If you are associated with the travel industry as a travel company, tourism development organization, resort, travel agency, consolidator or a travel adviser; you may be using travel technology solution that lends you the edge to attract/retain customers and beat competition. Travel portal software is ideally suited for those travel agencies who require flexible, easy-to-use solutions to automate and control their business online. Your experience in your industry, backed by this robust technology, will give you the necessary ammunition to skyrocket your business through the web.
So, how to enter the OTA market? How much it cost to build an online travel portal??
To set up OTA software, one needs to have a clear idea regarding the cost involved in developing a travel portal. After-all nothing comes without a cost. For every dollar that you spend in developing the travel software, you should get 10 fold back as the latest technology driven online travel booking software will drive more customers – means increase in sales & revenue.
The overall project cost depends on the complexity and depth of your requirement. If you know nothing about development and cost, here are some points to be considered:
1. Choice of t-commerce platform:
A comprehensive travel portal can be developed on various t-commerce platforms like flight booking engine, hotel booking engine, car rental software, cruise booking engine, bus reservation system, holiday and packages booking system etc. Depending upon one’s requirements and business vision, the specific platform can be chosen. While choosing the appropriate travel module, you need to know the cost associated with it.
Flight Booking Engine: It is one of the leading travel commerce platforms that provide distribution, technology for global tourism and travel industry. An airline reservation system comes with an XML integration, which is ideally provided by some API or GDS (Global Distribution System) consolidators. API/GDS is a network operated by a company that enables automated transactions between third parties and booking agents in order to provide travel-related services to the end consumers.
A basic flight reservation system with an API integration usually costs between 6K to 9K USD. For a booking engine with GDS integration, say Amadeus, you can add 25% to above cost.
Hotel Booking Engine: Online hotel reservations are a popular method for booking hotel rooms. It is a computerized system that stores and distributes information of a hotel, resort, or other lodging facilities. Large hotel chains typically have direct connections to the airline national distribution systems (GDS) (Sabre, Galileo, Amadeus, and Worldspan). These in turn provide hotel information directly to the hundreds of thousands of OTA through their XMLs, which are integrated in a travel booking software.
A hotel booking engine with a base level design can cost you between 5K to 7K USD. Any customization in terms of design, functionality, features etc., can cost you more.
Car Rental, Cruise and Bus Booking Systems: For a comprehensive travel booking engine, these all modules play a vital role in terms of business spread. According to a study report, the travel portal with these comprehensive services have more visitors compared with a single service provider booking engine.
Generally adding a car rental software or cruise / bus booking engines in a travel portal costs between 3K to 5K USD each. However the cost varies if you go with a single module system development.
2. Choice of business models:
There are basically two different types of business models – B2C, B2B. Based on the audience, one can select his appropriate business model.
B2C: Business-to-Consumer (B2C) Model refers to the tactics and best practices used by the companies that sell their product and services directly to the consumers. For a booking engine with B2C model, you can add 15% to above cost.
B2B: Business-to-Business (B2B) usually connects customers & partners to important company and product info. In simple words, it refers travel AGENT module. This model ensures your business growth as well as stability. For a booking engine with B2B model, you can add 30% to above cost.
Travel portal development cost varies a lot based on the features and platforms associated with the system. It can be commented after going through the detailed requirements. Professional travel portal development companies have ready framework for different type of travel models and thus using that, may reduce the time and development cost. Better to share your scope with a professional development company and get the absolute idea about pricing.
Author is a travel technology expert and has been involved in several travel portal development projects.