Although you may consider yourself an experienced, independent traveler, for others, tour operators and destination management companies (DMCs) offer a fun and wonderful travel experience to unique, monumental places around the world. Not only do they provide a great way to meet different people and learn more from an informed guide offering local insights, but they also allow you to go to places others normally can’t and help wet your feet while traveling to unfamiliar destinations. Which is why many people take their first trip overseas through an organized tour. Having the ability to provide their guests with great hotel experiences throughout the trip is a key selling point for tour operators and DMCs. However, being quick and responsive to their booking needs can be problematic for today’s hoteliers faced with pressing time constraints and limited resources.
The challenge with tour operators and DMC bookings
With summer being a popular time for people to take extended vacations, hoteliers fielding outside-the-system booking needs from tour operators and DMCs can be an especially tricky one to handle. It requires undivided attention and extra resources to oversee marketing efforts, negotiate special rates and manage inventory.
Just how much activity is out there? For hotels located around or near tourist destinations, over 20% of the revenue is driven by tour operators and DMCs. That can add up to a significant supplemental revenue stream and increased bookings for many hotels.
So, what’s the problem? By and large, many hoteliers struggle to manage bookings from tour operators and DMCs. Often times, it can be spur-of-the-moment since these reservations live outside the system, sent via email or fax, which forces hoteliers into an inefficient, painstaking manual process. Rates and inventory are negotiated annually with allocations being managed separately from their other inventory. Bookings come in via fax or email and are manually entered into the hotelier’s system. As a result, this can lead to errors and dramatically limit the number of tour operators and DMCs your hotel’s marketing and sales staff can physically handle. Not to mention, it can greatly hinder the revenue opportunities from this segment.
Automating tour operators and DMC booking process
Imagine your team being able to allocate rates and inventory dynamically, plus make real-time updates to ensure a holistic distribution and pricing strategy across all channels that also includes tour operators and DMCs. Picture your hotel reaching hundreds of tour operators and DMCs with an automated, centralized solution, directly connecting to a wide network of tour operators and DMCs. Visualize the elimination of disconnected processes, where email and fax-based confirmations are replaced with an integrated booking solution that intelligently manages and reports on all tour operators and DMCs distribution and revenue activities.
Unfortunately, transforming your hotel’s operational model with tour operators and DMCs isn’t as simple as closing your eyes and mentally picturing it in your mind. Here are some things to implement to capture more tour operators and DMCs bookings.
- A single solution is the fastest way to improve – You should start the new season by setting up and managing rates, packages, inventory allocation and any other fees for all channels (business, leisure, tour operators and DMCs) with a single, centralized solution. Ensure your rates and inventory are always accurately distributed via two-way API integrations. When everything works together as one, better results occur almost effortlessly.
- Automating reservations enhances channel visibility – To keep from dropping the ball, abandon the manual process of managing tour-related reservations offline from incoming faxes and emails. It’s easier to manage when every booking lives in one system. Accessing all your bookings automatically on the same screen from every channel in real-time dramatically increases your visibility of the whole playing field, allowing your team to easily catch bookings hit at your hotel from every direction.
- Quickly reacting to market changes is fundamental to success – Never let your hotel be caught standing still. Enforcing a single, holistic distribution strategy consistently across all channels from a centralized solution that connects directly to your CRS or PMS, allows your hotel to adapt its rates and inventory quickly to tour operators’ and DMCs’ changing market demands and stay ahead of the competition.
- Analyze the stats to gain greater market intelligence – Knowledge applied is powerful, especially when building a lead over your competitors. Having a solution that lets you leverage built-in reports, monitor business activities across all channels, look at the numbers your tour operators and DMCs produce are vital. Integrated reporting enables you to analyze tour segment performance against other channels and make any adjustments that improve performance.
- Static rates limit your revenue growth – For your hotel team, it’s important to improve revenue yield by replacing annually contracted static rates and inventory blocks with dynamic rates and real-time inventory allocation. Being able to effectively manage inventory, advance bookings, lower-cost competition and fluctuating bouts of supply and demand are essential in driving home more bookings, RNs and ADRs from tour operators and DMCs — producing even greater revenue for your hotel.
Overall, to better field tour operators and DMCs booking needs, many hoteliers need to bolster their capabilities. Adding dynamic distribution and automated connectivity to hundreds of tour operators and DMCs combined with greater administrative efficiency put hoteliers in a better position to easily capture a greater number of travel bookings.
Make the most of every season
Bringing all of this together, SynXis Tour Manager offers hoteliers a smart solution that replaces annually contracted static rates and inventory blocks. With dynamic rates and real-time inventory allocation, hoteliers have an automated, centralized solution designed to maximize efficiency and drive the number of bookings and RNs received from tour operators and DMCs — fully opening up a new revenue stream that leads to greater profitability.