Refined Function for DMC’s and Inbound Tour Operators

Most inbound group tour companies, FIT operators and DMC’s are not that interested in online sales processing and bookings for several reasons. They use booking systems internally, keeping the access limited to staff, and trusted agents. But we’ve now made an option that will make online agent bookings much easier, help cash flow, make your company more competitive in the agent market and boost security. (Here’s why you might want to think about tapping into an agent network.) Travel agents prefer to use their client’s credit card to pay for tours directly to supplier, thus avoiding the merchant fee and any hassles regarding who is responsible for the services provided. This is how they sell most tours, airline seats, and hotel rooms. But this creates security issues if they make deferred payments (storage of  client card info) and, more particularly, when the booking is on the phone and they process a  “card not present booking”. These are higher risk transactions and merchants pay higher fees as a result. The new agent login option we’ve made now allows the agent to create a deferred payment at the time of the client’s booking. The system then creates the client account and then sends a login and the “invoice to pay” instruction to the client by email, so they can pay directly using their credit card. The agent never needs to see the card. The agent never touches the client’s money. This can be very useful in reducing the risk of charge backs on the credit card bookings. Since the client reviews price, inclusions, dates and approves all the terms and conditions directly you have a clear case to  prove consent. Operators now also have a foolproof measure to prevent default of payment from agents and improve cash flow simply by taking the credit card info direct from the client. You can set the system to release documents only when all the information you need is completed and all payment made. Once payment is made, your automated emails can be triggered to provide whatever information you want clients to have: receipt confirmation, pre-trip advice, vouchers,  post trip feed back, link to Trip Advisor review etc. There is a lot of information now that you can now use: Pull all agency and staff bookings in report to show sales, commission, net, productivity, history etc during particular time period. Option on agency bookings to...
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Genesis of Summit Tour Software

With so many companies out now selling online booking systems, we thought it would be useful to review how Adventure Engine (AE) Summit tour software is designed different. For a bit of history, in 2004 AE was one of a very few businesses that pioneered the online booking revolution for small tour operators and by 2011 had built accounts worldwide with a large variety of tour operators and other tour providers. Here is a brief synopsis of highlights. 2004 – early pioneers of online cloud based booking management systems for activity, accommodation and multi-day tours filling niche that hotel software couldn’t with easy to book online shopping carts 2005 – advanced inventory(resource) management. Manage real time availability not only of ‘seats on tour’ but of limited resources such as kayaks, cabins, guides across unlimited tours, courses, rentals and activities and unlimited online sites and carts 2006 – add agent interface – assign agent to a booking, agent login access, track-able agent portals for online bookings 2008 – system access for customers to manage registration info, medical forms, passport info etc directly to system database and make balance payments on their own 2009 – custom documents – vouchers, rental agreements, waivers, reminders, feedback etc 2010 – advanced vendor and cost management tour operator system launch 2011 – mobi friendly! 2014 – 3rd party system integrations 2015 –version release 1.4.1 (email the group, tax in pricing and other additions), version 1.4.2 new colour coded availability calendars and new cutoff date options,   version release 1.4.3 (shopping cart consolidation and abandonment tracking) 2016 – multi currency and multiple languages translation We built a core database that could be adapted to individual users, since we found that almost all our users had different requirements. We further advanced with optional add-ons for specific needs like shareable inventory items, multi currency, and custom language shopping carts. The result is that Summit tour software can provide booking and client payment services for small businesses but has a deeper set of core functions for more complex businesses. Knowing still that every business is a little different we left ability to customize the system code to accommodate this. Summit is the best marriage between a privately developed, custom built system and something “off the shelf”. It’s flexible and scalable and can manage all the complexities of your day to day operation. The cost of flexibility, complexity and scalability is...
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New Booking System Function Questionaire

