Shared Inventory Scheduled Tours

Shared inventory scheduled tours in TravelHerd use the parent/child concept for Land-only and Land and Air as well as Complete/Partial Itinerary tours. This is illustrated by the following examples for each of these scheduled tour combinations:

1. Land-only and Land and Air tours with shared inventory.

The Land-only tour is the parent, each Land and Air tour is a child of the Land-only tour with its own air inventory. Both inventories need to be available to confirm the child tour. Land-only and Land and Air tours generally do not start of the same date and make use of the Land-only date off-set. Often the Land and Air tour commences one day prior to the parent Land-only tour so as to allow for travel time to the destination where the Land-only tour begins.

To illustrate this, you have a Land-only tour with 20 rooms starting in Paris; its Land and Air tour child has 10 seats from JFK to Paris and 10 seats from LAX to Paris with passengers commencing the land portion of the tour upon arrival. When booking the Land-only tour, TravelHerd will check the inventory of available rooms for the requested departure date. When booking the Land and Air tour from JFK, TravelHerd will check the inventory of available seats and the inventory of available rooms also.

2. Complete itinerary tour and partial itinerary tour with shared inventory.

The complete itinerary tour is the parent, each partial itinerary tour is a child of the complete tour with it own inventory. Like the first example above, both inventories need to be available to confirm the child tour. The Land-Only date off-set may be used to synch-up the partial tour to the complete tour inventory. The complete itinerary tour and partial itinerary tour with shared inventory very often arise with motor coach itineraries.

TravelHerd can also accommodate scheduled tours with multiple level inventory; for more information on this, please click here.

Credit Card Payment Processing using Authorize.net

TravelHerd now incorporates credit card payment processing using Authorize.net. Authorize.net processes over one billion transactions per year for over 430,000 merchants. We selected Authorize.net as our credit card processing partner because of their award winning API integration and customer service.

TravelHerd credit card payment processing is available in our on-line Book Now tour booking engine as well as from invoice emails generated within TravelHerd for any reservation with an open balance. TravelHerd uses the Authorize.net Accept suite.  To make a payment, the credit card information is entered on the Authorize.net server via an overlay on TravelHerd scripts. After much research, we chose the Authorize.net Accept suite as the credit card payment processing solution for TravelHerd.  Its extensive on-line security and ease of use for the end-user making the payment. This solution is a SAQ-A level PCI compliance.

All TravelHerd subscriptions have incorporated this value added service.  Subscribing companies may choose to use credit card processing using Authorize.net or not; its use is neither obligatory nor automatic.  TravelHerd subscribing company administrators can activate credit card processing using Authorize.net for their company via an option in their TravelHerd company settings.  Administrators must verify that their credit card processing bank has set up their company credentials with Authorize.net prior to activating this functionality. There is no additional charge to the monthly subscription rate. TravelHerd does not receive remuneration from Authorize.net for this value added service. Click here to schedule a demo for TravelHerd including credit card payment processing using Authorize.net.

Book itineraries using database, XML and one-offs

Book itineraries using database, XML and one-offs in TravelHerd. We have combined these various booking methods in one place, per type of service, for ease of booking into your TravelHerd scratchpad for quotes or into your existing TravelHerd proposals and reservations.

Book itineraries using database, XML and one-offsPopular, frequently booked accommodations and services which have been previously stored in your TravelHerd database can be booked into your TravelHerd scratchpad or proposals and reservation from XML interfaces or database items in one single pull down; XML items are flagged. TravelHerd will retrieve current rate information based on the interface mode and supplier. For services which have not been previously-stored in your TravelHerd database, TravelHerd provides links to wider search XML scripts by supplier to find them. When the rates and services are displayed, there is a link to display and store the product details in TravelHerd for current and future use by you and other TravelHerd users at your company.

Accommodations and services booked through an XML interface which have date sensitive information, e.g. seasonal hours of operation, etc., are automatically updated in the TravelHerd database via the XML interface every time an inquiry for these items.

