Dynamic Packaging for Travel and Hospitality Industry

The concept of Dynamic Packaging is to bundle all the components chosen by the aspiring traveler and create one reservation. Regardless of where the inventory originates, the package that is created is handled seamlessly as one transaction, and requires only one payment from the consumer.

To a traveler, there is nothing better than a one stop shop for his traveling needs. The Dynamic Packaging Engine uses a travel component inventory and prices. Regardless of where the inventory originates, the package that is created is handled seamlessly as one transaction, and requires only one payment from the consumer. It automatically applies rules defined by the suppliers and the travel marketer to build and price travel packages. This package configuration process determines which components are used, what combinations of components are allowed or required, and handles inclusions such as taxes, fees or additional package features. Rules also determine how the final retail price is computed.

CAPABILITIES

A typical dynamic packaging application will need the following capabilities:

1. Search and Availability

2. Memberships

3. Shopping Cart

4. Booking and Reservations

5. Payments

6. Cancellations

SEARCH AND AVAILABILITY

A traveler always seeks a destination. Even though he may well be aware of where he needs to go to, he will search for the most appropriate place to stay and enjoy his visit. The search starts with a Transportation and Travel components, Hotel Property, Leisure Components. The search therefore has to be divided geographically to include destinations and neighboring destinations that meet the search criteria. An example search could be travel to New York City, stay at Stamford, Connecticut, Golf at upstate New York. Clearly the Dynamic Packaging engine needs to know the dates of travel, from and to destinations, closest airport to hotel, rental car or other desired ground transportation from selected airport to hotel and access to tee times at the neighboring golf courses. Like the traveler, businesses also seek travel related information.

Travel Agents, Call Centers, and Meeting Planners need packaged information on behalf of their clients. Such a search is riddled with rules and complexity. Besides, the customer needs to have choices that can vary from comfort to price and everything else in between.

1. Proximity: The search uses parameters that can narrow down possibilities yet offer extended possibilities. In our search example, Westchester Airport would have been the best choice. La Guardia airport would be an ideal choice. JFK and Newark and Teterboro are the next choices from a distance to Hotel point of view.

2. Fare and Rates: The traveler will look for the best fare. In our example though Westchester is close to the hotel, offers limited Airlines and perhaps not the best fares. Some fares maybe very attractive, however when it comes to flexibility and cancellation they are not the best. Flexibility of change, penalties associated with change and cancellation are important factors to include in the search results.

3. Travel Times: That’s another important factor for the business traveler. How many flights are there to the airport and at what intervals. Check in times and total time to travel also helps in determining his choice. Therefore non-connecting and connecting flights with layover times need to figure in the search.

4. Accessibility: Another key factor often not paid attention to is accessibility. Physically impaired travelers, people who need meals on a flight, wheelchair access, and quick access to rental cars or trains or ground transportation play a very important role in travel. Do the hotel(s) have wheelchair access? Is it possible to get ground transportation to destined hotel that has wheelchair access?

5. Amenities: Does the hotel offer standard amenities like restaurants, swimming pool, health parlors, spa, fax and printing, broadband Internet access etc? Similarly does the rental car come with GPS, insurance, inter state travel? Does the Golf Course allow only cart access? Are ski rentals available near the resort? The inclusion of amenities in a search result ensures the traveler is not in for surprises at the first lap of travel.

6. Prepackaged: You want to travel, stay in a semi luxury hotel, play golf, why search for each individually. A prepackaged deal would also be more attractive than customizing the travel. Perhaps cheaper.

Travel should be far from being hostile. It is after all a home away from home. A home is a pivotal source for living and entertainment. One uses the home and its peripheral surroundings to make the best of living. The travel destinations and the mode of travel should be as non hostile and as hospitable as is possible. A dynamic packaging should offer a wealth of choices to the traveler yet not inundate the traveler with so much information that he/she is nervous wreck at the end of an itinerary creation.

ACTORS

From the above description one can determine who the obvious actors are in this case.

1. The Traveler

2. GDS (Airlines and Hotels Rate Distribution)

3. Airlines

4. Car Rental Companies

5. Hotel Central Reservation

6. Tour Operators (Buses, Ground Transportation)

7. Proprietary Aggregators (like Golf, Ski etc.)

MORE ACTORS

The Dynamic Packaging should be capable of extending the services for business-to business operations. Which would imply that our actors now are?

8. Travel Agents and Meeting Planners

9. Call Center Agents.

SHOPPING CART

The key item in dynamic packaging is the Shopping Cart. The results of search can be selected and added as line items in the shopping cart. It bundles all the components chosen by the traveler to create one reservation. This shopping cart based vacation builder allows comparison shopping of packages that can include plane tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, insurance, attraction tickets and other features. Regardless of where the inventory originates, the package that is created is handled seamlessly as one transaction, and requires only one payment from the consumer. It automatically applies rules defined by the suppliers and the travel marketer to build and price travel packages. This package configuration process determines which components are used, what combinations of components are allowed or required, and handles inclusions such as taxes, fees or additional package features.

