WordPress Developer

Openings for WordPress Developer in Coimbatore Location

  • Job Type: Full-time
  • Required education: Bachelor’s Degree
  • Required experience: 2+ Years
  • WordPress: 2 years (Required)
  • Html5: 1 year (Required)

Responsibilities include but are not limited to

  • At least 6+ WordPress project development experience
  • Strong knowledge in WordPress Architecture
  • Experience in custom WordPress Themes, Post-types, Plugin development, REST API
  • Knowledge in popular plugins like ACF Pro, Elementor Pro, Membership plugins, WooCommerce etc..
  • Experience in Genesis themes, X theme, Avada and Divi themes are big PLUS
  • Exposure to advanced WordPress development using GIT, GULP, SASS etc..
  • Good experience in HTML5, CSS3 and JS libraries for sliders

Skills & Requirements

  • Effective communication skill is must
  • Minimum of 1 year experience with various WordPress project knowledge is expected
  • Inter-personal, team building skills are necessary
No recruiters / agencies please.

Content Writer

Job opening for Creative Content Writer in Coimbatore Location

At ColorWhistle, Coimbatore – We are hiring a talent for Creative Content Writer and Content Marketing Specialist. If you are running a blog or website, please share your blog url.

  • Positions : 1
  • Job Type : Full-time
  • Experience : 2 years online content writing experience

Interview Process

  1. You will be asked to write a creative content for any given topic (blog, web page) in given time. Your creativity, fluency and writing speed will be evaluated here.
  2. You will be asked to share your previous experience in writing, projects details and problem solving skills will be evaluated
  3. If your performance is up to our expectation you will be given an offer

Responsibilities include but not limited to

  • Write content for various digital marketing channels like website blogs, infographics, social updates, banners, case studies, white papers, press release, guest blogging etc
  • Research & write creative content for our various marketing websites and client projects
  • Create content to drive leads and subscribers
  • Collaborate with the marketing team to draft sales emails
  • Responsible for proofreading and editing the written piece for all
  • Brainstorm and collaborate with our marketing, design and development team to create innovative content
  • Support the marketing team to create content for client pitches and documentation
  • Experience doing research using multiple sources will be an added advantage
  • Familiarity with digital marketing tactics, including SEO and keyword placement
  • Hands-on experience with Content Management Systems like WordPress

Skills and requirements

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Creative and innovative thinker
  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Basic knowledge of keyword placement and SEO
  • Great research and learning skills

React JS Developer / App Developer

Openings for React JS & APP Developer in Coimbatore Location

  • Positions : 1
  • Job Type : Full-time
  • Experience : 2+ years

Skills and requirements

  • Strong coding basics of Javascript, ECMA script background
  • Experience in custom Javascript development and React JS
  • Highly skilled with DOM events, UI interactions using Javascript
  • Experience in Single page Javascript application development
  • Experience in WebPack, Bower environments
  • Exposure in TypeScript, Node JS, React JS, Angular JS, Vue JS
  • Experience in creating JavaScript & JSON APIs
  • Experience in Three JS, WebGL are a big plus
  • Good experience in HTML5, CSS3 and advanced JS libraries
  • Experience in Vue JS projects are a big plus

Responsibilities and Duties

  • Need to work various custom complex functional JS  and React JS projects
  • Best HTML5, and Javascript coding standards to be followed
  • Have to handle different web applications individually and as a team player

Qualifications

  • Effective communication skill is must
  • Minimum of 2 years experience with various pure JavaScript experience is expected
  • Inter-personal, team building skills are necessary

5 Best WordPress Real Estate IDX Plugins Compared

In recent years, there has been a tremendous technological shift. People rely on the internet for everything. This transformation created a massive change in the real estate industry where people started buying and selling properties through websites.

Unfortunately, if you are using WordPress, the default features of the CMS might not be enough to launch a successful real estate site. To add custom functionalities and features, IDX plugins are essential for every real estate business website. Here is a complete list of the best 4 IDX plugins for your WordPress website.

Before getting into the topic, let’s take a quick look at what IDX is and it’s benefits!

What is IDX?

An Internet Data Exchange (IDX) is an agreement between listing agents or brokers and buyer’s agents to display all MLS (multiple listing service) properties online. This will allow customers to search for available properties on the market and provide beneficiary options for you to display your own properties first.

