Whether you’re just starting your tour operator business, or have been in the industry for a while, a question you may find yourself asking is ‘how much should I be investing on travel software?’ When it comes to starting your search online for the price of travel agency software it can often feel a little overwhelming! There are hundreds of options at a multitude of different price points.
We’ve put together the following guide to help get you through the foggy early stages of looking for tour operator software. From understanding what you’re investing in, through to calculating how much you should be spending, you’ll be an expert in no time!
There Are Many Things to Consider
Surprise, surprise! Unfortunately, there’s no clear-cut rule when it comes to deciding how much you should spend on travel software, it really does vary so much from business to business. Instead of starting with a single figure, we recommend going through a series of business-related questions to help set your travel software budget:
1. What software are you currently using?
Whether you’re currently using bespoke travel agency software, or you’re using other alternatives like Microsoft Office (Word and Excel per example) there’s an associated cost that you should take into account. Perhaps your existing tools aren’t ticking the boxes you need to make it worthwhile? Or maybe your current software is not saving your team enough time. Whatever it is, take some time out to define and note that benchmark when refining your new software budget.
2. How much time does your team currently spend on quotes, itineraries, and bookings?
Although time isn’t as easy to measure (especially if you have a large team), the time it takes your team to create documents can be a huge indicator on how much you’re actually spending in human resource. If your team takes an average of 3 hours per itinerary you can easily apply a dollar figure to that based on your current operating costs.
Once you understand how much your existing processes are costing you, it will be a lot easier to build a clear picture of how much you can justify putting towards new travel software.
3. How much are errors actually costing you?
The cost of letting an error slip through can be tremendous for a tour operator. You may have experienced this yourself, or you may be currently spending time double and triple checking your bookings for mistakes. Preventing errors and dealing with the fallout of them are both costly to your business. Acknowledging that there will always be a cost (or potential loss) associated with these sorts of risks will help weigh up what you’re already inadvertently spending.
We recommend considering this cost against the advantages of a travel software that minimises many of these risks. Not only will help you assign a dollar figure to the benefits of investing in Tour Operator software, it will also help you sleep easier at night…and that’s a big Win-win!
According to Forbes, over 88% of spreadsheets contain at least one error. When you’re dealing with tailor-made tours, that single error can be extremely expensive for a tour operator to correct.
$20,000 is currently the highest cost from a single travel itinerary spreadsheet error that we’ve heard of so far; Investing in back office travel software that eliminates the chance of that is a bit like buying an insurance policy for your business.
4. What are the future plans for your business?
Taking into account your business plans for the future is another important factor when it comes to creating a budget for your software. Moving systems often means you’ll need to invest time initially in learning and getting set up, so you’ll want to have something that will grow with your business for several years to come. `
Are you planning on hiring more staff? Expanding your offering? Targeting a new market? Although it’s trickier to define an associated cost to these types of goals, they are equally as important to note when deciding what tool you’re going to choose to come along on your business journey.
The team at See Italy Travel began using our Tour Operator software in 2016 and have since been able to use their newfound resources to expand their team.
We are now able to hire and train new sales agents since Tourwriter is easy to learn and use.
See Italy Travel contacted Tourwriter again in 2018 to let update us on their amazing year.
We are having the BEST YEAR EVER! I am so very happy that we have Tourwriter so that we can work very smart and our errors are zero! No mis-quotes! No files missing! No services being left out of quotes or final documents. We are a lean mean booking machine! – Kathy Campbell, Operations Manager at See Italy Travel