To book non-XML interface or non-database services in TravelHerd, a form screen with fill-in items is provided. TravelHerd can then email the request to the supplier; alternatively, net rates can be entered in the TravelHerd database as well, if booked through suppliers with non-interactive third party systems.

Team TravelHerd put our programming skills to work and utilized valuable client input, based on their experiences constructing custom FITs, into building a robust FIT booking engine which recognizes the various ways components are incorporated into itineraries.  With system flexibility and intuitive, user-friendly design, your reservation agents will be able to book itineraries using database, XML and one-offs in TravelHerd with surety and ease.

TravelHerd WordPress Interface

TravelHerd WordPress interfaceHome of the Herds hosted websites can use the TravelHerd WordPress interface for scheduled tours, specials, hotel descriptions and scheduled activities. The synergy between the two applications saves you from dual information entry and its maintenance. It also precludes the issue of scheduled tours, specials, hotel descriptions and scheduled activities having to be updated in each application when revisions become necessary, thus avoiding out-of-sync data between the two applications. Scheduled activities can generally be described one day or less tours (sightseeing, docent and self-guided) and activities (classes, cultural, sporting, spa and dining, etc.).

Scheduled Tours and Specials

When selling scheduled tours and specials, the information for each specific tour is entered once but the data is utilized in both TravelHerd and your WordPress website using the TravelHerd WordPress interface. The tour selling prices and accruals are entered into your TravelHerd application and dynamically display on the tour’s web pages on your WordPress website. The tour itinerary text, including embedded images, is loaded in your WordPress website and get utilized as the tour’s itinerary in your TravelHerd database. The TravelHerd WordPress interface process saves hours of maintaining dual databases in separate applications with the inherent issue of out of sync data. For companies not selling scheduled tours or specials, the TravelHerd WordPress interface can be used to display sample itineraries with “From” pricing or without any pricing component at all.

Hotel Descriptions and Scheduled Activities

Hotel descriptions and scheduled activities are loaded only once in WordPress posts. The hotel vendor set-up in TravelHerd utilizes the appropriate WordPress post for day to day itineraries created in the TravelHerd booking engine. This functionality includes XML hotel vendors accessed via the TravelHerd XML interface; if using multiple XML vendors for the same hotel, the same description taken from your WordPress post can be used across vendors. The same holds true for scheduled activities, wherein TravelHerd utilizes these WordPress posts, making them ready to book into your TravelHerd itineraries.

Using the TravelHerd WordPress interface also makes it a breeze to set up your scheduled tours and specials for on-line sales using the TravelHerd Book Now (B2C) and TravelHerd Travel Agent Portal (B2B) features. Both TravelHerd Book Now and TravelHerd Travel Agent Portal are excellent avenues to increase your bookings and revenue without the direct interaction with your staff. Contact us today for a TravelHerd demonstration and learn about these exciting features and the TravelHerd application for yourself.

Single or Multiple Itinerary Deviation Feature

The single or multiple itinerary deviation feature in the TravelHerd FIT booking engine allows for a passenger or multiple passengers to deviate from the main itinerary for their own specific activities while staying within the overall main itinerary framework, within a single reservation.  Itineraries using this feature show the main itinerary with the deviations, tagged with their specific travelers names, as they occur.

Single or Multiple Itinerary Deviation Feature

Click on image for expanded view

The single or multiple itinerary deviation feature is particularly useful for reservations with multiple passengers traveling together for most of their journey. Naturally, it is beneficial for both the travel agent or direct consumer who made the reservation to maintain all passengers within a single reservation. A single itinerary and invoice is preferred but when itinerary deviations occur can this be done? For tour operators using TravelHerd, the answer is “Yes!”  Not only can you keep all the passengers within a single reservation but you can detail any and all deviations from the main itinerary by passenger on the actual days they occur within the main itinerary.  Use the Deviations tab and group the components to be shown together on the itinerary sorting by group within the itinerary; you can add optional deviation headers and footers which will appear on the itinerary and the reservation summary.

