CONNECT Travel 3.0 – providing distribution to agents, XML feeds, online sales capacity, agent login areas and staff intranets to large Tour Operators

The way adventure travel is being bought and sold is changing dramatically.
Tour operators are required to provide their trip content in increasingly complex channels, onto other web sites, into agent applications not to mention the operators own web site.
Adventure Engine provide solutions to both operators and distributors to solve the connectivity issue.

Operator trips -> Adventure Engine -> Agents

It can be that simple.
One feed for each operator to maintain , one feed for each agent.
Yet the operator is distributing to an unlimited number of outlets and the agent receiving hundreds of different operators trips.
Adventure Engine does that for its clients.


Tour Operator Connects
(click on any table of content items below to show that section)

  1. Benefits
  2. I. Exporting trip data to the AEI database
    II. Distribution – unlimited distribution outlets - one connection
    II.1 I frame Shopping portals
    II.2 Net rate interface
    II.3 Web Services - how they are used to connect to agents
    II.4 RSS updates for Agents and Customers
    III. Web services - getting your trips on Adventure Engine from your system
    - Updating the Company system with sales made from the distribution network
    IV. Online sales
  3. Pricing
  4. Next Steps

Working Portal examples



TOUR OPERATORS CONNECT


With Adventure Engine we can save you from replacing your entire system.
We take a feed of your trips into our database – our system then runs functionality like distribution, online sales, agent login areas and more…


1. Benefits

Automating your system can save huge amounts of staff time, reduce errors from data transfer and make your company a viable option for agents to re sell.

SAVE TIME (up to 70% see case study )
-save your IT time in R&D to build an XML output not to mention the ongoing cost of maintaining numerous partner feeds!
-real time inventory intranet for staff in remote locations/ various offices so they are working off the same inventory ( no wasted time calling and checking for availability)
-online sales so clients can self serve and pay (i.e. return clients, validated clients, word of mouth clients etc)
-an agent interface with real time availability-agents and your staff aren’t wasting time calls for availability
-tracking and reporting 24/7 access to payables to agents sales, inventory and trip management details.

Testimonial:
One of our suppliers O.A.R.S utilizes the agent netrate and portal program and averages 10+ sales a day through their agent program during their summer season. During the duration of their season they administrated over $140,000 in 600 plus transactions.
"Adventure Engine is allowing us manage all our Moab bookings that come through our staff, Sorrel River Ranch staff, other distributors and online. At the end of the month we can track exactly who sold what." James Rodger, O.A.R.S.

INCREASE MARKETING AND SALES
- distribution channel programs set your parameters for each agent in one place – commissions, which trips they can sell , whether they can do refunds, transfers and more.
-increase marketing and exposure – by adding new distribution channels and partners
-maximize your partner relationships – get your trips in their sites and benefiting from their traffic

SAVE MONEY , MAKE MONEY
I) Keep your reservation system
II) Connect to Adventure Engine
III )Adventure Engine connects you to:
-distribution channels, online sales, agents and additional functionality

with only one connection!


2. How does it work?

Managing data and distribution involves three steps:
I. Feeding Company data to the AEI central database
II. Distributing Company product to Agents & Partners
III. Updating the Company reservation system with sales data made on the network


I. Feeding Company data to the AEI central database

In order to take advantage of AEI’s distribution technology, all of Company’s product offerings, trips and live book able seat inventory must be hosted in the AEI central database.

Company exports trip data automatically from their current reservation system to the AEI database via and XML feed. This feed includes up to date seat availability as per the Company res system. Examples of items exported include trip name, description, itinerary, max seats allowable, seat available and more. The feed is continually refreshed thus ensuring seat availability is always accurate and up to date. Custom services are available to assist Company in mapping to the AEI XML requirements.

All data exported to AEI remains the property of Company and AEI will not access nor sell, solicit or prospect any of Company’s customers. Company maintains total control and ownership of all client and sales data. AEI merely acts as host and distributor.