IDX solutions are used by both home buyers or sellers in the market to buy or sell properties. By displaying all the properties online, agents can reach many audiences and offer better matching properties to prospective buyers.

What Are the Benefits of Including an IDX Solution?

Including an IDX solution on your website can benefit you in multiple ways. Some of the best advantages are listed below,

  • Safe place for visitors to search for available listings
  • Featured listings can be displayed to customers
  • Polygon map searches around popular areas can be created
  • Listings can be displayed on informative and SEO friendly neighborhood pages
  • Listing descriptions, photos, and videos can be controlled
  • You can display listings on lifestyle searches such as lakefront homes, golf communities, popular school districts, etc
  • IDX can be integrated with your Facebook account which will drive more traffic to your website
  • Lead capture forms can be offered to customers

Create a stunning website to beat the competition? You’re in the right place, Share your  requirement, will get back to you quickly!

Best 5 IDX Plugins for Real Estate Websites

All four IDX plugins in this list have powerful features and functionalities. Read more to learn about the features and pricing of the best IDX plugins.

1. IDX Broker

MLS_IDX-Real-Estate-Website

IDX Broker is one of the third-party servicer plugins for MLS data. It takes the raw data from every MLS and compacts it into a search-friendly format which is made available to real estate websites. IDX Broker keeps the bulk data on its own servers to provide the best search functionality and ensure compliance with the MLS rules.

Free features

  • Manage your leads directly from WordPress dashboard
  • Create forms within WordPress and capture lead information directly
  • Integrates with popular form plugins like Ninja Forms, Contact Form 7 and Gravity Forms
  • Edit widgets without having to reload the page
  • Responsive templates and widgets
  • Add widgets like lead login, signup, city links, showcase, and carousel
  • Add new widgets to pages and posts with built-in shortcodes

Click here to learn more about the free features of IMPress for IDX Broker plugin.

Pro features

  • Get essential widget features like agent-specific featured listings showcase (for team/office accounts), save and manage widgets, edit existing widgets whenever you need to, etc
  • Additional map functionalities like unlimited map results, customizable map search, dynamic polygon, clustering, and agent bio page maps are available
  • Capture leads from any page such as search, maps, listing ID, results, details, and photo gallery
  • Import and export all your leads
  • Send auto-email notifications to agents
  • Customize emails in subheaders, wrappers, and CSS
  • Validate links with the help of the built-in link validation tool

Click here to learn more about the paid features of IDX Broker plugin.

Pricing

  • IDX Broker Lite: Starting at $50/ month
  • IDX Broker Platinum: Starting at $70/ month

Click here to view the pricing page of IDX Broker.

2. WPL Pro Platform- Realtyna

WPL Platform - Real Estate Site

WPL Pro is a feature-rich, extendable WordPress plugin with which you can create real estate websites and portals. It is one of the core products for WPL platform with multiple functionalities that can serve different business needs. Also, WPL Pro gives you full control over website contents and plugins.

Free features

  • Flexible database management with which you can add, remove or change the fields without customizing the database
  • Translation ready plugin
  • Customize required fields easily
  • Brings listings into the website instead of iframing (which will reduce ranking)
  • Great customer support

Click here to learn more about the free features of Realtyna Organic IDX plugin.

Pro features

  • Add, modify, and delete property data fields through the add listing wizard
  • Display custom texts instead of unwanted data fields
  • Null data fields are automatically kept hidden
  • Website users or agents can add/edit listing depending on their access level
  • Specify property types such as apartment, land, shop, office, etc in the back-end of the website
  • Admin can add different room types in the system
  • Admin can determine the access level for each website users
  • User can search properties based on the distance with radius map search

Click here to learn more about the paid features of the WPL Pro platform.

Pricing

  • WPL Pro: $199, one-time payment with lifetime license
  • Add-ons: Starts from $1 and goes up to $3,950

Click here to view the pricing page of the WPL Pro Platform.

3. Flexmls MLS

Flexmls-Wordpress-IDX-Plugin

Flexmls MLS is an IDX WordPress plugin that provides all the necessary tools which will help agents to build a healthy relationship with customers. Agents, brokers, and MLS’s have the option to control the system via a detailed administrative module and user preferences.