Flexible profit modules

TravelHerd allows flexible profit modules, for both mark-up and commission, by reservation

TravelHerd has very flexible profit modules.  For mark-up modules, this includes single tier, double tier and mark-up via either division or multiplication; these modules are elaborated upon below.

– Single tier from net cost to selling price with optional seperate mark-ups for travel agents and direct consumers. The mark-up can be done by division or multiplication.

– Double tier from net cost to net selling price and net selling prices to gross selling price. The second step is with optional separate mark-ups for travel agents and direct consumers. The mark-up can be done by division or multiplication.

Mark-up parameters are set company-wide. Lead reservation agents and those with higher authorization levels can set their own mark-up parameters as well as adjust these mark-up parameters for individual components of their choosing within the scratchpad or reservation, as the situation requires.

flexible profit modulesAdditionally, when setting up products in the TravelHerd database, FIT components can be loaded as mark-up per person, mark-up per unit,  pre-calculated per person or pre-calculated per unit.  A flag can be set for components where the selling price and commission cannot be overwritten at the reservation level; this is often used for fixed items such as insurance.

Default commission levels by product type (FIT vs. Tour) are set company-wide. A commission cap can also be set by product type. Lead reservation agents and those with higher authorization levels can set their own commission levels, per reservation or by service, up to the commission cap.  A separate commission level and cap can be set for scheduled tours by departure date.

In both the scratchpad, used when preparing quotes, as well as within an existing reservation or proposal, the profitability based upon the selected mark-up and commission can be displayed for easy reference.

Profile list segmentation

List segmentation extraction from your TravelHerd database is accomplished using the profile group module.  Profile groups can be created in TravelHerd based on the following search criteria:

Profile type
Profile creation date
Reservations by departure date
Reservations by conversion date (deposit received date)
Brochures requests
Marketing and Interest tags
Countries
States / Provinces
Sales territory
Major Markets (based on US zip codes i.e. Greater Los Angeles)
Zip code range

These list segmentation search criteria can be queried in a number of ways:

Inclusion: Combine search criteria,  e.g. Profile type: direct consumers plus States: New Jersey will yield Direct Consumers in New Jersey. Existing profile groups can be combined as well to form new profile groups e.g. Profile group: direct consumers in the NYC zip codes plus the profile group described above, yielding a new Profile group: all direct consumers in New Jersey and the NYC area.  Newly-created profile groups are then available for future use.

Exclusion: Exclude search criteria and/or profile groups, e.g. using the Profile group: all direct consumers in New Jersey and the NYC area minus Profile type: direct consumers with reservations departing in the current year yields a new Profile group: all direct consumers in New Jersey and the NYC area except those who have reservations departing in the current year.

TravelHerd prevents “blank searches” when creating profile groups by not displaying search criteria which do not yet exist; i.e. if no sales territories have been assigned, Sales Territories will not be listed as an available search criteria.

List segmentationProfile groups can be used to send targeted email campaigns from within TravelHerd using the email marketing module.  The TravelHerd email marketing module tracks marketing emails opened  and all click thrus on links in those emails.  All email addresses which receive hard bounces (email address not found) are automatically marked as undeliverable and will be excluded from future campaigns.  For all email addresses which receive soft bounces (recipient’s mailbox full or email server temporarily unavailable), TravelHerd  will make six more attempts to delivery the sent email, to maximize delivery.  All marketing email sent via TravelHerd’s email marketing module include a preformatted opt-out link.  Using this opt-out link instantly opts-out the recipient’s email address to from all future marketing email campaigns; this is done to comply with the Can-Spam Act. A profile with opted-out or hard bounce status email address can revise their email address status through a double opt-in process.

TravelHerd’s email marketing module include the option to create an email preview group.  Email preview group members can be selected from the internal list of TravelHerd users at your company; group members can be deleted from the preview group and new members added at any time.  TravelHerd users have to opton to queue email marketing campaigns to the email preview group for internal review and revision. Email campaigns are saved so they can be queued to selected profile groups as required. Once queued-out, email history details open and click-thru counts.