II. Distributing Company product to Agents & Partners

Once the trip inventory is exported to the AEI system, AEI can then provide access to the inventory for all of Company’s agents, staff, distributors and partners in four different ways.

When all of Company’s partners are booking from the same central repository of inventory, the need for calls / faxes requesting availability status, the need to set aside blocks of inventory are eliminated. Adventure Engine can optimize current agent relations as well as expand the distribution network for Company. With 2/3 of sales currently being completed by agents, a real time sales system is essential and will reduce administration costs considerably. The automation will also include file transfers to agents/clients of voucher redemption instructions, FAQs, client checklists, Terms & Conditions and more).

II.1. Shopping Portals

IFrame portals are inset into agent/partner website templates and include a set layout for each of the five stages of the search and purchase experience - search bar, search results, detailed itinerary, shopping cart and check out.
Portals track commissions owing to the unique reseller and Company can set / edit these commissions in their administration area.
These portals can be made in a day and inserted by IT in about 30 minutes onto the host (partner/agent) website.

Benefits For Agents
- More traffic/exposure for Company trips: maximize your partner and agents sites by placing your trips on their website. You benefit from their traffic, educate their clientele, automate online sales and commission tracking for unique partners/agents.
- No added administration: Adventure Engine will work with each of your partners to set up portal on their sites with only 2 lines of code.
- Agents offer this value add service to their clients giving them the option to purchase online at their convenience.
- Rates are at retail and a credit card is required for the booking.

Online distributor shopping portal examples
Squamish, BC Chamber of Commerce
This portal is constrained to show only local BC communities.
Go Travel World Online Magazine No constraints, all trips showing

Supplier shopping portal example http://www.timberwolftours.com/?page=tours&type=tour_h&l=en
Suppliers use Adventure Engine to complete online sales in their own websites.
In this sample Click the “Wolf Icon” to see the Adventure Engine booking page relevant to each trip including ad ons. In this sample Timberwolf retains all of its online trips content and used Adventure Engine to create a unique booking page for its trips only.


II.2. Agent / Partner interface – Net Rate Module

This module will allow an outside agent (or in house staff) unique login access and the ability to purchase seat inventory at net rate amounts thus negating the need for an upfront credit card transaction. Activity is tracked by Adventure Engine and monthly statements prepared for both supplier and agent. The parties then complete their payables / receivables externally using the Adventure Engine reporting as back up. Net rate values can be customized for each agent as well as other privileges such as which trips they can sell, ability to process transfers/refunds, discounts and whether they can view reports.

This will save Company an enormous amount of administrative time and expense and reduces errors occurring during manual data transfers.
How it Works
Participating partners and agents register to the AEI system and receive agent accounts and login access. Operators who choose to participate in the agent net rate interface module would direct all of their existing agents and distributors to register as a distributor with Adventure Engine. There is no fee for agents but agent sales are subject to an additional 1% transaction fee. Company can easily recover this fee by adjusting the net rate amounts accordingly.
See supplier manual page 38 for overview

Module Benefits
-Allows Agents to access up to date, live, book able seat inventory so they can sell your trips any time of day or night without the need to contact you for confirmation.
-Allows Agents to book your tours without a credit card and then repackage in bundle with Air and resell to their own Clients.
-The system tracks amount owing to you by each agency/agent and activity reports are immediately accessible 24/7 by Agents and Company Management.
-Provides a quick and easy way for your agents to package and sell your trips.
-Provides a quick and easy way to create reports to manage and evaluate various agents.
- Adventure Engine will promote your Company and trips to every new agent that joins the network.

II.3. Web Services

Delivery of trip content to a websit or application~
Web services deliver all the same options as the shopping portals but with more design and layout functionality. Rather than transmitting data in an iframe, the transmission is a raw data feed and the agent can lay it out on their site or into their res system in any manner they choose. The Look and feel can be completely customized for agents and partners, as well as contain commission tracking to 3 levels.

