The Product Manager has a key role in the travel agency and one that requires a lot of thought, analysis, and management. In order to be effective at this job, you need to be able to devote all your time towards these activities—otherwise, you won't be able to meet your business goals.
In this blog, we have talked to John – a product manager in the travel industry, about how Tourpaq helps him meet the business goal of sales and revenue.
John has been in the travel industry for many years and remembers the days when running an agency would need 5-10 different systems and a lot of manual data entry and processing.
“I remember when I spent all my time in various systems just to be able to get my work done, it was really time-consuming. I’m so much more efficient with Tourpaq”, John explains.
Product management was a time-consuming process when all pricing and calculations were done manually and should be updated in several systems.
In order to sell your tours online, you must have all the product data entered correctly and distributed to all sales channels. Ex. Your Website and Vendors.
If you manually enter product data in more than one system, you need to stop and consider upgrading your back-office systems.
The biggest savings come from the fact that you can run everything in one system, saving time and money on redundancy. The biggest advantage is that all data is easier to manage and maintain, so you can get more done without having to worry about what's going on behind the scenes.
” Product data is/can be flights, hotels, and other additional products to be sold - and it is incredibly important to get it updated correctly, and it is a heavy process.”, says John
Managing product data is a process that can take up all your time, but Tourpaq has come up with some clever ways of reducing my time on data entry. Today we get hotel allotment, and pricing entered directly into Tourpaq from our agents. I only do a review and approve the hotel for sale. The marketing team will add hotel descriptions and photos in the way our customers like to read about our hotels in the most persuasive way – in order to sell more tours.
You also cannot avoid data maintenance - it will always be there. There may be contracts for new hotels, in the middle of the season, new products, or changes in some fees.
” If I got a properly filled contract from the start, and it has been entered correctly in Tourpaq, I could import and be ready for sales in 5 minutes, and there are probably around a few hundred contracts per season – so it saves a lot of time afterward.”, John continues.
Pricing data can be changed whenever you wish. It is also possible to enter data for the next 5 years, but many travel agencies enter contracts manually every year, as they have been renegotiated.
”Working in Tourpaq has been a great way to organize my data and streamline my workflow. I love that I can work directly in only ONE system, eliminating the need to use multiple systems and Excel sheets”, John says.
Time must be spent on developing new products and negotiating the sharpest prices for products - not on data entry. The task of entering product information into a website and other systems is time-consuming and repetitive. Tourpaq allows you to only enter data once, and then it can be pushed to other systems and channels.
In that way, Tourpaq operates as a Product Data Platform. Holding all the data in one place has many advantages. Once you have entered the data, everything runs automatically – whether it is settlement or reporting, it will be done.
When your tours, hotel descriptions, and itineraries are created directly within TOURPAQ, you'll never have to manage the same data on several different platforms again. All pricing data is pulled directly from our powerful pricing engine.
All of your products and travel itineraries can be managed directly within TOURPAQ, and with our well-documented API integration, you can publish new tours and rates directly onto your existing website or other sales channels.
Are you paying your suppliers in other currencies than your own? TOURPAQ will also help you update this, by allowing you to update exchange rates only once and deploy them towards all packages where the specific currency is used.
The price is an important factor, as the travel industry is an extremely competitive market, where it is all about having the best price, the right product, and being able to provide the best advice/customer service.
The question is whether you have a system where it is easy to manage all prices and to be able to quickly change them based on supply and demand on your tours. We all know, if you snooze, you lose in this competitive market.
Tourpaq is designed to be as flexible as possible, so you can tailor it to your needs. If you're running a strategy that involves manual price management, you can make those changes manually in the system. For example, if prices need to be adjusted, or if there's an update that needs to happen, you can do it yourself and then monitor whether there is anything else that needs changing.
Airplanes can be loaded directly into Tourpaq via GDS. This ensures that your planes are kept up to date, and you can set the system to ask for an update, e.g., 1 time a day, so you always have the latest prices. You can also set it to automatically include your campaigns in the periods, and you can put it on selected products as well.
When it comes to exchange rates, there is no such thing as a standard. The good thing is that if you change one currency in the system, it will change on all products with the selected currency. In this way, the price lists are updated with one click, and time and resources are saved from having to manually update them.
Revenue management is a critical and important component in the travel industry. It's the process of maximizing profitability, by predicting customer behavior at micro-market levels, fine-tuning product pricing, and adjusting availability to maximize revenue.
With this feature, you can run on parameters that adjust the prices according to sales and the budget set for a tour. This means that you do not have to manually enter and adjust prices in order to hit your earnings targets, as everything happens automatically. If you're halfway through your budget, and you need to increase your earnings by a certain percentage, it will automatically add the designated percentage increase to the remaining days of the period, so that you get the earnings you need.
“One of the most important factors in choosing a pricing strategy is to understand your market. You need to know what your customers want, how much they are willing to pay for it, and how much you can charge for it”, says John.
Tourpaq can help visualize it all via the history of sales from year to year, current sales, and historical data, which gives a good overall picture of the customers and the current market trend.
With Dashboards and Reports, you will be on top of your business with deep insight into sales and product gaps. With pre-made report templates, you spend less time creating reports and more time fixing the problem.
When you have a good overview of what has been earned in different periods, it is easy to see which periods have been the most profitable. You can quickly see it from year to year or perhaps look at special weeks in different years. No matter what you look at, you will always find the period where the highest turnover is or whatever numbers you're looking for.
You can have an overview of production costs/revenue vs. profit/contribution margin (earnings).
Having an overview of the destination and hotel level is also a big advantage because it is possible to look at optimization possibilities, and where the focus should lie.
It is important to have a good overview of the pricing strategy. The features are an invaluable resource for product managers, as it allows them to keep track of the latest sales and revenue data quickly and easily.
Therefore, there are several tools that help you manage and optimize your price lists.
“It is incredibly easy to use and very logical - and with these features, you quickly get a sense of how things are going in the business, making my job a whole lot easier”.
Avoid duplicate work – there is a lot of work in doing everything in an Excel sheet, whether it is price calculations, contracts, or something else entirely. In Tourpaq it is all keyed into a powerful price engine. You can maintain everything afterward in the Tourpaq. There is no need to enter the same data multiple times.
"I also like that it is easy to see if I have made any mistakes, as it's simple to see if prices or products are incorrect. So, Tourpaq provides an excellent overview and great features besides the already mentioned.", John says.
In Tourpaq, it's easy to run tests and create new products without any risk. You can also copy a product and run your tests on that, so you don't have to enter data into Excel multiple times. In addition, the system allows you to publish products under several brands. For example, an allotment can be shared between several brands—so if you're in charge of an allotment for the entire group, it will always be up to date because it draws from one platform. The same goes for individual allotments: they can be distributed among the group so that a number of seats are given to each brand—this way you avoid overbooking.
“Tourpaq is a great tool for anyone who wants to save time”, John concludes.
Tourpaq is easy to use and provides you with a ton of options for managing your pricing structure and thereby improving profits and sales. If you want to save time and get a head start from competitors, Tourpaq is an amazing solution.
Want to learn how to improve operational efficiency and increase revenue? Grap our free Ultimate Guide on how to grow your travel business.
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