Free features

  • Add widgets to your sidebar, pages, and posts
  • Desktop and mobile-friendly plugin
  • Available widgets are IDX slideshow, IDX search, market statistics, 1-click location searches, 1-click custom searches, and contact forms
  • Updated IDX and market statistics widgets

Click here to learn more about the free features of FlexMLS® IDX Plugin.

Pro features

  • Live data is available which is powered by FlexMLS
  • View nearby listings with location enabling option
  • Integrate with FlexMLS portal and CRM
  • Admin can view listing details whenever required
  • Works perfectly with Squarespace
  • By referring a friend you can get IDX for free (only if he/she purchases an IDX solution)

Click here to learn more about the paid features of Flexmls MLS.

Pricing

  • WordPress plugin: Agent price is $499/year. Inquire for office pricing
  • IDX SmartFrame: Agent price is $349/year. Inquire for office pric ing

4. EstateVue IDX

Real Estate Website Design

EstateVue IDX is a fully-customized WordPress IDX plugin. It provides a hassle-free experience to real estate agents and brokers. EstateVue IDX plugin is beautifully designed, highly responsive, SEO friendly, and can be easily installed.

Free features

  • Get access to a professional-looking web template
  • Modify your website colors to match your branding
  • Upload own brokerage logo to website
  • Upload agent images
  • Display any two of your featured listings
  • Share your listings via Facebook, Tumbler, Twitter, etc with in-built social sharing tool
  • Get free support to set up the plugin

Click here to learn more about the free features of EstateVue IDX plugin.

Pro features

  • Select and display the listings on a specific city
  • Switch between grid view and map view
  • Create custom farm types and sort it by size or type
  • With ‘home evaluation’ feature user can request an estimated price after entering their property address, which is found on Google along with geographical location in map
  • Represent listings in full screen
  • Fully responsive in both mobile and desktop devices
  • Share listings on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube (auto-video creation and promotion), etc

Click here to learn more about the paid features of EstateVue IDX plugin.

Pricing

Click here to view the pricing page of EstateVue IDX.

5. Showcase IDX

Showcase IDX The Leading IDX Plugin for WordPress Websites

Showcase IDX is a powerful IDX plugin for real estate agents & brokers. The plugin helps with map search, lead routing, forced registration tools, and more. Once the MLS team approves, the installation process will take less than 5 minutes.

Pro Features

  • User-friendly property search
  • Helps to generate more leads
  • State of the art mapping tools
  • Real estate CRM tools & integrations
  • 100% SEO friendly
  • Includes an option to invite friends to search
  • Mobile friendly
  • Deep WordPress integration
  • Admin & management dashboards
  • Feature agent listings at top of the results
  • Send leads and their activities to CRMs like LionDesk, Prospect Converter and more
  • Advanced Round Robin lead routing
  • Search results registration locks
  • Customizable colors, fonts & design
  • Search multiple MLSs in one search
  • Connect 1000+ apps with Zapier

Click here to learn more about the paid features of Showcase IDX

Pricing

  • Essentials plan – $59.95
  • Premium plan – $99.95

Click here to view the pricing plan of Showcase IDX

Winding Up

In this advanced world, making your business successful with a strong online presence is no longer optional. Therefore, include any one of the IDX plugins that match your requirement to enhance your digital presence.

Also, if you are a real estate company owner looking for custom plugins, do reach ColorWhistle.

We develop custom plugins that perfectly suits your needs.

Have you ever been benefited from any other IDX plugins? Drop us a line in the comment section below!

Evolution of Travel and Tourism Industry

Travel is one of the most important leisure activities in the world. Over the years, the travel industry has changed considerably. It is quite fascinating to see how travel agencies have evolved.

How far have we come? Where did it all start? Take a look at our ultimate travel evolution infographic to learn how the industry keeps moving forward, while evolving, expanding and showcasing more than any other industry.

