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Efficient management of reservations and payment

Efficient management of reservations and payment

How small and medium-sized tourism businesses can benefit from digitalisation

March 08, 2023

Good news for tour operators and booking platforms: dealing with different currencies and cross-border payments has now become much easier thanks to digitalisation. Speaking at ITB Berlin, Ted Clements, CEO of WeTravel, offered some ideas to small and medium-sized travel businesses and showed how everyday operations can be managed more efficiently. Reservations and payments in particular can be made easier with tools such as WeTravel.

The best ideas come from the practical sphere: one of the founders of WeTravel was looking for ways to organise travel bookings and payments more efficiently. He set his company up in 2016 as a bookings and payment platform, which is continually expanding its services for the tourism industry. Ted Clements, CEO von WeTravel, shared some insights from his company‘s “Annual Travel Trend Report” about post-pandemic travel behaviour and the accompanying challenges facing small and medium-sized providers.

The survey reveals that 70 to 80 per cent of bookings are made by women. It is therefore important to address them in campaigns. Furthermore payment in instalments is becoming increasingly popular. 80 of those questioned make a down payment before the remainder is due. Another piece of advice is that the payment methods should be reconciled on one’s own market. Every country has its own special features, such as the iDeal which is widely used in the Netherlands, or the provider PayPal which is popular in Germany. If an online reservation is interrupted it is worth subsequently enquiring digitally with the client in order to draw conclusions for one’s own business model.

The pandemic caused many travel companies to reduce staff numbers, which imposes a greater workload on those remaining, Ted Clements observed. This makes it advisable to automate operative tasks and make them more efficient. WeTravel, for example, offers clearly arranged dashboards, providing an overview of reservations and finances at one location. This gives users a reliable picture of money coming in and going out. Individual service providers can also be provided with credit cards for specific uses, such as refuelling vehicles.

Ted Clements recommends that small companies that are doubtful about the new technologies now coming onto the market should implement improvements to booking processes in a number of stages. The fragmented nature of tourism processes can make their digitalisation particularly challenging. However, support can be found through an exchange of views with businesses of a similar size and with similar requirements.