Various services that are associated with travel business would be beyond scope to handle without interventions of technology. Compared to earlier days, the kind of framework on which travel agencies used to work is completely different from today’s technology-driven business world and by integrating a B2B system; travel agencies will move into a more lucrative business environment & reach greater heights consistently.
With the advent of online B2B travel portal, travel businesses have seen an outstanding growth in numbers today and are proliferating at faster pace. While, entire travel & hospitality industry is experiencing a revolutionary phase, it would be vital to know the importance of online B2B travel portal and how it can help bring in robust growth for a travel agent and the Sub-Agent/ B2B network it has.
B2B refers to Business to business system and is a common arena where travel content & product information along with the services are exchanged amongst various business enterprises. Largely, travel businesses are operated either through a B2C or B2B system. Technically, these systems are reservation and booking software’s developed, based on concepts of cloud computing, which support large data management in complex network.
For travel agency in particular, an online B2B travel portal has become very vital because it gets integrated & distributes content to a vast network of global travel businesses. Some of the benefits that travel agencies gets by integrating into an online business to business system are- accessibility to various services that are available with travel content consolidators or aggregators with reservation availability, real time pricing; market specific pricing and various offers and discounts subject to demand & supply. With all this information, travel agencies can execute the reservation process as well as manage their clients and their enquiries without any hassle.
Other features that are part of B2B systems are dynamic B2B interfaces, B2B2B management (agents can create & manage their own sub agents, define their mark-ups, product access etc.), agency management, online quotation management and many more innovative money-spinning features. Through all these features, one advantage that is experienced by both suppliers and travel agents in a great way is reduction in time and cost while executing various booking related tasks.
Building business contract is one important aspect a travel agency should take care while filing a contract into an online B2B travel portal. If contracts are made manually, there may arise many issues such as delays in confirming availability and price distribution, use of older communication mediums which are generally through phone, fax etc. All these factors make the manual process of contracting very labour intensive & in parallel very time and money consuming. Travel booking software are benefiting in a great way by the process of online contracting which happens between travel agents and service/ content providers. Contracts if made online have many advantages compared to traditional manual contracting process done through paper work. Some of the key advantages are better efficiency in time, cost effective and convenience of faster access to updated rates and distribution in single system.
Through B2B channels, travel agency can start generating the revenue from day one without investing much on the marketing. If they have a strong B2B network, there revenue forecast can be calculated from day one. Results are also not much deviated from the forecast as forecast is based on realistic, practical data figures and assumptions. Travel agencies, suppliers, distributors are putting focused approach in creating and maintaining a strong B2B network, which is one of the most important sales channel apart from offline bookings, B2C, white label, XML out, call centre & mobile applications.