1400

England and France passed a legislation that required hotels and inns to keep guest registries

1758

Cox & Kings,
a travel company was founded

1760

Industrial revolution resulted in expansion of rail infrastructure across Europe and North America

1841

Thomas Cook, an international travel company was founded

1842

The first German travel agency, Reiseburo Rominger was started in Stuttgart

1887

Walter A. Brownell founded Brownell Tours and takes first 10 guests on an archeological tour of Switzerland

1891

American Express Company introduced the world’s first Traveller’s Cheque

1920

The first Indian travel company, Jeena Tours and Travels was established

1922

Travel agencies became a commonplace with the development of commercial aviation

1946

Avis Rent a Car, a car rental company was founded

1950

It took 90 minutes/customer to complete a booking process. So, many airlines began to seriously look for automation tools

1952

American Airlines installed the first automated booking system – the Reservisor

1953

TCA became the first airline in the world to use a CRS with remote terminals

1959

American Airlines switches to an automated airline reservation system known as SABRE

1971

United Airlines introduced the computerized system Apollo based on IBM’s PARS

1976

United Airlines began offering its Apollo system to travel agents

1978

UK based companies launch the world’s first reservation system Travicom

1987

Travicom handled 97% of UK airline business trade bookings

1988

European airlines developed their own GDS system Amadeus

1992

Galileo merged with Apollo system to book airline, hotel, train, cruise and car rental reservation

1993

Navitaire, a technology service provider of the airline and rail industries was founded

1995

Lonely Planet’s website is launched

1996

Microsoft found its own travel booking website Expedia

1996

Travelocity launched as a joint venture of Sabre Interactive and Worldview Systems Corp

1996

HotBot metasearch engine was created

1997

Jay S. Walker founded Priceline.com

1998

Travelzoo, an internet company that publishes travel and leisure deals was founded

1999

OpenTravel Alliance was founded to talk about the disparate systems in the global travel industry

2000

Hotwire, a website that offers airline tickets, hotel rooms, vacation packages etc was established

2001

Skyscanner, a travel fare aggregator website and travel metasearch engine was founded

2001

Orbitz.com a travel fare aggregator website was founded

2003

Couchsurfing international was formed as a New Hampshire nonprofit organization

2004

TripAdvisor was acquired by InterActiveCorp (IAC)

2004

Facebook was launched which inspired many to share their travel experience

2005

IAC spun off its travel group of businesses under the Expedia, Inc. brand

2005

Google Maps, a web mapping service developed by Google was founded

2008

AirBedAndBreakfast (later renamed to Airbnb) was founded

2009

Twitter inspires real-time messaging between travellers and travel brands

2009

Some of the major GDSs are Amadeus, Travelport, Sabre, Shares, Abacus, Travelsky, Infini, Axess and Topas

2010

Google buys IAT, a travel industry software

2010

HotelTonight app was founded. It allowed users to find accommodations in America, Europe and Australia

2011

Google Flights, an online flight booking search service was launched

2013

Kayak Software Corporation was acquired by the Priceline Group

2014

Sabre’s travel itinerary management app is the first travel app to integrate with a smartwatch

2015

Travelocity was acquired by Expedia

2016

WearGeared developed a Museum Glasses prototype application

2017

Amadeus introduces the world’s first Virtual Reality travel search and booking experience

2018

Amadeus launched their new portal Amadeus for developers

2019

Heathrow Airport’s biometrics project is aiming to fully deploy facial recognition for departures

Evolution of travel industry infographics

Travel-Industry-Evolution-Infographics

Conclusion

The travel industry has become a combination of DIY internet tools and travel management companies. Transportation innovations such as trains and airplanes have eliminated the problems and lowered travel costs. In short, it has become possible for travelers to go anywhere on the globe in less than 48 hours.

The market has split into a vast number of nice markets such as ecotourism, backpacking and historical tourism. There has been a handful of trips into orbit around Earth which is branded as ‘space tourism’ which is going to be an exciting chapter in the industry.

We ColorWhistle will keep updating this infographic as and when interesting things happen in the travel industry. Stay tuned!

Rezdy Review – Online Booking Software | OTA

As a travel website owner, internet booking is essential as it will help you to manage bookings and allow your customers to book and pay on the internet via payment gateways.

There are many software that will help you to include booking features on your travel website without making any drastic changes to your site.

Rezdy is one of the highly specialized online booking software that can remarkably handle a large percentage of your travel website. We have reviewed this software and described all the information that will help you decide if this plugin is the best fit for you!

Let’s dive in.

Rezdy Software

Rezdy-Online-Booking-Software

Rezdy software is an international online reservation system and B2B platform for businesses. This software is built exclusively for tour and activity industry. It also releases regular updates that include language additions, improvements in reporting, email, calendar, gift cards/vouchers settings, etc.

