Why a scalable, trusted and globally used solution is a “must-have” for tour operators and DMCs

The need for digital transformation in the tourism industry has never been stronger.   Specialised travel industry solutions are no longer a nice-to-have, they’re a must-have. If a tour operator or destination management company is going to successfully compete today, bringing their systems into the digital era is essential.

Understanding the need to go digital is one thing. Finding the right tour operator software solution for your company can be an even bigger challenge. We’ve developed a guide to help tour operators and DMCs weigh up their software solution optionsSomething we run across often are questions around the difference between packaged vs custom software solutions. Which is the better option? We take a look at some of the difficulties surrounding the outgrowth of existing systems, and the challenges around custom-built systems.

Disparate systems linked together are often a barrier to efficiency and growth

If you’ve been in business for a while and have added systems over the years, chances are they’re not collaborating well with each other. When software applications operate in silos, they cause inefficiencies, lack of communication, and often hinder productivity. Especially when the systems aren’t talking to each other. Keeping an accurate record and reconciling of transactions, bookings, itineraries, cancellations, and complex accounting on multiple systems can prove to be overwhelming. Let alone posing a major risk of mistakes and human error, which ultimately could cost you money and reputational damage.

It’s understandable if you’re reluctant to invest in innovation while there’s still so much uncertainty in the world. You are probably facing challenges such as the skills shortage, a hyper-competitive market, coupled with an increase in customer demand. These challenges are the reasons for the rapid rise in digital transformation in the travel and tourism industry, because outdated legacy systems aren’t up to the job. If you’re trying to squeeze every last drop out of yours because you’re reluctant to spend, you could be overtaken by your competitors.

DIY (custom-built software) leads to higher costs and growth barriers

We’ve had clients who’ve tried to build their own systems. In most cases, they’ve failed to get it off the ground; typically, it cost far more than they thought it would, and it doesn’t perform as they’d hoped. They’re faced with difficulties such as:

  • Inability to scale as their business grows
  • All the system knowledge is typically in one person’s head, which is very risky
  • Lack of ongoing support, training and updates
  • Key staff are spending too much time specifying functionality and testing

As they say, the devil is in the detail.



Packaged SaaS systems offer a very cost-effective solution

The reality is that investing in purpose-built tech isn’t as costly as you might think. Before SaaS, new software often required a large upfront investment in license fees, technical architecture and setup time, meaning a custom solution was a potentially competitive option. Today packaged, SaaS solutions have negated that through cloud systems with low up-front costs and quick deployment and implementation options. So, whether you’re a new business just starting out, or you’ve decided it’s time to overhaul your current systems, SaaS offers an easy entry into specialist world-leading solutions without large up-front costs.

Packaged solutions continuously evolve to meet industry and technology trends and advances

As a rule, they’re highly configurable and can be set up to match and change with your business requirements and processes, whereas custom solutions don’t usually allow for changes in, or new, business processes.

The Tourplan solution is one that’s been 35 years in the making, which is why it is the world’s leading software system for tour operators and DMCs. It’s not a one-off, out-of-the-box solution; it’s one that’s on a continual improvement journey and is updated as technology advances and customer demands change.

Specifically, Tourplan:

  • Easily scales from SME businesses to large multi-branch organisations
  • Evolves through ongoing input from like-minded tour operators and DMCs worldwide – something you don’t get if you build your own system or use alternatives that are not fit-for-purpose
  • Offers ongoing support, training, and updates which are critical to ensure you’re getting the most out of your investment
  • Is fully SaaS based (with options for On Premises)

The Tourplan solution has been designed with a vertical niche market in mind – tour operators and destination management companies. With hundreds of clients worldwide, we have spent an enormous amount of effort over many years to incorporate world-class functionality, specific to our clients’ needs, into our software. Not only that, but we have many relationships with external supplier and distribution systems. These help our clients to quickly establish new distribution channels and supplier connections.

What it all comes down to is that the problems you’re experiencing – and the reason you’re probably reading this – are very familiar to us here at Tourplan. We understand your business intimately, see ourselves as your long-term technology partners, and are here to help your business grow. Through Tourplan you can expect increased profitability and leading-edge technology solutions delivered alongside professional services and a continual innovation process.

Keen to see the Tourplan solution in action? Request a demo today.