Take the survey – Help us build a better Engine. Adventure Engine is different because of the variety of functions available across many different business models. We constantly tweak the Adventure Engine  to improve processes and we also develop new functions to add on. We are considering adding a function that some members have asked for but would like your feedback and input to understand the demand. This is where you get to help us. This is a very short survey of 7 questions to help us get an idea of what matters to you. This is an anonymous survey so we won’t be pestering you afterwords with a sales pitch, but.. if there is something you’d like to talk to us about please contact us. TAKE THIS SURVEY...
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Top Rated Credit Card Processors By Country

If you ever wanted to know which credit card processors were best in your country, there is a comprehensive website that shows several countries. The main website is http://www.topcreditcardprocessorsratings.com/ and you can filter down by many different criteria like “High Risk” merchants (travel is high risk along with nutraceuticals, ebooks and others fyi). They don’t have rankings in all countries, but it is a more complete list than I’ve seen before. Some are listed below with links to them from here. USA Australia Canada New Zealand Netherlands Spain UK and they have a few others. You can use the drop menu they have on the menu bar to see these. There are many credit card processors we’ve never heard of but given that the website is a company that has researched credit card merchant services since 2009 and has developed their list from ongoing research it seem like a good resource if you’d like to switch or even just learn more about this side of business. You can read more about them here on their FAQ page. They have plenty of disclaimers to protect themselves and warn you to do your own research as well. Good advice, and it is interesting to see how they evaluate to at least give some guidance to your own research. Previously published on this site is another related article you may also want to read on how to select a credit card processor. You might also want to see a list of gateways and processors that we will integrate with our shopping carts with no set up...
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Four Ways to Diversify Sales On Your Online Reservation System

Online reservations increase the ease of searching and booking your programs and services, especially on mobile devices.  By adding new products beyond your core, you can help diversify sales and increase exposure to your core products too. Here are some recent adaptations we’ve added that you might want to consider for your business mix. These were all adapted in the Adventure Engine and can be made to work on your AE system too. Races, adventure sports, obstacle courses and are popular now and by offering to operate, or sell other’s programs can be a lucrative addition. We have the product and if you have a system from us its an easy change up. Check out SummitTeam here. Most communities have sports leagues and so we made a sports league booking system. We can modify your AE system to adapt to this type of program easily. To give you an idea have a look at this page. Camping around the country is huge and you can ask your local campground if you can sell campsites for them. People have a hard time getting campsites in big parks and popular areas so there is demand for smaller community sites. We can create a special micro-website for you that helps you reach these campers. See our Easy Campsite page. Create a private community wide network 0f operators and providers. Your local tourism board or DMO may not want, or have the mandate, to sell products, but that’s not stopping you from organizing your own network. We have a system called Simbiosis, that offers unparalleled cross marketing opportunities. See a description here. Adventure Engine is an adaptable system. That means when you want to add new products, change your products, sell other people’s product or rebrand, the engine can help diversify sales. We have the system and the expertise in online marketing to help you develop your own business. Contact...
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How to Find and Select a Credit Card Processor

If you want to take payments online using Adventure Engine, you will need an integration in your shopping cart with your credit card processor. Recently, we updated our list of free credit card processor integrations and I decided to have a look at our list against a full list and a “best of” list. I found a series of great articles on the whole subject of credit card payments at businessnewsdaily.com . I recommend that everyone read this article to become better informed about credit card processing since terms vary widely between card processors. First up was an article on how to accept credit cards for payment. This means online, in person, on the phone, using mobile: anywhere. The article interviewed three experts from the industry to get a balanced look. Read the full article here. Do you need a merchant account to process credit cards? Not always and this can save money. You can read more on that topic from the same article, if you scroll down the page. They have great advice of things to look out for like long-term contracts, when to pay a higher flat fee, and when rates are not the highest priority. There was also a great write-up on best of’s. They actually compared credit card processors according to small business user groups: high volume low volume users online mobile overall small business If you’d like to lean more about taking payments online using an Adventure Engine booking management system, contact us here....
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