Plugins for WordPress have been designed in all industries to help those offering their services to the general public automate their website functions. Not only does automation gives the site visitor instant access or availability to tools that can give them answers, but they also mean that your website will run 24/7 without then need for any manual intervention. In this guide, we are going to look at how WordPress themes and plugins have helped thousands of websites within the travel industry.
Why is this article going to be useful to you?
Even if you are not working within the travel industry, you will get an idea of how WordPress plugins can help automate processes. You can then take what you have learned back to the industry you do work in and find plugins that can help your business.
As for the travel industry itself, you will learn about:
- Take advantage of free WordPress plugins to increase your business’s revenue
- Offer high-tech solutions to both B2B and B2C markets
- Save costs and time helping to increase business efficiency
- Learn exactly how plugins save you time via automation
- Reduce human error via automated functions that deliver accuracy
- Learn about different plugins for different sectors of the travel industry
- How to save costs by NOT hiring a web developer
- Reduce the fees you pay to marketing agencies
1. The WooTour Plug In
If your business wants to create attractive travel packages and tours, then this plugin is going to be a lifesaver as well as a time saver. It is surprising how much money some travel agencies will pay a marketing company or web developer to create custom made tours. Now any decent travel company needs to keep their tours fresh and keep changing their content, and we all know this costs money.
What does the WooTour Plugin do?
WooTour makes your life easier and saves you costs because it has a ‘walk-you-through’ process that will allow your business (in fact anyone in your business) to follow the step-by-step process and create beautiful and amazing tours. All your travel packages can be neatly presented plus this plugin includes booking detail info as well as an email notification tool.
The main areas of information the plug-in offers are:
- Overview of the tour/package
- Itinerary information (of course this is vital)
- Cost of the tour/package being offered
- Different versions of the tour (Subcategories)
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Inquiry form if the FAQ isn’t enough
- A PayPal payment option (PayPal also takes credit/debit card)
- Currency options to be used
On top of all of this, you will be able to create as many tours as you wish, and they will auto add to your tours and packages page. This way new users will be able to click on the particular tour they are interested in.
You can grab this plugin here from Codecanyon.net.
2. Channel Manager and Booking System Plugin – This Tool Increases Revenue
Now if you are in the business of accommodation, and you do not already have this channel manager software, then now is time to get it. Trust us when we say that this piece of simple code plugged into your website will not only save you time, it could also increase your business’s exposure and as a result increase revenue.
What does the channel manager plugin do?
The channel manager is actually quite simple. It takes multiple calendars from multiple accommodation booking sites and links them to a central calendar that uses what is known as push/pull technology. It can also be used for other booking platforms but for this example we will use accommodation because this tool is often used by hotels and vacation rental companies.
The idea behind this anyone is that a company with vacation properties or hotel rooms can list their accommodation offering on more than one website. i.e. Expedia, Agoda, Airbnb, and so on. Now with all these websites issuing their own calendar for the same property the conundrum begins. If a booking is made on Expedia the calendars on the other websites do not know about it – how can they?
Well,, the simple answer is the channel manager plugin. Once the plugin is installed, you can then log in to all the booking websites the accommodation is being advertised. Go to the calendar and tell it to sync with the ‘master calendar’ on your website. Therefore, the booking dates are pushed to the market calendar. The ‘Master Calendar’ will then push that booking information to all the other websites. All this is done automatically without any manual intervention needed.
What’s more, is this technology comes with fault tolerance. Every hour, or to whatever you set it to, the ‘Master Calendar’ will pull the information from all the calendars it is linked with and compare the information.
One more thing. When you change the rates of your property, this can also be synced. You will have granular control over this option because obviously some sites charge higher commissions than others and as a result, you may have different pricing strategies for a different websites.
The main benefits this plugin offers are:
- List properties on multiple websites to increase exposure
- Eliminate the risk of two bookings for the same dates via different websites
- A master calendar to organize all your bookings
- No manual intervention needed to fill booked dates on other websites
- Free up your employee’s time to concentrate on more productive business activities
- Your booking system operates seamlessly 24/7
- You do not have to pay for this plugin!
- Price synchronization options
- There are Squarespace, custom HTML, Weebly, and Wix versions
If you are running an accommodation service of any description, then you should be increasing your brand’s exposure by listing the site on multiple third-party websites that allow you to add your property or room up for rental on as many sites as possible.
You can grab your channel manager plugin here from www.lodgify.com.
3. Oganro – flight, accommodation, and tours all-in-one tool
This WordPress plugin is for companies that offer multiple travel services. It adds a widget to your WordPress site so you can manage your entire flight, tour, and accommodation booking services from one place. This is effectively a tool for Business to Business (B2B) as well as Business to Consumer (B2C) activities – in short – it works for everyone!
What does the Oganro Widget Do?
Some companies, like Asia Highlights, for example, offer complete travel packages for their customers. The idea is to take away all the hassles of booking transportation such as flights, taxis, buses, boats, cruise, train, and whatever other transport needs to be booked to get to the final destination. Other hassles of a trip away include booking hotels and arranging tours as well as pick up times for those tours.
Oganaro compiles all the online platforms in a particular country where all these elements of the traveler’s trip can be arranged. All the customer needs to do is put in the dates of where they want to go, what time, where he or she would like to stay and so on. Hopefully, you get the picture here.
The end result is a fully planned trip and the best price possible according to the budget. First-class to second-class travel and from 5-star to 2-star accommodation, your business can give your website visitors all the options available at the drop of hat.
You can earn commissions, become a wholesaler for major travel companies like Asia Highlights mentioned above, plus there are various other ways you can work the Oganro plugin into your business model.
A recap of the main features this tool has to offer:
- All the rates are shown in real-time according to the prices listed on other websites offering service to be booked
- You can configure the plug in to service multiple locations and languages
- Connect with multiple transports, hotel, tour, and other travel booking websites
- It comes with a fully integrated payment system that accepts tons of payment options
- With the payment system comes the control over which currencies are accepted
- It can be used to service large ‘full suite’ travel service companies
- Your customers, site visitors, or business clients can save hours of time
- Saving time means more efficient business operations
This tool is extremely useful if your company services the high-end travel market where the money is usually not an object to travelers. It is also incredibly useful if your company services corporations that regularly send their employees overseas – even at short notice! Plus, even budget travelers can make sure of this tool such as backpackers looking for the cheapest route through popular backpacker destinations like South East Asia.
You can grab your Oganaro plugin here from www.oganro.com.
How Can You Apply Plugins to Your Business?
Our advice would be to look for plugins and widgets that will help your business save time. The key here is automation. Luckily there are tons of WordPress themes out there that are perfect for even large businesses. Not every company needs a huge website with a complex backend log in area that costs thousands to develop. Many businesses have made the mistake of having a software company develop a complex system to do exactly what the above-mentioned plugins do.
In today’s technical world, there are developers in every industry creating tools and plugins like the ones we have reviewed. This is now becoming commonplace and helps companies not only become more efficient but save on their web development budgets so that money can be put to use in other areas of the business to add value or increase employee wages to attract the best talent. Before you go for a fancy design and get a quote from a software development business, look for a plugin that suits your business.
You can also check out one of our older blogs here that lists the best WordPress plugins.