About TravelTech

It’s overwhelming how much technology transforms the way we travel. Mobile check-ins increase customer satisfaction tenfold, content from travel brands helps travelers make a final decision about destinations, and the whole 83 percent of millennials don’t bother about personal data sharing as long as it gives them the desired personalization. AR tours, data-driven flight shopping, Alexa in hotel rooms – this is just the tip of the TravelTech iceberg. Here, on Techtalks, you can discover new opportunities for your travel business, ask about the integration of certain technology, and of course – help others by sharing your experiences and reviews. Let’s grow the TravelTech community together.

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asked Aug 15, 2019
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Maryna Ivakhnenko
answered Aug 13, 2019

Hello Smail,

At the current moment, nearly all the largest low-cost airlines signed distribution agreements with GDS’s. You may contact their sales managers to get an API connection to some of the low-cost carriers.

As a matter of fact, the first GDS to consolidate only low-cost carriers was Navitaire, currently owned by Amadeus GDS.

Or, you can contact dedicated platforms, that consolidate low-cost only airlines. These are Pyton Flight Portal that offers over 100 low-cost carries via an XML API, and tfFlight platform owned by travel content aggregator Travelfusion.

You can learn more about the available low-cost API’s in our dedicated article.

We hope it answers your question!

Olexander Kolisnykov
answered Aug 12, 2019

Hi there,

Hotelbeds is the leading wholesaler on the market with proven technology support and rich inventory. So, it’s definitely the first place to go and try. HotelsPro is much smaller, but it’s also worth checking out as they claim to have content mapping technology. If you get hotels from multiple sources, content mapping is a need-to-have feature. But keep in mind that you can get content mapping also from tech companies that specialize in it, like Giata or Gimmonix.

Besides the technical part of it, your choice boils down to specific deals that you can negotiate with wholesalers. If you can get better rates at HotelsPro, it may be the best option for you.

Also, check out our article on hotel APIs for more detail.

Olexander Kolisnykov
answered Aug 14, 2019

Hi there,

First, this business model is viable. There are hundreds of online travel agencies that work with flights and hotels only.

But it’s actually hard to give absolutely accurate numbers. Why? The thing is, every online travel agency tries to get a competitive edge over others by finding the lowest rates possible to increase their margins. This can be done by negotiating rates with GDSs, suppliers, and consolidators/wholesalers. And, these negotiated deals aren’t usually disclosed.

Traditionally, commissions that large OTAs like Expedia and Booking.com receive range from 15-30 percent in the hotel industry. If you use the Booking.com API as a partner, expect an average commission of about 15 percent going to Booking.com with commissions differing based on the region.

Flights are more complex and commissions there are usually lower. But they will depend on the agreements that you negotiate with providers, GDSs in particular. Also, keep in mind that you won’t be able to issue tickets if you aren’t IATA-certified. This also comes at a cost that will depend on what kind of travel provider you are and the regions you operate in.

Also, a large part of online travel agency success revolves around the search and commission engine that you tweak on your side.

Finally, you have to invest heavily in marketing to jumpstart your traffic.

So, yeah it’s a viable business model if you do a lot of things right.

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Maryna Ivakhnenko
answered Aug 5, 2019

Hi there,

So, a few things to have in mind when choosing a channel manager:

Your desired reach, meaning the number of connections it has to distribute your rooms at. For example, the most popular CM Siteminder has 350 channels, and TravelClick (according to its website) will connect you to 400 OTAs. Not bad at all.

Next, what niche of channels does it connect to? Do you want to be listed on the biggest websites or specialty ones? Dig through their list of connections to make sure it works for you.

Also, of course, the price you’re willing to pay. CMs usually have you pay a service fee per month plus the percentage of revenue from each channel or fee per each booking. Usually, the monthly fee will be below $100, but it greatly depends on the number of rooms you have. TravelClick doesn’t have the pricing listed on the website, but if you contact them directly and describe your situation, they should give you that info. Don’t forget to compare it to the prices from other CMs, we have described the main competitors here.

We can’t give you a direct answer whether you should use TravelClick. Try as many channel managers as you can (thankfully, many have a trial period) and make an educated choice.

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Olexander Kolisnykov
answered Jul 30, 2019

Hi there,

I don’t think you can, because Dohop uses a Booking.com affiliate solution to run its accommodations. So, you should try Booking.com affiliate program instead.

Maryna Ivakhnenko
answered Jul 23, 2019

Hi there,

I think what you’re looking for is Booking.com and Expedia affiliate programs. They suggest various widgets that you can integrate in iframe.

Regarding Kayak, they don’t use iframes. If you consider making metasearch functionality similar to Kayak, you’ll likely need to integrate both Expedia and Booking.com APIs to source IDs and other hotel content. Again, to connect Booking APIs, you’ll have to sign up for their affiliate program. To access Expedia API, apply here.

Olexander Kolisnykov
answered Jul 12, 2019

Hi Vanit,

I’m afraid we don’t have a full list of those. We are planning to release an article with a wide overview of the largest room suppliers this month. So, stay tuned. Meanwhile, you may read our article about travel APIs. We mention many suppliers there.

Olexander Kolisnykov
answered Jul 11, 2019

Hi there,

We mostly work with GDSs. So, Amadeus suggests 2,000 free requests per month for low-fare search and 3,000 requests for a regular search, given that you use their self-service APIs. Sabre doesn’t have fixed rates and everything must be discussed individually.

As for other players, Skyscanner claims to provide all API services for free, if you can negotiate commercial partnership with them. Their limit is up to 100 requests per minute for live prices. You are right that Kiwi doesn’t provide open info on their rates, so it’s worth contacting them directly. The same for Travelfusion, Orbitz, and Priceline.

You can also try your luck with ATPCO, that’s where all flight prices come from.