Travel and Tourism Online – Learning From a Distance

A lot goes into traveling outside the actual trip. The plan to get to a destination is only a small detail when compared to the overall experience of a vacation or business trip. Online colleges offer training in travel and tourism for the individual who wants to think and do all the necessary things that go into planning a trip. Prospective students can earn a degree online and be working with clients to help them get the most of their money when traveling.

There are a variety of benefits from attending school online.

  • Learning from a distance allows individuals to choose their study pace and take classes inside the comfort of their own home.
  • Online schooling in travel and tourism permits students to study on days that are set by them not the college or program.
  • Students have the ability to complete all the phases of education without the hassle of commuting to a campus everyday.
  • This is a high advantage for disabled individuals who are unable to commute to a campus and attend classes.

More colleges and universities are adding online degree programs in travel and tourism, which is enabling students to gain a better education with higher degree choices than a certificate program or associate’s degree.

Prospective students have numerous choices when it comes to education programs. Students have the option to gain an education from accredited online colleges and universities starting at an associate’s degree in travel and tourism to a master in business administration for hospitality and tourism management. The opportunities for students to gain an online education in this field is widening and programs are preparing students in numerous ways. Through coursework students will learn about:

  • sales techniques
  • travel destinations
  • bookkeeping
  • reservation systems

An online degree in this area could provide the best career preparation and have graduates working in many different aspects of travel and tourism.

Travel agents have more responsibility to their clients than just booking travel and securing them a discount. The job description for a travel agent encompasses the entire trip whether it’s for leisure or business. A travel agent will arrange:

  • transportation
  • hotel
  • food options
  • tours
  • entertainment

Whatever a client is looking for in regards to their trip a travel agent will spend time getting the best discounts, looking up travel packages, and exploring what activities the destination has to offer their client. Along with the above responsibilities an agent will be the number one source on things like the weather, local customs for international travel, site attractions, money exchange rates, and more.

A new trend is developing for individuals who gain a travel and tourism degree through an online school. More students are becoming specialists in a particular area. Meaning they are choosing to become highly knowledgeable in one area like a culture, destination, or interest. This type of travel and tourism agent is particularly useful for clients who are traveling internationally. Becoming a specialist will require the student to learn the customs and in some cases the languages of a chosen location. With increasing demands on travel agents from their clients, gaining a degree in the field is becoming extremely important.

Use your passion for travel and exotic destinations to start your career training online. Accredited schools provide the best quality education. There are numerous agencies like the Distance Education and Training Council (www.detc.org) that provide full accreditation to educational programs. Students can research accredited colleges that offer a degree distinction that fits their goals and begin working towards their personalized career in the hospitality industry.

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at PETAP.org.

Copyright 2010 – All rights reserved by PETAP.org.

Save a Great Deal With Combo Flight and Hotel Booking

With the introduction of new technologies and new modes of transportation, the world has changed into a global village. Now, going from one country to another takes just a few hours. Today, the natural and man-made wonders located all across the globe can be explored without giving a second thought. Travelling across countries as well as continents is as easy as booking a flight ticket. Places with unique tourist attractions are getting their due attention, and Honk Kong is one among them. The city is emerging as one of the most popular tourist destinations, attracting a lot of visitors from different countries. Well connected by different modes of transportation and featuring an international airport, the city can be reached from any part of the world. After reaching the destination, searching for proper accommodation can be hectic. So, frequent travellers insist on doing a thorough research for accommodation beforehand.

Points to be kept in Mind while Travelling to Hong Kong

After reaching the airport, taxis can be hired to reach the booked hotel. Tourists need not worry about the authenticity of the taxi driver or the fare they are charging as Hong Kong is counted among the safest and most honest cities of the world. Police presence at short distances gives a sense of security to travellers, and the number of English speaking people in the city is quite high. So, travellers can ask for help from locals also if they feel any threat or they feel lost. Carrying identity card or a small slip of self-information is advised by experienced travellers, which can be useful in case of any emergency.

Those who have not booked any hotels can ask the taxi drivers to take them to a decent property as per their requirement and budget. However, frequent travellers opine that it is always better to go for the flight and hotel booking option in the first place as it not only saves time and money, but any hassles after reaching the destination.

Getting to Know the City

Public transport of all the Chinese cities is well organised and hence, travellers can opt buses or taxis to wander in the city. Drivers usually charge extra for luggage, which is calculated fairly. Tourists can also travel in some of the fastest moving vehicles of the world, by travelling in the metros. Mass transit railway (MTR), the subway system as called by the Chinese people, is the best mode to go from one place to another. Tourists need to buy an Octopus card and get it refilled in order to avail services provided by MTR. They can go to the outskirts of the city for sightseeing and enjoy the natural beauty that the country is blessed with. Other Asian countries like Cambodia, Thailand and India also boast of stunning natural and man-made attractions, which can be visited by booking any international airline or Thai Airways flight ticket.