An Online Travel Portal is a much-needed aid now a day. Every travel agent wants to take his business online but they failed because of the lack of knowledge. The percentage for failure in Online Travel Business is more than 90%
How to Start an Online Travel Portal
If you are planning to start an Online Travel Portal successfully read this article carefully before doing anything. There are certain factors that need to be taken into consideration before starting an online travel portal.
1. Analyze your requirement:
This is the common mistake everybody makes in the process to take their travel business online. They don’t analyze their requirement properly. Mostly travel agents started an online business as per their immediate requirement and they failed in the long run. Because once they started their portal they realized that the product they finalize or the requirement they decide are not enough to run their online travel business.
So the first thing you need to do is take a paper and pen and write down every requirement with your long term goal. To finalize your requirement keep the following things in your mind.
- Target Audience (Direct Customer/ Travel Agents / Corporate etc.)
- Products (Flights, Hotels, Tours, Bus, Rail, Travel Insurance, etc.)
- Feature and Functionality (What feature and functionality you will require in a travel portal)
2. Select the right product as per your requirement:
After finalizing your requirement you need to decide what kind of product to need to make your travel business online. There are many modules in Travel Technology and you need to decide which module to want to take.
- B2B: Stands for Business to Business this model you will distribute your products among other businesses and they sell your services to the end customer. This is the most popular online business model among Travel Agents. For the complete B2B portal you will need a budget of 5-10 Lacks which include the cost of several API of suppliers.
- B2C: Stands for Business to Customer. Through this type of portal, you will able to reach direct customers this is the second most popular model among travel agents. The budget required for this type of Travel Portal is the same as B2B but you will need to invest a good amount in marketing, SEO, SMO, and burn money in cashback and other offers. The competition is very high in B2B as there are many big players in the market and you will require a
hugebudget to stand up in the market.
- B2E: Stands for Business to Enterprises, is the newest model in the Indian travel market. Through this type of travel portal, you will easily approach big corporate companies who have in-house Travel Desks or have policies where employees directly make his/her booking on the Portal. B2E travel portal is completely designed for corporate and having facility of Employee Profile, Policy Management, Multi-Level Approval System, and many more. Since there are very fewer numbers of companies that provide this type of portal the cost for building such portals is very high and not affordable for a small or medium level of a travel agent.
- B2B2B: Stands for “Business to Business to Business” it is also known as B2B Whitelabel. In this type of portal, you are actually using someone’s B2B portal with your own domain and branding to target your B2B agents. The development cost of this type of portal is very less and you can start this type of portal in just 10-20K Rs. Since it is not a complete B2B portal you might not get all the control and functionality.
- B2B2C: Stands for“Business to Business to Customer”
Whitelabel. The only difference between B2B2B and B2B2C is through this type of portal you can target direct customers instead of Travel Agents.
3. Choosing the right Technology Partner:
After selecting the right Model or Portal as per your requirement you need to choose Technology Partner and this is the most important step because mostly travel agent has no idea about travel technology so they easily trust on technology provider and fall into the trap. There is a lot of travel technology provider who claimed to be the best in the market but in reality, they have nothing.
So if you have made any mistake while choosing your technology partner you will end up disappointed. Here I have listed some key points to
- Check the complete profile of the technology provider.
- Check his social presence and reviews on Google and another platform.
- Check the team size and capability of the technology provider by visiting their office.
- Take a complete demo of the product at least twice.
- Cross-check all your requirements with product functionality whether it is fulfilled or not?
- Check out the support capability and also check whether they have a dedicated key account manager or not.
- Cross-check Technology Provider’s review from your API Supplier.
- Discuss payment terms & AMC.
4. Finalize the deal with Technology Provider:
Before finalize any deal make sure you have;
- Analyze your requirement
- Selected the right product as per your requirement
- Choosing the right Technology Partner
No, you are not done here the final step is most important as you are going to finalize the deal with your Technology Provider make you have documented all these things to avoid any dispute in the future.
- Make a purchase order and mention all the services and functionality in detail.
- Mention payment structure and AMC in detail.
- Sign an SLA (Service level agreement) you can take the help of your legal consultant in this part.
- If you are going to make any huge investment in Technology please do sign an escrow account agreement.
That’s it… now you are ready to start your online travel portal.
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