Features of the Rezdy Software

Main booking features

  • Admin can enable the mobile bookings at any time so that customers can book via mobile phones
  • Bookings can be managed by the admin from any devices with the help of Rezdy mobile application
  • Online bookings can be accepted by admin from all around the world
  • Rezdy can be integrated with Google Calendar
  • Bookings can be viewed in the central dashboard with a built-in easy calendar view feature
  • Bookings can be processed through Facebook and reservations can be made with Google

Booking management features

  • Online bookings can be managed by the admin
  • Rezdy has a bespoke real-time inventory system that provides an incredible experience

Rezdy’s payment support features

  • Online payments can be accepted from around the globe
  • Multiple payment gateway (Stripe, Authorize.Net, Braintree, PayPal, etc) integrations are available
  • Customer’s existing online payment gateways can be connected for direct payments
  • Customers can connect via Rezdy for deferred payment processing
  • Rezdy have own payment gateway which is powered by Stripe and it offers competitive rates

Other additional features

  • Dedicated customer success specialist with 24/7 support will be allocated

Note: If you choose Rezdy’s expansion plan, they will update your existing website or develop a new website with integrated booking functionality.

User-friendly features

  • Sales reports can be customized by the admin
  • User-friendly web-based interface is available
  • Admin can access and manage bookings on the go with convenient devices
  • Accountings can be simplified by integrating with Xero

Better customer experience

  • Automated confirmation emails and text messages can be sent to customers
  • Reminder emails and text messages can be sent automatically to customers on the previous day of booking

Easy resource managing features

  • Software can be set to automatically display available sessions only when resources are free to serve customers
  • Vouchers, gift cards, and coupons can be easily added and tracked

Admin management features

  • Customized and up-to-date manifest can be accessed by admin at any time with any devices
  • Prior correspondence can be displayed to customers at anytime
  • Admin can easily check-in customers once they depart
  • Admin can control bookings from anywhere at any time via mobile application

Major third-party integrations

Rezdy can be integrated with multiple third-party applications in which we have listed all the major integrations below,

  • Xero
  • MailChimp
  • TripAdvisor Review Express
  • Zapier
  • Webhooks
  • InfusionSoft
  • ActiveCampaign
  • DocuSign
  • Smartwaiver
  • Wherewolf
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Apple Calendar
    iCal
  • Google Adwords
  • Google Analytics

High security

Rezdy holds standard and simple security policies. All the transactions in Rezdy are secured by 256-bit SSL encryption. Also, the servers of Rezdy are hosted by AWS (Amazon Web Services) which is a PCI DSS Level 1 compliant provider with certified infrastructure for storing, processing, and transmitting credit card information.

Software Information

  • Platforms: Cloud, SaaS, Web
  • Support: 24/7 (live rep), online support, business hours
  • Founded in: 2010
  • Ratings by Capterra: 4.5 out of 111 reviews

Customer Service and Support

  • Help center: Help center can be accessed from the admin’s account page. It includes user forums with 50+ topics, monthly announcements of new features and upgrades, 106 tutorial videos, self-explanatory FAQ section, and also addresses support requests
  • Sales: Call back can be requested from Rezdy’s sales team by filling out a form on the website
  • Phone: Separate helplines and Skype accounts are offered for clients from Europe, Australia, the US, and New Zealand
  • Blogs: Exclusive blogs for online travel agents and tour operators. Subscription options are available to get regular blog updates
  • Social media: Rezdy has active accounts on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter
  • eBooks: There are four eBooks (Online Marketing for Tour Operators, Social Media for Tour Operators, Online Booking Software Buyer’s Guide, and Mobile Strategy for Tour Operators) available on Rezby’s resource page
  • Industry research: Print and video statistics on US and Australian travel industries are offered in the resource page of Rezdy

Pricing of Rezdy

  • Foundation: $49 per month + booking fees, (with 21 days free trial)
  • Accelerate: $99 per month + booking fees, (with 21 days free trial)
  • Expansion: $249 per month + booking fees, (with 21 days free trial)

Click here to view the pricing page of the Rezdy software.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Multiple numbers of payment gateways can be integrated
  • Easy to use the software
  • Awesome customer support
  • Well-designed user interface

Cons

  • Pricing is expensive
  • Pricing packages are complicated

Booking Form Integration

Here is a video that explains the complete information required for an online booking form integration

Winding Up

Rezdy is one of the best-developed software that can remarkably handle a large percentage of your online booking activities. The only disadvantage of the software is pricing, but investing in Rezdy is worth it.

