Meet Viking Travel
David and Nancy Berg have been running Viking Travel, also known as Alaska Ferries, since 1981. Viking Travel has always been a business that provides personal service to customers new and old alike. They pride themselves on their ability to help people, whether it’s finding a way to see a glacier, bringing your furry friend along or making last-minute travel plans. David Berg, co-founder of Viking Travel, values the slower pace of island life. The Seattle, WA native enjoys all that comes with living on the water. He is a volunteer firefighter and EMT, and enjoys home brewing, particularly IPA. David barbecues king salmon on his covered deck year round, with his wife and Viking Travel co-founder Nancy Berg. Nancy has lived in Alaska for 38 years. Her love of Petersburg comes from the sight of the beautiful mountains, being close to the water, and the small-town atmosphere. Summertime is spent gardening and cooking up her speciality, Nobu black cod recipe.
Why Did Viking Travel Choose Tourwriter?
As experts on all that Alaska has to offer, they decided in early 2015 to trust Tourwriter to manage their tailor-made itinerary creation, as well as their ferry booking system. Why? To become more efficient as their company grew. Viking Travel has grown through market dominance and business acquisition. With this growth, and their drive for increased profitability, came a need for greater business efficiency. Quotes were simply taking too long to get out and booking confirmations were spread through different email accounts. Nothing was linked and small errors were proving costly. They knew that they needed a better option.
What Were the Main Issues Tourwriter Solved for Viking Travel?
Investing in Tourwriter was driven by a desire to be more efficient. Viking Travel was looking for Tourwriter to solve 4 main problems:
- To improve documentation processing time
- Improve quote presentation
- To automate voucher generation
- To simply their book keeping process
What they found is that Tourwriter does this and much more. “We recently added a staff person and training on Tourwriter was easy and our new employee is up and running with little effort,” said David. Tourwriter makes it easy to on board new staff and spread essential knowledge. Using manual systems, it can be difficult for tour operators to share knowledge among staff. Luckily, Tourwriter solves this, enabling the centralized storage and sharing of key destination and vendor information ensuring access to all. Tourwriter is designed for ease of use for reservation staff.
Has Tourwriter Changed the Relationship With Your Vendors?
Only in a good way. Viking Travel has very strong relationships with their vendor partners and Tourwriter enables them to email booking requests directly from the system using templates to collate critical information; “No more cutting and pasting from Word and Excel and this ensures price and date errors are minimized and this is great” adds David.
David and Nancy were initially concerned that email templates would not work for them. They believed their vendors would require one-on-one personal emails to continue the strong relationship. It quickly became apparent this wasn’t the case. Vendors responded to having clear, concise and consistent booking requests arriving and errors are now none existent. The inbuilt booking request functionality of Tourwriter has saved them hundreds of hours a year.
Always wanting to increase efficiency, Viking Travel have now upgraded their subscription, to include Tourwriter’s Auto Supplier Confirmation function, which allows vendors to confirm bookings directly in Tourwriter without needing to send an email reply. This has meant booking confirmations come back faster and Viking Travel staff are no longer waiting on email replies.
Visit them at www.vikingtravel.com