• Alina Ostahi

5 Things to consider when selecting your Travel Technology Partner

Updated: Aug 3, 2021



Nowadays in a more and more competitive market and in an industry where profit margins are slim, there is constant pressure on travel agencies to focus on savings and adopt automation and also to develop an online presence to extend their market reach. Let's say you are one of these businesses that decided to take this step and invest or grow your online business. Your next objective is to start looking for the right technology partner that will help you achieve your business goals.

This is no easy task as there are a number of Travel Technology providers out there with a market rich in product offerings ranging from Corporate Booking Tools (CBTs), to Internet Booking Engines (IBEs) integrated with Global Distribution Systems (GDSs) for air content or with Hotel and Car suppliers, to Front-Office, Mid-Office, Back-Office Systems to Web Portals, to automation tools and so on.

The number of solutions and offers can be overwhelming to go through, so here is our recommended approach for overcoming this challenge.

1. Define Requirements

Before you start shopping around for the right Travel Technology partners, you need to identify first what is the business need and what you are looking to achieve with the tool that is the perfect fit. For example, are you looking for a simple portal to gain some online presence or you would like to expand your business and work with sub-agents, in which case a key functionality piece of the tool you are looking for is to support B2B booking platforms.




The platform you will choose will not only need to serve your current needs, but ideally has to be scalable and flexible to integrate with other tools so that it will address also the long-term needs of your growing business.

So, make sure you consider what is needed to sell your current products, but also ensure that there is a possibility to sell other products (either new or complementary to the existing ones).


2. Referrals and Experience

The Travel Technology Partner that will be the selected vendor at the end of the process will have a considerable impact on the growth of your travel business, so be sure to check the past experience of the potential partner and where possible get references from active users of the product - you can also research these online on software review websites such as Capterra or G2 where the partner products may be listed.

3. Schedule a Product Demo


When you managed to filter through the long list of possible partners and defined your shortlist, the next step is to signup for product demos, which would give you a chance to see how the system works in real life, check out some functionality that might not be included in presentations or free trials, but also a product demo with a travel technology partner's representative gives you the opportunity to ask questions that may not be captured or answered in the previous steps.


Partnering with the right technology partner is vital to the growth of your business.


4. Pricing Models

There are a few forms under which travel technology companies could offer their products - for example, Licence, SaaS (Software As A Service), PaaS (Platform As A Service) etc. This greatly depends on where the product is hosted and what is needed for the adopter of the product has to do to integrate into the business ecosystem.

For example, Licence products are best suited for large companies with complex technical expertise large IT operating budgets. For mid-sized or small companies, the bigger advantage is a model where they don't need to maintain this expensive infrastructure, so the solution would be a cloud-based software - which is ideal as a scalable cost-effective solution.



5. Return on investment



Many businesses when acquiring software, put too much focus on the price of the solution as a decisive factor, instead of looking at the overall benefits and ultimately the return on investment. A solution that is flexible, scalable, and offers quality to the buyer's standards, which delivers a quantifiable return on investment should present to be the right choice, as long term this will be more profitable, since in the end a cheaper solution could drive up maintenance costs or slow down business.


Really important is to check pricing upfront and ensure that the model is clear without any hidden costs that would surface later on in the contract.

Take time to do your research before making a final decision, otherwise, a solution that was meant to bring savings and increase profitability could turn out to have a negative impact on your bottom line.



 

To sum up, thorough research and careful consideration has to be made for selecting the right travel technology partner and when the

right fit is found, proper planning has to be made for the implementation of the solution - so a good partner will also be flexible and help with guidance and technical support throughout the process.

We know this is not an easy task, so if you ever find yourself facing such a challenge and in need of guidance, feel free to Get In Touch with us or book a FREE session with one of our Travel Industry Consultants.