Profile groups can be used to create postal mailing lists as well in TravelHerd. Lists can be output in various formats including labels or MS Excel for either in-house or mailing house fulfillment.  All profiles in TravelHerd can be opted-out of postal mail.

TravelHerd’s list segmentation options are easy to use and will greatly assisted your company’s marketing efforts.

Book Now online reservation portal

Book NowSell scheduled tours and specials from your TravelHerd database online via the Book Now online reservation portal and boost your reservations!  The Book Now module utilizes a pre-formatted link on your website to the TravelHerd application. Tours offered may also have single or multi level itineraries and pricing as well as in-tour options and pre and/or post extensions.  When a visitor to a TravelHerd subscribing company’s website clicks on the Book Now online reservation portal link, they are presented with the large main image of the selected scheduled tour with a calendar detailing upcoming scheduled departures for that tour and an option to revise the room requirement(s) as needed. For those TravelHerd subscribing companies using the TravelHerd WordPress interface, the itinerary and database loading offers of scheduled tours and specials a more streamlined process.

  • Offer scheduled departure tours with single level or multiple levels (Deluxe, Standard) and pricing
  • Sell extensions and/or additional optional services (e.g. day tours, etc.) at time of booking
  • Tour inventory can be on either per person, # of rooms or room type; zero inventory shows as “On Request”
  • Flexible departures: daily, weekly, monthly, individual departures and more
  • Receive instant notification of new Book Now reservations/requests

The calendar display details the first instance of a scheduled tour which can be booked or requested, as you have the option to cut-off online sales x days out.  For days when the tour operates, it will display the per person double occupancy rate and indicate whether it is on request or available for instant confirmation. The room requirement is set to 1 double occupancy room with an option to easily revise the room requirement(s), both in quantity and room occupancy type, and the calendar will redisplay with the rates and availability based on the new room requirement.  The calendar can be advanced to other months, as required.  Select a departure date, to reveal the large, main image of the selected scheduled tour followed by a detailed day-to-day itinerary including any embedded images.

Book NowUpon selection of a tour departure date from the display, a total gross selling price with a per person breakdown is calculated and the visitor is prompted to enter their email address.  If the email address entered is known to your TravelHerd database, the visitor’s required contact details will be displayed. Visitors with email addresses unknown to your TravelHerd database will be required to enter their contact details. In either case, the passenger names, genders, optional dietary requirements, and country of passport issue must be entered prior to submission; these details can be updated later in TravelHerd by your staff, if required. Terms and Conditions, either for your company or tour-specific are also detailed at the bottom of the screen display.

Upon submission, a proposal is created in TravelHerd and the purchaser is emailed a combined itinerary-invoice which also details the payment terms. An email is also generated to the TravelHerd subscriber advising the proposal, tour and departure date, rooming requirement and the purchaser’s contact information. A unique email address at your company can be assigned for Book Now email communications.  The on-screen display will then update to a thank you message which reiterates the tour information which they’ve now booked.  The reiteration also includes pricing and, if the purchaser’s email address is a travel agent in your TravelHerd database, the commission amount.  When the reservation is completed, accruals are automatically added to the proposal, if they have been loaded into your database for the specified tour. Book Now reservations are tagged with WWW for easy identification.  TravelHerd’s Book Now online reservation portal is a boost to your company’s reservations and a great adjunct to your sales and marketing efforts!

Trade and Consumer Profiles in TravelHerd

Trade and consumer profiles in TravelHerd are categorized in 5 ways:

1. Travel Agency Master: Main office holding the ARC/IATA appointment
2. Travel Agency Branch: Associated with a Travel Agency Master profile by ARC/IATA but located at a separate physical location
3. Travel Agents with an ARC/IATA number: associated with a Travel Agency Master or a Travel Agency Branch
4. Travel Agents without an ARC/IATA number: Usually data collected from trade shows and other industry sources
5. Direct Consumers: current or past clients, brochure requests and other inquiries