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AltexSoft
answered Jun 27, 2019

First, you need to become OpenTable affiliate. You have to fill in the form and pass their vetting procedure. If they approve you as a partner, you’ll be able to source restaurant info via their API and place reservation links in your app or website. Currently, OpenTable doesn’t allow for running full reservation process via the API. Your users will have to complete reservations using the OpenTable interface. The API sources publicly available restaurant info such as addresses, postal codes, aggregated scores, number of reviews, and food categories. The data is sent and received in JSON.

If OpenTable API doesn’t work for you, you may check other restaurant and review APIs that we’ve talked about in our article.

Alayna Alva
asked Jun 15, 2019
Maryna Ivakhnenko
answered Jun 7, 2019

Hi there,

Traditionally, GDSs offer access to back office via dedicated account. That assumes you will have to sign a contract with whichever GDS provider you choose and discuss the price to access this data personally. In any case, there is no well-known GDS back-office system that offers openly-published data without any subscriptions.

We hope it answers the question.

Maryna Ivakhnenko
answered Jun 12, 2019

Hello,
 
Perhaps, there are not many options rather than described in official PNR retrieval guides by SABRE. Concerning the price, retrieving PNR doesn’t require any payments, despite the fact you have to be subscribed to SABRE.

Maryna Ivakhnenko
answered Jun 12, 2019

Hi there,
 
The most popular backoffice solution available for SABRE is TRAMS Back Office, which comes as a part of SABRE Red Workspace. Unfortunately, both solutions are desktop, meaning they have to be installed on each computer. As for the pricing, there is no publicly available information about the subscription price.
 

Olexander Kolisnykov
answered May 31, 2019

Hello Mark,

We don’t have direct experience with Skyscanner, so it’s hard to tell how exactly their vetting process works. But it’s true that they don’t reply to everyone and may expect some traffic before letting you use their products.

You may try working with GDSs that support small businesses with a handful of APIs. Amadeus, for instance, has flight APIs that are free for test environments, have a limited number of free calls, and fees once this threshold is exceeded.

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AltexSoft
answered May 29, 2019

The main providers of car rental APIs are global distribution systems (GDSs): Sabre, Amadeus, and Travelport. You should contact them directly to gain access and receive and API key.

It may be a challenging task for a small business to get full access to GDSs solutions, so you can consider traveltech providers that support car rental connection like Trawex or Travelpro.

There’s also some support at online travel agencies (Skyscanner, Priceline, etc). To access those, you normally must use affiliate partner contacts. Finally, one of the largest car rental suppliers, Avis, has a public API.

Besides APIs, many suppliers support affiliate links and banners, if that works for you. You may check car rental connectivity options in our article in more detail.

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AltexSoft
answered May 22, 2019

EDI stands for Electronic Data Interchange. Basically, it’s a network established between two physical computers that can exchange data using messages with a data transmission protocol. In the modern world, EDI systems can use internet connection and modern data exchange protocols like HTTP.

EDI systems are used to exchange different sorts of standardized documents between two computers. The documents are formed by the computer itself, so human involvement is minimized. Traditionally, document types generated by EDI are purchase orders, invoices, bills, or shipping statuses. Those are generated in a standardized form to avoid language barriers or other human factors making its possible for two agents understand each other. EDI is actively used in transportation and logistics for shipment document exchange.

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Maryna Ivakhnenko
answered May 2, 2019

Hello tanguy colou,

The most precise answer would be: Skyscanner doesn’t need to connect with GDSs, as long as GDS provides distribution and booking capabilities. Which is not the case for Skyscanner, as they consolidate flight data from various sources, and allow users to find this data.

As we can judge from the available information, Skyscanner may source their information in a couple of different ways:

  1. API connection with data aggregator platforms like OAG and ATPCO. Since 2018 Skyscanner also participates in IATA’s NDC exchange platform along with ATPCO and SITA.
  2. Skyscanner is also known for screen-scraping RSS feed data from OTA or airline's websites, that don’t have travel APIs in free access. Nevertheless, Skyscanner is allowed to source data via screen-scraping, like in the case with Ryanair.
  3. As an exception, Skyscanner took part in Altea NDC platform development, which is owned by Amadeus. As a result, Skyscanner allows booking Finnair tickets without leaving Skyscanner.com.

So, basically, Skyscanner uses API connectivity with available carriers or OTAs to source data, or screen scrape it. If you are interested in connecting with Skyscanner, you may read about their available APIs in our dedicated article.

Hope it gives you the answer to your question!

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AltexSoft
answered Apr 25, 2019

Hotels.com has an affiliate program that you may try. But it’s hard to tell whether their affiliate program provides you with an API. Since Hotels.com belongs to Expedia, it shares hotel inventory with most Expedia brands, including Hotwire, Orbitz, Trivago, Travelocity, and many more.

Instead of Hotels.com integration, we’d recommend considering Expedia Partner Solutions. Check what they offer at their website or in our article on travel APIs.

Olexander Kolisnykov
answered Apr 16, 2019

Hello Ted,

We haven’t heard of that kind of software. Usually, channel managers and other travel data providers reveal their data to hotels, property/revenue management systems, online travel agencies, and metasearch engines – basically, customer- or hotel-facing businesses to support room reservation.

Without any detail about the problem you're trying to solve, it’s hard to suggest anything specific. But if you consider data mining and analysis, consider open datasets like these on data.world. Also, check what’s available on data.gov for hotels, and Kaggle for hotel reviews.

Have a look at our article on mining public datasets. These datasets can provide you with locations, reviews, and some inventory details. But if you're looking for pricing and changes in pricing over time, this might be a much trickier data-mining problem. There are some datasets with pricing like this one but usually the pricing and demand data isn’t available in dataset formats.

I hope this helps.