Generally, there are a lot of travel technology providers available just one click away from you. And, as a result of a lack of current technology knowledge, some business owners become trapped with forceless technology partners and lose business. Please ensure that you receive some basic features that every travel portal solution must have before entering into a partnership.
One search engine application compatible with all devices and platforms:
Responsive and mobile-friendly design is not a new trend. It is good to have an Android or iOS app. But make sure you have at least one search engine application that is compatible with all devices and platforms.
Useful and user-friendly search filters for better conversion:
for customers and end users. The travel portal solution should include useful and user-friendly search filters for flight, hotel, and transfer search engines. For example, if a customer wants to book an early morning departure and a late night arrival, they should be able to find it easily. There are many such filter options that can be used effectively for better conversion.
Meta site integration support:
Make sure your travel portal has the capability to share real-time deals and prices with the meta channels. For example, if you get an opportunity to list your flight deals with Skyscanner or Cheapflights, your travel portal should have an in-built feature to share real-time deals/pices on demand
Deeplink feature implementation is a little different if compared with meta integration. Dealcheckers, MediaAlpha, and Cheapflights are major players in this segment. Deeplink at meta channels doesn't require deals and prices, but it redirects customers with pre-selected search patterns to your search engine. So this is a must-have, unique feature for your portals
GDS and third-party API integration:
There is no doubt that GDS (Amadeus, Galileo, Sabre) is a great one-stop solution for all travel products. But heavy investment is needed to achieve successful implementation.
We recommend that startup OTAs choose flight consolidators initially. There are companies like TravelFusion, Mondee, PKFARE, Mystifly, and several others doing great in the competitive price segment, yet it is easy to get an active account with a lower investment.
Capacity to handle a large volume of load:
You must do performance testing of any travel portal solution you acquire for your travel business. And it's very easy. A real performance test of any travel portal can be done by checking how it works with meta sites and deeplink sites. Speed, accuracy, and consistency. These are the parameters you can check and ensure if it works for you.
Product distribution capability with multi-channel support:
A complete travel portal solution ensures not only meta and deeplink support but several other ways to support fare distribution. For example, Criteo's Commerce Media Platform. If you are planning to use such a platform in the future, discuss it before hiring technology partners.
Management of discounts and markups:
One of the most important parts of any travel portal is how they enable discounts and markup features. For example, if you want to add a discount for a route LHR-SFO with a pin-pointed departure date, airline,flight number, cabin class, booking class, and pax selection, does that travel portal allow it? Ensure your travel portal is capable of doing this for you.
Another critical aspect of any travel portal is how they implement route control to meet day-to-day business requirements. For example, if you have multiple suppliers (GDS) and you want to use a specific supplier for a specific route. Also, if you want to list specific airlines on a specific route, Ensure your travel portal is capable of doing this for you.
Offline fare loading:
If you get some offline deals from the market, does your travel portal allow you to sell this fare through meta, deep-link, and other available marketing channels? Ensure your technology partner is capable of providing this support
Payment Gateway and PCI Support:
Payment Gateway and PCI support are needed constantly. The Checkout payment gateway doesn't require PCI compliance. But if you are planning to use API-hosted payment gateways, they require strong encryption techniques to store customer card data as well as a PCI Compliance certificate. Ensure your technology partner is capable of providing this support.
Integration with third-party APIs such as Riskified and Floater:
Generally, Australia, the UK, and European countries allow chargeback secure 3DS payment systems. And with a little extra effort, you can have a risk-free transaction. But major markets like the USA work a bit differently. The majority of transactions are committed on 2D channels here. and it creates a question mark on the authenticity of the card. So third party service providers like Riskified and Floater provide software as a service that provides fraud and chargeback prevention technology. Ensure your technology partner is capable of providing this integration support when needed.
And last but not least, there are some features we don't openly discuss. However, it provides the ability to eliminate competitors in the long run. Ask your technology provider what they offer. :)