Travel Agency Master profiles can be tagged with a consortium and an optional sub-affiliation. The sub-affiliation can be custom created to reflect affiliated travel agencies, each with their own Travel Agency Master, usually reflecting a joint marketing agreement.  For Travel Agency Masters without an ARC/IATA appointment, TravelHerd will assign a Pseudo ARC number.  Travel Agency Master profiles may also be tagged with marketing and/or interest tags.  Marketing tags are designated in TravelHerd by your company and assigned; they can be based on list sources, trade show promotions and other industry-defined matters.  Interest tags are designated in TravelHerd by your company but self-affiliated by the profile, e.g. European Travel, Safaris, Family Holidays, as needed.  TravelHerd profiles may carry multiple marketing and/or interest tags and are used to target your company’s sales and marketing efforts.

trade and consumer profiles in TravelHerdTravel Agency Branches automatically inherit all tags from their associated Travel Agency Master and are updated as additions, changes and deletions are made to the Travel Agency Master.  Additional marketing and interest tags can be added to a Travel Agency Branch as needed.

Travel Agents with an ARC/IATA number inherit all tags from their associated Travel Agency Master and Travel Agency Branch, if a branch exists.  Additional marketing and interest tags can be added to Travel Agents as needed to reflect their specific situations, e.g. attended a specific seminar or traveled on a specific fam trip.

Travel Agents without an ARC/IATA number can be tagged with marketing and interest tags as needed to help identify their source.  For Travel Agents without an ARC/IATA number seeking to make a reservation, it is required to associate their profile with a Travel Agency Master or Branch.

Direct Consumers can also be tagged with marketing and interest tags, e.g. specific brochure requested, consumer trade show attended or social/professional affiliation (Rotary Club, AARP or local trade group).

TravelHerd reservations are tracked by the individual Travel Agent profile as well as any associated Travel Agency Master and Branch.  Sales territories can be set up based on ZIP range or State/Province code; Travel Agency Masters are auto-tagged in this process.  As trade and consumer profiles in TravelHerd incorporate email addresses, postal mail addresses or both, they can be used in list segmentation extraction for email marketing and postal mailing lists.

Travel Agent Portal

Select travel agents can book your products via the TravelHerd Travel Agent Portal.

Travel agents have moved toward becoming destination and category specialists (think Africa, honeymoons, pilgrimages and more); indeed many have become as knowledgeable in their areas of expertise as the tour operators themselves.  The TravelHerd Travel Agent Portal TravelHerd Travel Agent Portalallows tour operators to invite select travel agents, on an individual agent basis, to book your tours and specials for their clients, by themselves without the direct involvement of your staff.  Travel agents logged-in to the secure TravelHerd Travel Agent Portal will also have access to additional functionality.  Here’s how it works:

  • Authorize select travel agents on an individual basis and invite them to log-in with their email address and create their own password to access the secure TravelHerd Travel Agent Portal
  • After logging-in, travel agents are presented with a display of featured promotions and news on the portal’s home page along with a menu of actions available to them including the following:
  • Click image to enlarge

    Travel agents can book tours and specials, including up-sell options and extensions, from within the secure TravelHerd Travel Agent Portal by themselves without the direct involvement of your staff

  • Travel agents can review their upcoming reservations, including those booked via your sales consultants as well as those booked via the portal
  • Travel agents can enter passengers’ names and other information to their upcoming reservations
  • Travel agents can issue invoices, client invoices and itineraries for their upcoming reservations
  • Variable commission levels can be set in the TravelHerd scheduled tours and specials database for reservations made 1) via the Travel Agent Portal, 2) via your in-house sales consultants or 3) combination reservations (initially booked by the travel agent via Travel Agent Portal but later requiring revisions by your sales consultants) as a means to incentivize travel agents to use the portal
  • Travel agents can initiate brochure requests from within the secure Travel Agent Portal, which are then transmitted to the tour operator

Select travel agents will appreciate the ease, convenience, and functionality which the secure TravelHerd Travel Agent Portal offers them without the direct involvement of your sales consultants.