After reading this entire review, you would have a clear idea about Rezdy. This information is more than enough for you to judge whether this software will suit your requirements or not.

For your note, if you are looking for professional assistance that will help you to integrate your existing travel/booking website with Rezdy, ColorWhistle is here to help you! Contact us and get a quote.

Do you have any questions regarding the Rezdy booking plugin? Do share it in the comment section below!

Disclaimer – This is to inform the readers that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this blog belong solely to the author. Before choosing the software, thoroughly research and find out if the software meets your requirements. You can also contact a professional for further assistance.

Related Posts

ColorWhistle’s Resource Library for Travel Operators, Travel Agents, and Travel Businesses

We write some seriously in-depth blogs to help out newbies and veteran people involved in the travel field. Below, we have curated blogs that will be useful for agents to plan, start and grow their business. We will keep updating the library on a regular basis, keep coming back for more.

Travel Resources

Travel Website Creation

Important Travel Terminologies You Should Know

Types of Travel

Travel & Tourism Industry

Travel Marketing

Travel and Tourism History

Travel Software Review

If you need any help in designing, developing and marketing a travel website, please contact us anytime. We are always happy to assist you.

What Is a Computer Reservation System?

Travel is one of the top business areas. It employs various technological advances and offers numerous benefits to both travelers and travel agencies.

Computer Reservation System (CRS) is one of the most widely used tools in the Travel and Tourism Industry. In fact, it has revolutionized the whole industry.

In this blog, let’s find out what CRS is and how it has helped to dial down the workload of many travel agencies.

What is a Computer Reservation System?

A computer reservation system or a central reservation system (CRS) is a web-based software used by travel agencies and travel management companies to retrieve and conduct transactions related to air travel, hotels, car rental, or other activities. It was originally designed to be used by airlines but was later extended to be used by travel agencies and Global Distribution Systems (GDS) to book and sell tickets for multiple airlines.

The main objective of CRS was to make a one-stop service shop and eliminate physical and geographical distances between mediators and consumers. With universal coverage, these distribution systems provide information for airlines, hotels, car rental companies, travel agencies, corporations and more.

If you want to focus only on a specific travel-related service like offering air tickets, a CRS will be useful. If you want to tap into multiple services, using a CRS is not advisable.

The term CRS is not much used as it has become part of a bigger system known as the Passenger Service System (PSS) which comprises of CRS, an airline inventory system and the departure control system (DCS).

What Are Some of the Basic Functions of Computer Reservation System in the Travel Industry?

Here are some of the basic functions in a CRS:

  • Displays travel services with prices and images
  • Inventory and reservation management
  • User friendly reservation system
  • Online payment gateway integration
  • Customer data management
  • Email notifications
  • Booking cancellation and refund management

What Are the Major Airline CRS Systems?

The term CRS is not much used as it has become part of a bigger system known as the Passenger Service System (PSS) which comprises of CRS, an airline inventory system and the departure control system (DCS).

Here are some of the major players in this field are:

What Are the Benefits of Travel Computer Reservation Systems?

Here are some of the benefits of CRS

  • All the services-related customer information such as Passenger Name Record (PNR) or Guest Name Record (GNR) are recorded
  • Invoicing, accounting, customer and quota management is possible
  • High speed network of information infrastructure
  • Fare quote, ticketing and voucher generating process
  • System can also store customer related information such as all the services provided to a certain customer, type of payment, service information etc
  • CRS are web based applications which saves a lot of time on administration work
  • Interfaces with technologies such as Amadeus, Travelport and APIs/XMLs
  • Suitable for B2B and B2C business models
  • Includes a comprehensive admin console
  • Offers custom reporting

History and Evolution of Computer Reservation System

Before the development of CRS, tourists had to depend on the information provided by suppliers through printed brochures, flyers and listings in local and regional travel guides. As a result, the promotional materials were costly, labor-intensive and information remained static when the data needed to be changed frequently.

