Why Tourism Firms should Invest in Travel APIs
There’s no doubt that the world of travel is becoming increasingly global. The way travel is distributed has also undergone a major transformation. Online technologies have allowed tourism firms to expand their offerings and reach customers in far corners of the world.
One such technology that has been largely instrumental in this growth is APIs.
API, or Application Programming Interface is a set of procedures and protocols that allow the creation of applications that access the features or data of an operating system, application, or other service. In other words, API acts as an interface between two systems providing seamless connectivity.
So how do APIs work in case of Travel and what are their applications?
Let’s say you’re a travel agency looking to sell flights to Middle East and South East Asia on your website. How do you show your visitors real-time flight inventory? Through Flight API!
If you want to sell hotel rooms in Europe on your agency’s mobile app, how do achieve that? Through Hotel API!
If you’re a Wholesaler/DMC having say, 500 contracted hotels or activities in a particular region and want to distribute them to OTAs worldwide, how do you accomplish that? Again, through APIs!
As you can see, Travel APIs can help your company both acquire and distribute inventory of Flights, Hotels, Activities, Transportation globally.
Travel APIs typically contain the following types of data
- Static data such as name, description, location, facilities, images, ratings & reviews etc
- Dynamic data such as tracking of flights/baggage/transportation, weather, status alerts etc
- Booking data including live pricing and availability, filters etc
Various categories of Travel API providers
- GDSs (Global Distribution Systems) like Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport
- Bedbanks such as Hotelbeds, Hotelspro and Travellanda
- Channel Managers like Staah, Siteminder and Derbysoft
- Flight Consolidators like Mystifly, Iati and Travelfusion
- Direct Suppliers like Airlines and Large Hotels
- Metasearch Engines such as Skyscanner and Wego
- Tours and Activities suppliers like Viator and Get Your Guide
- Car Rental/Transfers suppliers like Cartrawler, Rentalcars.com and iWay Transfers
- Ratings & Reviews providers such as Tripadvisor and Trustyou
So what are the various benefits of Travel APIs and why should travel firms care about them?
- Travel APIs allow companies to offer their retail clients and agents real-time bookings for various travel products on their own website
- Integrating Travel APIs can transform your static website into a fully-fledged online travel portal, providing users to search for all available options and book with instant confirmation
Booking Automation and Enhanced User Experience
- Travel APIs help tourism companies automate their booking process – Once the user clicks on ‘book now’ and makes the payment, the reservation is made automatically on both the seller’s system as well as the supplier system without any human intervention
- Travel APIs also help travel firms show rich content to their clients on their website, which plays a big role in the path-to-purchase and conversion rate
Pricing and Revenue Management
- Travel APIs provide complete control over the pricing of the inventory and help efficiently manage revenue
- This is possible because Travel API integration allows them to add their own pricing rules on the rates provided by the supplier in the API in order to maximize revenue and margin
Scalability & Distribution
- Travel APIs also allow companies to scale up and service a global audience as the content coming through APIs is available in multiple languages and currencies
- Travel APIs also allow companies with a large pool of inventory to become suppliers and distribute their inventory outbound to other companies, such as OTAs or resellers
- Travel APIs facilitate multi-channel sales, including B2C, B2B, B2B2C and B2E(Call center)
Flexibility & Multi-platform Support
- Travel APIs are platform agnostic, which means they support various web and mobile platforms so you can use the content coming in from the API to capture bookings on both your website as well a mobile app, regardless of the platform they are built in
Higher Staff Productivity
- Travel API Integration takes away the hassle of logging into multiple supplier systems for rates and availability. By integrating a single Travel API, you can get real-time data for a wide range of inventory on a single interface, significantly increasing the productivity of your booking agents
- API Integration also reduces the effort of the local IT team as the API management and maintenance is handled by the provider’s IT team
If you’re interested in knowing the process of integrating an API into your website/app, check out our blog post on this topic
TravelCarma has integrated over 100 suppliers for clients worldwide. If you have API contracts and want integrate them into your site, please get in touch with us today
About the Author
Chintan is the senior marketing manager at TravelCarma. He is a data-driven inbound marketing specialist with strong experience and a proven track record in strategizing and executing omni-channel marketing campaigns. He enjoys traveling and exploring off-the-beaten-tracks.