The fast-paced advances in technology have opened new opportunities for tour operator companies to harness. Trip reservations is one of the areas in which many changes have taken place over the last twenty years. Here is a brief survey of the trip reservation methods that are currently offered by tour operators:
1. Mail and/or Fax
Most of the tour operators use the traditional method of mailing and/or faxing for processing their trip reservations. The cons are: 1. Lack of security, 2. Time consuming, 3. High propensity for errors, 4. Longer processing times, 5. More staff efforts, and 6. Higher overhead costs for tour operator per traveler.
2. Phone Calls
Some tour operators allow customers to place their order via a phone call. The cons might be the 1. Waiting time, 2. Phone expenses, 3. Propensity for data entry errors, and 4. Perhaps the lack of price or quoting visibility for travelers.
3. Website Ordering
This option allows customers to reserve their ticket online via the valid tour operator website. Some companies, like Above Zest, allows travelers to view their trip tickets, transaction invoices, and order summaries online. At Above Zest, travelers can even edit their personal information, if they accidentally miss them during reservations.
4. Mobile App Ordering
Since smart-phones are pervasive among people, prospect travelers can easily review the trip information and reserve their ticket from their Smartphone. For example, Above Zest (read "Why Above Zest Is Really Above Zest" for more details) currently offers this option to its prospect travelers.
5. Tablet App Ordering
Along the similar lines of mobile App ordering, the ability to reserve your ticket via a tablet device, like an iPad, can improve the process of reservation. This option is also rendered by Above Zest (read "10 Criteria For Selecting the Best Tour Operator" for more details), where prospect travelers can book their trip from a tablet device.
What travelers are looking for, after sizing up the price, travel date, destination, etc., is the security and ease of trip reservations. As a result, busy professionals and VIP travelers will appreciate the importance of reservations via mobile App or tablet App versus the other booking methods.