Web services allow for more sophisticated agent/partner application interfaces. Web services will demand more of Company’s or Agent’s IT resources for integration. Basic web service requires a credit card to complete purchase at retail. AEI can build XML feeds for each of Company’s Agents / Partners and export that feed directly into Agent’s reservation system.

AEI takes responsibility for the build, all development and maintenance of all Company’s agent feeds eliminating the expense for Company to manage these individually in house.


II.4. RSS Feeds to agents and consumers to provide instant updates on Company Tours

Adventure Engine can create RSS feeds for your organization based on geographical destination, seat sales, latest trips added/ edited and more. This is an excellent addition to hard copy marketing and communication you may be doing. Adventure Engine samples can be viewed at http://www.adventureengine.com/feeds.php

II.5 Webservices : getting your trips on Adventure Engine.

This is how you put your trips on Adventure Engine and we provide additional functionality.
Your company can upload your trips, availability, forms, photos, T&Cs to the Adventure Engine database using XML / web services.
Adventure Engine will pull your trips from your database regularly so the latest sales or trip edits you have made are show instantly on all of the AE outlets including your sire, agent login and distribution channels.

Distribution network sales scenario

• Company database feeds Adventure Engine trip data.
• Customer shops on Agent website portal and chooses a Company trip.
• Customer reviews itinerary in Adventure Engine.
• Customer clicks “Book Now”

Then there are three options for check out and updating the Company system:

Option 1 – AE shopping cart and either AE or Company’s merchant account

• Customer purchases the trip on Agent’s web site using the AEI shopping cart & merchant account
• AEI deducts the commission owed to agents (if applicable) and transaction fee of 1% plus credit card charges and the funds are transferred to Company thus reducing accounts payable and billing time.
• Company staff will receive an auto email alerting them to the Adventure Engine sale.
• Adventure Engine will send a data bundle with each sale to a Company liaison in a format as designated by the Company for easy upload and updating to the Company system (or Company can manually update their own system based on sales info in the email confirmation). Company can access all reports on Adventure Engine at any time to update their own database and complete reconciliation's.
• Inventory on Adventure Engine is automatically updated.
• If Company opts to use their own merchant account funds are deposited directly to Company


Option 2 – Interface Company booking form (shopping cart) into the AEI check out process

• Customer clicks “Book Now”.
• The Company booking page comes up populated by AEI to show trip name, departure date.
• Customer makes booking adjusting seat inventory in the Company system and using the Company credit card merchant account. Company “PINGS” Adventure Engine with successful sales data.
• The Adventure Engine inventory is updated automatically with each feed pull.
• Adventure Engine invoices Company monthly for transaction fees owing.
• Checkout remains within one website providing a seamless and consistent experience for customer


Option 3 - Site population and booking form redirected to the Company website

Similar to last option except the booking form resides on the Company site and the customer is redirected to the Company website booking form. Company must “PING” Adventure Engine with completed sales data for tracking purposes. Customer is redirected to the Company website.

Options 2 & 3 require Company to have an online booking form that accepts payment and adjusts main Company database inventory. (If Company does not have a booking form in place Adventure Engine can provide this functionality). At this time, option 1 is recommended but can be changed in the future.

D. Online Sales for Company’s websites

The shopping portal can also be used by Company to provide online sales through their own main website. It is understood that online sales is an initiative Company is embarking upon. Use of the Adventure Engine system could negate the need for this internal research and development Company resulting in significant savings.

Supplier shopping portal example
Suppliers use Adventure Engine to complete online sales in their own websites.
In this sample Click the “Wolf Icon” to see the Adventure Engine booking page relevant to each trip including ad ons. In this sample Timberwolf retains all of its online trips content and used Adventure Engine to create a unique booking page for its trips only.



3. Pricing

Base fees for basic feed interface start at $1500.
Cost will be dependant on functionality requested and the compatibility of the Company database schema to Adventureengine.

Please contact Adventureengine for a free quote.


4. Next Steps

Call Adventureengine for a custom presentation specific to your company business model.
Adventure Engine will provide your IT department with a map of our database and feed requirements which can be used to finalize the pricing pricess.