Optimizing your products for your resellers - OTAs (article)

Susana Moleón Moya
Susana Moleón Moya
  • Updated

We are currently working on a new integration project with an exciting new distribution partner. (Due to a nondisclosure agreement we cannot be more specific than that, but we know that many of you are already waiting for this.)

In preparation for this integration, our Support department was charged with the task to review the product database of our customers, identify possible technical issues, and help to correct them. Over the last four weeks, we conducted a thorough analysis of more than ten thousand products for their viability for this new integration.

Now, the most common issues that need to be addressed in order to make some products viable for this new distributor are:

1. Missing departure times

Problem description: 

Our new distribution partner does not accept tours and departures with no time setting. As you probably know TourCMS gave you the freedom to use a time setting called “Not applicable” (Homepage > Tours > Setup > Times & Cutoffs > Start & End times). We are aware that we not only offered but also advocated this setting for some tour types (KB article: TourCMS: First steps (00:15:08)). But as stated in the introduction this is a setting where we must meet our partners’ requirements.

Proposed solution:

From an operational perspective, almost every tour or activity has a factual start and end time. Therefore we advise you to use the setting “Fixed start & end time” (one departure per day) or “Multiple start & end times” (multiple departures per day). How to add times is well explained in this article: KB article: Create/Add Rates & Schedules

In order to give you timewise certain flexibility for more complex products we added to Homepage > Tours > Setup > Times & Cutoffs individual Start and End Timezone settings. (The default Tour Timezone can be found on Homepage > Configuration & setup > Account settings.)

We also added a setting for Time Type. Here we offer you to use the following settings:

Setting name

Explanation

Typical product

Tour start and end times (default)

Tour starts at a certain time and ends at a certain time

Half-day tour

Opening hours

Customer can start the tour at any time in between the start and end time

Hop-On/Hop-off

Entry time with flexible duration

Tour starts at a given time but can end flexible

Museum entry

These settings assist the various OTAs in better understanding and displaying the time constraints of your products. 

2. Quantity based pricing

Problem description: 

TourCMS by itself gives you the freedom to use rate-based pricing or quantity-based pricing:

pricing_comparison_b.png

Sadly, our new distribution partner is not capable of dealing with quantity based pricing. Simply put, their system is not able to deal with any other pricing than a rate type based one (i.e. 2x Adults + 1x Child). It's probably worth mentioning that most resellers also struggle with quantity-based pricing.

Proposed solution:

We are aware that this is a pricing model some of our customers like to use for private tours. Now if this new distribution partner is important to you the following solutions are feasible:

  • Changing the existing pricing of your product (might influence other distributors).
  • Creating a copy of your product with rate-type pricing and offer it exclusively on a new channel for this partner (use of product filters necessary).

Both solutions are possible and should be considered. If you decide on making those changes, please ask our support team for their guidance, as they can be technically challenging (KB article: Create/Add Rates & Schedules & KB article: How to steer product availability on different channels)

3. Multi-day products

Problem description: 

Our new distribution partner does not offer the sale of multi-day products on his platforms. 

Proposed solution:

None.

4. Missing tour data

Problem description: 

We noticed a concerning number of products with data quality issues (indicated by a red label in Homepage > Tours > Availability overview).

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It's important to know that TourCMS regularly checks the stored tour data. If a product fails the data quality check, it gets a red cross and is taken off sale from the TourCMS marketplace automatically.

Proposed solution:

If you click on the red label you get automatically forwarded to the incomplete data tab of that product. Here you can see in which area(s) your product failed the test and even get advice on how to fix it.

If you make those changes and the test indicator does not switch immediately to a green checkmark, please don’t be concerned; the data quality test runs periodically and should check your product every few hours.