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.

AltexSoft
answered Nov 1, 2018

While they are subsidiaries of the same holding company, there are some differences both in terms of business models and the ways they partner with affiliates.

Booking.com is an online travel agency, meaning that travelers pay a hotel directly for a stay including a fee to an affiliate and Booking itself. They use a progressive approach to affiliate earnings. In other words, the more checkouts per month you generate, the higher your earning rate is. For instance, if you bring only 0-50 customers, your rate will be 25 percent. If you make 501 or more, you get 40 percent. Booking provides an API. You can also place branded banners and widgets on your website or integrate a search box.

Agoda combines a travel agency model (similar to Booking.com) with that of a wholesaler. The latter means that at some hotels they purchase an inventory in advance to sell at a higher rate. Agoda also suggests a progressive approach, but in this case, you can get 35-60 percent in commission earnings. You can use an API, Agoda ads, links to integrate with the portal, and some other tools.

As you’ve guessed, Booking is a more robust and complex product than Agoda. And it deals with a lot more customers daily, being the largest accommodation OTA in the world. It’s also a more trusted one. On the other hand, with Agoda you have the potential of earning a higher commission per checkout.

1.3 K views 1 answer 0 votes
AltexSoft
answered Sep 30, 2019

GDS industry is monopolized by three players, Travelport included. So we’ll compare it with the other GDS - Amadeus and Sabre.

First, we have to admit that Travelport is less popular among OTAs than Amadeus and Sabre. Still, it has strong sides and we’ll tell about them.

Industry coverage. It all depends on what travel service you want to integrate. The table below shows that Travelport is a good choice to reserve airplane seats, hotel rooms, and cruises. But when it comes to railways and car rentals, they don’t cover that much.

GDSs-in-numbers

Market share. Using the most popular GDS for a region means better seating options and pricing from carriers. Amadeus is the best fit for Europe but it’s weaker in the US. Sabre suits the needs of North America. Travelport’s advantage over the rivals is that its coverage is more evenly distributed across the world. It outperforms in Eastern Europe and Africa while growing in Asia and America.

API functionality. Actually, Travelport comprises three GDSs: Galileo, Worldspan, and Apollo, which are combined into a single Travelport Universal API. Unlike Amadeus and Sabre, the universal API is a bundle of functions and you can easily try it out with no strings attached. However, Amadeus certainly provides larger API variety.

GDS-functionality-comarison

Travelport also was the first GDS to obtain level 3 compliance as a New Distribution Capability aggregator -  a required status to provide NDC services. Some consider NDC the future of communication in the travel industry. If you’re out of the loop, our article has all you need to catch up.

Olexander Kolisnykov
answered Sep 17, 2019

Hi there, 

Have you tried contacting Amadeus support with this challenge? Perhaps, they will be able to help. You may also connect with our experts via solutions@altexsoft.com or using the chat in the bottom right corner. It may take several hours to solve the issue. 

3.2 K views 1 answer 0 votes
AltexSoft
answered Jan 15, 2019

Check our articles on top hotel PMS systems as we’ve done a broad research and mentioned the best providers there. Here are our top picks by categories of hotel business:

Beasty PMSs for hotel chains: Oracle Property Management, 5stelle, Maestro PMS, Clock PMS, IQware.

For business-oriented hotels with conference and catering: Protel, eZee Absolute, MSI cloud, RoomKey PMS, SkyTouch Hotel OS, StayNTouch.

For apartments, vacation rentals, and timeshares: Vreasy, Stays PMS, eZee Front Desk, Guest Tracker, innRoad, Hoteliga, Xotelia.

Small hotels: Little Hotelier, Hotelogix, Amadeus Hotel, Charts Beds, Cloudbeds, WebrezPro, Sirvoy Software, Frontdesk Master, Ikonnect PMS, HotelTime.

1.7 K views 1 answer 0 votes
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.

Olexander Kolisnykov
answered Jun 4, 2019

Thank you for bringing the email issue up! Regarding Amadeus, they’ve recently updated their API portal and claim that Self-Service APIs can be used for production and commercial purposes. Have you also checked Kiwi API?

1.7 K views 1 answer 0 votes
AltexSoft
answered Aug 28, 2019

Klook is a travel activities (tours and attractions) platform. It allows travelers to book tours, diving activities, park visits, even train tickets, and more. It mostly targets travel in Asia.

From the inside, it works just as most big online travel agencies do. From the end-customer side, it has a mobile app and their website to book activities. And it connects with activity suppliers either via a SaaS interface (extranet) or an API. To get the idea, you can read how OTA back office works.

Avatar
asked Nov 1, 2018
3.6 K views 1 answer 0 votes
AltexSoft
answered Aug 22, 2019

Expedia is the second largest player in the online travel agencies market with about 32 percent market share, according to 2018 data. It’s second to Booking.com, which has 41 percent of the market. Actually, we’ve compared these companies in our infographic. Keep in mind that it uses 2017 data.

Alayna Alva
asked Jun 15, 2019

There are various types of services given by dialing Air Canada Airlines Reservations number are given below:
•Flight Schedule
•Flight status
•Flight Cancellations
•Refund status
•Check-in facilities
•Baggage facility

3.1 K views 0 answers 0 votes
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asked Nov 1, 2018
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.

1.1 K views 1 answer 0 votes
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!

1.3 K views 1 answer 0 votes
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.

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.

3.5 K views 1 answer 0 votes
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.

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 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.

Olexander Kolisnykov
answered Apr 1, 2019

Hi there,

It’s nearly impossible to get access to all airline seating info as some airlines may not share this data in the first place.

However, there are two main options. The first one is obvious: you may contact airlines directly and ask for their API access with seating capabilities. For instance, Lufthansa Open API provides seat maps. But most airlines don’t support APIs at all.

The second option is to source seating info from GDSs.

Amadeus provides seat maps in their enterprise APIs.
Sabre has a broad set of APIs for seating.
And TravelPort Universal API has a seat map capability.

They still may be limited by the data that carriers provide.

It doesn’t look like SeatGuru has an open API, but it’s also worth trying to contact them directly.
Getting access to GDS APIs isn’t that simple, but it seems like the best option for your problem.