To facilitate a smooth and dynamic flow of information, the first CRS was introduced as an experiment in the 1960s by airlines to keep track of sold seats. In 1963, SABRE (Semi-Automated Business Research Environment), the world’s first CRS was introduced by American Airlines. After that, CRS became the primary means of distributing air travel information and had a major impact on competition within the airline sector. In 1976, travel agencies started using them and henceforth became a universal feature of the tourism industry.

All of the CRSs carry out four basic functions. They are,

  • Display products and services offered by various tourism providers
  • Passenger or guest name record
  • Fare quotation and ticketing depending on the complexity of the services offered
  • Provision of information about trade shows, visa regulations, and payment gateways

Access of CRS to Travel Agents

During 1976, the Apollo system was offered to travel agents which provided immense convenience. Soon after that, SABRE, PARS and DATAS gave access to travel agents as well. During the same year, some of the British Airways joined hands and launched Travicom, the world’s first multi-access reservations system. It allowed agents and airlines to communicate via a common distribution language and network. 97% of the UK’s airline business trade bookings were done through this channel by 1987.

An airline deregulation act was passed in 1978 to control fares, routes, and market entry of new airlines. So a CRS proved particularly important.

In the 1980s, European airlines also began to invest in this field due to the demand for advancements in travel. After that, many travel technologies such as Amadeus and Worldspan were introduced. An even smaller company such as KIU was formed to carter low-cost carriers.

In conclusion, the CRS technology has reached a point where it would be hard for travel agents to do their work without it. As a major distribution channel, it functions as a powerful sales outlet.

Do you want to launch an influential travel website with all the latest technologies? Get in touch with our team at ColorWhistle, we’ll give you a hand.

Online Travel Agencies – A Brief Introduction

The role of an online travel agency (OTA) is becoming increasingly important in the accommodation industry as they provide a convenient way for travelers to arrange their stay. From the comfort of their home, travelers can compare hotel prices and book them over the internet. 

In this blog, we are going to discuss what an OTA is, best OTA platforms, to develop travel website and how to do it right and more.

Ready? Let’s go.

What Are Online Travel Agencies?

An online travel agency (OTA) arranges and sells accommodations, tours, transportation and trips on an online platform for travelers. They are third parties who sell services on behalf of other companies.

Usually, these OTAs offer many benefits with added convenience with more of a self-service approach. They also include a built-in booking system which allows instant bookings.

How Do Online Travel Agencies Work?

OTAs generally work on two models. They are,

1. Merchant model

In this model, hotels sell rooms to OTAs at a discounted or wholesale price. Then, the OTA sells them to the customer at a markup price

2. Agency model

This is a commission-based model where OTAs acts as a distribution partner. OTAs receive full commission after the stay has taken place. The hotel directly receives the payment from the end customer and does not wait for the payment transfer from third-party distributors.

What Are the Benefits of Partnering with Online Travel Agencies?

In one word – exposure! Online travel agents get thousands of website visitors from all over the world. Plus, they have positioned themselves as an authority on everything related to travel. So, people trust the recommendation they receive from OTAs.

By listing in OTAs, accommodation businesses like hotels not only reach a vast set of audience but will also find their service among many other reputable sources of information.

In addition, hotels that are listed on OTAs can also benefit from what is referred to as the ‘billboard effect’. This means that OTAs provide a form of advertising for service providers such as hotels on their platforms. Once the user gains this awareness, they may even go to the website of that particular hotel to make a direct booking.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Selling Through Online Travel Agents?

Accommodation businesses like hotels and B&Bs have pros and cons of getting listed in OTAs. Let’s take a look at them.

Advantages of online travel agents

  • Low-cost method of selling accommodation services
  • Reduced online marketing spend as OTAs invest in advertising to attract potential customers
  • Impartial reviews give customers the confidence to book
  • Users can easily compare various accommodation costs at one place

Disadvantages of online travel agents

  • Commission rates are charged on every sale. It can range between 10-15% of the gross cost
  • Restrictive cancellation terms
  • Even if accommodation businesses use OTAs, the need for their own website and booking engine does not go away
  • Investment in a balanced multi-channel strategy may be needed to boost sales

Even though OTAs can help to fill your rooms, accommodation businesses must try to maximize revenue through their own website. Consistent work on search engine optimization tactics and other digital marketing techniques is a must. Accommodation businesses must focus on customer retention techniques and directly target their existing customers through emails and direct marketing.

How To Start an Online Travel Agency?

