Over the last few years, with search engines' growth, people expect information at their fingertips whenever they want, wherever they want. Unless you provide the best deals with the most to offer at competitive rates for your market, people may not buy from you, no matter how much is spent on sales and marketing. The travel market is becoming progressively competitive because modern travelers can view, analyze and compare thousands of flights, hotels, activities, transfers, and car rentals worldwide at real-time rates with a single search.
What are Travel APIs?
APIs or Application Programming Interfaces allow developers to synchronize networks, individual devices, and information streams. Travel APIs provide access to travel content as client demands and priorities. Travel agencies integrate third-party flight and hotel APIs into their booking portals to access the best travel deals. They incorporate flights, hotels, transfers, payment gateways, shop and book, rich content and branding, etc. Travel API integrates third-party GDS/Wholesaler inventory/feeds into the booking engine on your site so that it serves a cluster of web services at once. When a customer searches for booking a flight or a hotel on your site, they won't be redirected to another location.
What does this mean for the travel industry?
If you run a hotel business, you can incorporate local car rental providers in your website so that your clients can directly book a car from you. An excellent example of this is how Uber cooperates with local third parties since 2014 to increase the accuracy and quality. Back in 2017, TripAdvisor and comScore showed that an average traveler visited 10 to 34 websites before planning a trip. In contrast, it has come down to 4.4 websites only currently, according to Fuel and Flip. This shows a pattern where people are less patient and prefer dynamic services that provide 'all-in-one-place' platforms.
Why Third-party Content?
The range of content is not as crucial if you are a start-up or a small agency handling a handful of customers or operating within a tiny region. But as you expand your range, having a large inventory pool becomes essential to achieve that growth. Then it essentially becomes challenging and costly to maintain communication with thousands of suppliers based in different regions.
One can see how fast the field of travel agencies is expanding, and competition is intensifying as well. OTA(s), TMC(s), and tour operator(s) try to integrate advanced Travel APIs into their booking engine to ensure maximum utilization of available resources because it helps them offer better travel deals than their competitors. The complexities in the GDS integration make travel companies select Travel APIs that gives them multiple exclusive benefits, some of which are listed below:
1) Reduction of operational costs – using an API can be a massive step to cost-saving for saving travel businesses, both in terms of development and maintenance and operational staff and hours. You can reduce travel agencies' overhead costs on a longer-term. B2C Travel APIs let you receive the payment directly from customers after making the booking.
2) Increase speed to market – an API can significantly shorten many development processes. Innovative, free, and well-organized APIs enable you to filter out information faster by consuming structured data via easy methods. If you cannot deliver the information clients are asking for, they instantly turn to your competitor.
3) Enhancing your reputation – the better the individual needs of customers are catered to, the more likely they are to spread positive word-of-mouth and return for their next trip. Using APIs enable you to create personalized packages that attract more like-minded travelers with all the information they need in one place. The company can emphasize improving user experience with user experience to clients and travelers and form long-term personalized relationships rather than getting stalled by technical complexity. Fewer resources go into content creation, allowing you to redirect focus on your core tasks like creating packages.
4) Acting as Connecting Bridge –
In the world of technology, API is synonymous with growing connectivity. An application programming interface (API) allows for connecting data streams and functionalities between different software products. APIs contribute to linking various software components without the hassle of dealing with source code and working as control panels for developers.
5) Additional Benefits –
You can increase profits by B2B Travel APIs, allowing you to add mark-ups for your agents and end-customers. It gives access to live to the price of flight and hotel inventory. A single Travel API with access to all lists is much more efficient than one with multiple supplier integration, allowing the best available deals through a diverse selection of content to market. Integrating the API of a payment gateway secures online transactions via credit or debit card; besides, multiple payment gateways are available to choose from. The search operation time is much faster. Various languages are incorporated. You have improved access to local and international travel deals through the Travel API- all of the above increases overall bookings through your travel agency.
Why Travel Agencies find Travel API Integration Important?
It takes a lot of time and resources to develop a travel booking engine of its own. There is a need to integrate various travel suppliers to expand the travel portal's content, whereas the suppliers also have unique requirements. Therefore, using third-party Travel API in integration is very efficient because clients can easily search and book fares from multiple integrated suppliers.
GDSs are not preferred by travel companies that are small-scale and have a limited budget. By using third-party Travel API as the medium, these companies can attempt to incorporate the latest features to their booking portal at a much lower cost than that of a GDS.
If you are a travel start-up, gradually expanding your business will require access to a more extensive product inventory. You will need to sign direct contracts with various suppliers, which uses up many monetary funds and time. If you can instead integrate a single Travel API, you can gain access to the best travel content from standard suppliers without the headache of signing all those contracts.
Overall, the ability to provide a seamless online reservation experience is what drives clients to your travel agency, and you are guaranteed reduced development costs by incorporating advanced Travel APIs to build a custom website to search and book travel products.