What really is an online travel agency

What really is an online travel agency?

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Date: 2020-04-21

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The main function of any travel agency is to provide comfortable and wonderful travel experiences to its clients. These works can include selling tickets, reservations, travel products, arranging tours etc. But what is an Online Travel Agency? In simple words an online travel agency is nothing but a travel website that specializes in the sale of their travel products to clients and customers.


Book with online travel agency for better experience

These online travel agencies sell a variety of products that include various modes of transportations like flights, trains, buses, hotels, cruises, car rentals, different activities and packages. However it is not obvious that all online travel agencies sell these kinds of products. Some travel agencies may sell only few of these things, and some may have a wide variety of products to sell to their customers online. There are many online travel agencies that specialize in the sale of certain products only like in the sale of tours and activities. There are certain steps taken by these travel agencies to run their business. All online travel agencies have an agency agreement with activity providers and tour providers to resell their products. Here, the customers pay their fee to agency and the agency pays net rates to the providers.

When a sale is made by the travel agency to its customer, the customer is issued some kind of voucher or a ticket. The customer then must provide this voucher or ticket to the tour provider he has registered with through online travel agency to redeem the service. An online travel agency plays a vital role in making the process and experience for their clients extremely easy. There might not be many people who have not heard about one or the other online travel services. These tickets and vouchers may be electronic in the form of QR codes or can be paper based to show the tour and activities provider. The travel agency does not pay tour and activities provider in the beginning itself. Rather, when the tickets and vouchers are redeemed the provider invoices the agency. After receiving the invoice, the agency pays them for the services rendered. The process from selling travel services and other products related to travel and stays to providing customers with vouchers and paying tour providers once redemption is over may seem a lot and lengthy but it is not. These processes are procedurally done in various levels. All these services are executed in the background hence the only thing that customer will have to do is to make payment and provide the voucher to tour operator.

Tour provider invoices travel agency to recieve payment

Tour provider invoices travel agency to receive payment

The services provided by online travel agencies have made traveling really easy. Due to the advent of online travel services any last minute segments and bookings have become easy. The frequent usage of smartphones has also made these travel services really popular as you can apply and book for any kind of service in just few minutes from anywhere in the world. The customers are on-the-go with online travel services, one thing that has become extremely uncomplicated is that no one has to go door to door finding hotels and stays during their trip to certain places or stand beside a road to stop a random taxi. Once you book with an online travel agency all you have to do is make payment and start preparing for your travels. All will be taken care by the agency and also they provide customer services where you will be able to directly contact people working for the agency. These services can also be customized according to your desire. Whether you are traveling with a group of people or solo, the online travel agency will take care of everything. Before the advent of online travel services if a group with large number of travelers were traveling, they had to book hotels and transportations for them all which were quite difficult. The activities and tour operators would also have difficulty in adjusting them all in a place and hence may have to split them up in smaller groups which would be inconvenient for all. However, with online travel agency you do not have to go from a place to another finding the suitable stay for your group or split up because you did not get right transportation. The employees at these travel agencies will help you find the perfect stay and transportation in accordance with the tour providers.

Booking online helps planning in advance

Booking online helps planning in advance

Booking flights and trains through any online travel agency may cost you just extra few bucks since they are the third party or the middleman between you and the flight company. But if you are a frequent flyer or you book your flights or trains with the same travel agency you will get some bonus, gift cards or sometimes huge discounts. This is just a part of selling their business, a way to bring more customers it is not just helpful for travel agency but also helpful for customers in need. Another great advantage of booking engine and reservations provided by online travel agency is that it offers a platform of instant payment and will confirm your booking. This way you will find if your booking has been confirmed or not. In any case if you are unsure of their services you can always contact them directly and talk to them about your requirements. However, if you are new to booking through online travel agency, you must check it properly before you make your booking. Online travel agencies have become immensely popular and many people opt for it as their career. You can also give your feedbacks to travel agencies if you think they have some fields that require some improvement or if you feel that the services they provide are perfect to help fellow travelers decide on with which travel agency they should book in. Since the bookings are all done online via internet, you have to be aware of the fact that there are many fake travel agencies that deceive customers in spending their money and do not provide any service or confirm bookings. It is advised that you do not get registered with some unknown travel agencies just because their fees are really cheap compared to others. The prices they provide will be too good to be true however some genuine travel agencies may also put some discounts on their services so you must check them out before you book with them.

Online travel agencies are basically online companies that allow customers to book various services related to travel through internet. These third party agents have become extremely popular in all around the world. Travel agencies have many agents that work for them and whenever these agents book any service for a customer, the customer do not have to pay any extra amount to the agent but he will be paid some commission for the company itself. With immensely competitive market of travel industry, all online travel agencies try their best to provide extra and best services to their customers making it rather helpful for customers for getting a wonderful vacation within their budget. If you have not ever booked through any travel agencies online, try doing this the next time you travel and get some of the best vacation experiences.

Additional read:

Guide to tour operator software

Maintaining accounting for travel agents

Tour operator woes: Why use software?

Accounting for travel agents

Travel Agent Guide

Itinerary software for travel agents

Why do you need an itinerary software?

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