Travel agencies no longer inform customers about the availability of flights and rooms. They issue rooms and get a commission from the respective accommodation businesses. That is why most of the new travel businesses follow the OTA model.

If you plan to enter the OTA arena, you can specialize in pilgrimages, leisure travel, business travel or any niche. But, focusing on how effectively you offer things is the key to success.

Here are some points you have to consider when starting an online travel agency.

  • Register the name of your agency and if applicable, take a license as per your local laws
  • Try to get a membership in IATA or any other reputed travel organization
  • Gain more knowledge about the travel industry and particularly the nice you want to concentrate
  • Get your travel website designed by a professional company like ColorWhistle
  • Offer deals that focus on a specific geography. Focusing on a particular niche will also bring more success
  • Publicize your business in the online space
  • Utilize the power of blogging
  • Create a good social media presence

Why Do People Use Online Travel Agencies?

 Here are some of the main reasons they prefer OTAs.

  • Few OTAs offer reward programs which can be used for future travel needs
  • Special rates which cannot be found elsewhere
  • Some OTAs may have generous cancellation policies. For example, Priceline does not offer any penalty if the user cancels the ticket until the end of the next business day
  • Most users may not have an idea on where to book other than an OTA
  • OTAs make it easy to compare different rates

Who Are the Top Online Travel Agents?

1. Booking.com

Booking.com

Booking.com is one of the largest accommodations websites which has now expanded to smaller markets such as family-operated bed and breakfast, vacation rentals and self-catering apartments.

Interesting statistics
  • Every day, 1,550,000 nights are booked
  • 68% of nights booked came from families and couples
  • 42% of nights booked came from unique places such as homes and apartments
  • 38% of reviews are given by guests which are useful for other travelers
  • 75% of nights booked come from guests who booked more than 5 times

2. Expedia’s Hotels.com

Expedia’s Hotels.com is a popular brand which has a global audience and attracts diverse travelers. The company gained more power in the industry by acquiring Travelocity.

Interesting statistics
  • Gets over 675 million monthly site visits
  • Operates in 70+ countries and 40+ languages
  • Attracts 75 million monthly flight shoppers

3. Airbnb

airbnb

Airbnb revolutionized the travel accommodation industry by introducing home-sharing. The website has diverse listings and travelers get a sense of safety as they can know their guest’s identity.

Interesting statistics
  • 2.9 million hosts are present on Airbnb
  • Average of 800k stays each night
  • 14k new hosts join every month

Apart from these major OTAs, there are many small ones such as OneTravel, Vayama, Tripsta, TravelMerry, ExploreTrip, Kiss&Fly, Webjet, GoToGate, Travelgenio, Bookairfare, Fareboom, Skybooker, Travel2be, OneTwoTrip!, and eBookers.

What the Future Holds for Online Travel Agencies?

It is clear that, in the near future, accommodation businesses are not about to back down from OTAs. They are enjoying the billboard effect and trying their best to retain website visitors and convert them into direct booking. Sure, there is a cost involved. The upside of this is that accommodation businesses are working hard to create a loyal customer base that will continue to seek direct bookings.

The chances of OTAs suffering in the long run are pretty slim. Smaller accommodation businesses have a lot to gain from the exposure they receive through OTAs. Plus, a large portion of the younger generation prefers OTAs. So their market will continue to grow.

If you need any help to design, develop or market an OTA website, contact our travel web design and development experts at ColorWhistle. We can create an amazing website with beautiful designs combined with dynamic content such as live rates and special offers. Contact us today for your free business analysis and consultation.

Creative UI & Web Designer

Openings for UI & Web Designer in Coimbatore Location

  • Positions : 1
  • Job Type : Full-time
  • Experience : 2+ years

Skills and requirements

  • Minimum of 10 websites “UI” design experience
  • Highly expertise in Color Theory and Graphics basics
  • Exposure to work from Logo, Branding, Brochures, Landing Pages, Website UIs, Mobile App UIs
  • Exposure to learn and work on modern design tools like Sketch, Invision Studio
  • Creative work experience with Social Media, Blog and Advertisement posts
  • Exposure to provide website redesign and UX strategies
  • Working knowledge in HTML5, CSS3, Bootstrap
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  • Knowledge in simple video editing process
  • Must have good communication skills and understanding of internet
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