. You just need to make sure the upsell is relevant as possible.

A screenshot of upselling feature from Zaui online booking software

Your online booking system can take care of upselling. You can configure the booking software to display relevant product add-ons on the product or cart page when your guests are ready to check out. Besides tours and activities, you can upsell equipment or products such as safety gear, additional luggage, food/snacks, or even cancellation insurance. 

While upselling enhances customers’ online buying experience by adding additional tours or products to their cart, it boosts the average booking value and increases your revenue.

Tools to Run Your Business On the Go

As you scale up, you may want to improve the market visibility and explore different ways to sell your products, including street sales. A mobile and point-of-sale app is what you need to drive street sales and streamline the walk-up experience for your customers. 

Equipping your business to run on the go will help you capture more in-destination bookings. Your street team and guides can easily pull up the next available tour or activity, book guests and accept payments from their tablets or phone. You can eliminate long lines and check-in guests from activity manifest or by scanning QR codes off tickets or phones. 

A tour operator using Zaui Mobile

Also, having the capability to connect your mobile device with a variety of compatible hardware ranging from cash drawers and receipt printers to credit card swipers and scanners will help you streamline your payment processes.

The secure and contactless payment system enables you to accept payments using an integrated contactless or chip-in-pin credit card swipe. Your guest can pay by scanning credit card details directly from their phone or tablet’s camera, ensuring a five-star guest experience.

Advanced Reporting For Better Decision Making

Constantly measuring business performance to optimize marketing, sales, and operational strategies is vital for any business.

Insights into what works and what doesn’t, help you make smarter business decisions for the next season. Most booking software come with a standard reporting template such as the total booking volume, total sales or total revenue.

But, a growing business needs more data to take stock of where it stands today. You may want to know those sales channels that brought the most revenue or the recent trends in your customer’s purchasing behaviour. Or sometimes, you may need data to investigate cancellations that happened during the season.

So, make sure that your online booking system has the tools to provide you with custom reports to analyze, not just pre-built report templates.

Let’s take Zaui booking software, for example. Besides daily insights, Zaui allows advanced reporting with its latest feature, Report Builder. You can choose the data you want and create a custom report. 

Suppose you want to get the sales report alone at the end of the season. Report Builder allows you to generate a sales report with the right combinations of data you need. 

  • Simply select the required data from the drop-down menu
  • Add filters, if any and choose a time range
  • Create the Report
  • Save it for future access
  • Schedule the report daily, weekly, monthly, or at a specific time 
  • Send it to any number of recipients

Final Word

Expanding your business is a big step. While setting up your business for further growth, ensuring that you have the necessary resources to make a move is crucial. 

If your business has an online booking system, talk to their team to know in-depth about the tools and features that can keep up with your growth. 

If you are looking for booking software with the potential for long-term partnership and scalability for your tour and activity business, we can help you! You can book a call with us and learn more about the Zaui features that can support your business. 

Want to know more about Zaui! Talk to Us Today!

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