BLOG – APPSOLUTELY FABULOUS WITH INTERRAILING PACKAGES
Ireland-based specialist tour operator Interrailing Packages have been providing their customers with mobile itineraries via Open Destinations’ Tineri solution since September 2018. After over a year using the app, we spoke with the company’s Service Team Lead, Lisa Maguire.
Tell us about Interrailing Packages. Why the company was started? and what’s your mission?
“Interrailing Packages Ltd is an ABTOT licensed tour operator offering pre-designed and bespoke European interrail journeys to travellers of all ages. We are the UK and Ireland’s leading provider of quality European rail and accommodation packages.
Interrailing Packages was started 10 years ago by our Managing Director Donal McKenna. Donal had been on a 4-week interrailing trip himself and in doing his research for the trip, had been surprised to find that there was no company online that could organise entire trips for travellers. He researched more on his return and using his own experiences while interrailing, started his business within a year.
“All we need to know is where they want to go and we are on hand to do the rest, taking the hassle out of travel!”
Interrailing Packages Ltd’s mission is to make interrailing easy and accessible to all. We achieve this aim by providing complete rail, accommodation, and support in all our packages, helping to ensure that our customer’s adventure is everything they hoped it would be and more. All we need to know is where they want to go and we are on hand to do the rest, taking the hassle out of travel!”
Why was it decided that Interrailing Packages needed a mobile app?
“In the beginning all our travel documents were printed off to create our “E-Travel Pack”, which included an itinerary, hotel directions, city guides and a few extra travel and advice documents that we provided. These were then posted to the customer along with their interrail pass and any tickets that they also might have needed. As the business progressed year on year and we added more and more extras to our packages, our “E-Travel Pack” was growing in size. We then started to email documents to customers. These sometimes were so large that we had to put them into several files and email them separately to the customer. We recognised that this wasn’t going to be ideal in the long term.
“We felt our customers would benefit better if documentation was available for them to download onto a phone or tablet. This would leave their information more easily accessible and would cut down on our postage and stationary costs.”
Obviously with the changes in technology, smart phones and app development, we felt our customers would benefit better if documentation was available for them to download onto a phone or tablet. This would leave their information more easily accessible and would cut down on our postage and stationary costs.”
How did Interailling Packages find out about Tineri? Why did you decide that this was the best mobile solution for you? Which features particularly impressed you initially?
“We found Tineri on Google and researched how it would work with our customers’ travel needs. We liked the look of the app, the idea that we could use templates to create our set packages and the space available on the itinerary that we could use to put additional information for the customer.
“The maps built into the app were also a great addition for us.”
We liked that we could list our accommodation separately and put on our own directions for the accommodation, which could then be used to pull into any booking, instead of having to create a separate hotel direction document every time for every customer. The maps built into the app were also a great addition for us and something we had been looking at for a while.
The most important thing was that everything was available offline for our customers, which was the main selling point to us.”
What features of Tineri do your customers find the most useful?
“Offline availability is what our customers need the most. The fact that everything is there for them in one place either in the documents or the itinerary is very beneficial to them. Not all our customers are tech savvy, so the fact that it is simple and easy to use means a lot to them.”
What Tineri app or CMS features do you find to be the most useful from a tour operator’s perspective?
“The separate accommodation tab where you can list all the accommodations, with directions, hotel details and that you can add pictures so that they will know what the outside of the hotel will look like is great. The fact that we can use a template for all our packages and create bookings from there cuts down on a lot of work for us.”
How has Tineri improved things for Interrailing Packages and helped overcome the challenges you faced?
“With the change in technology and the fact that a lot of our customers are in the 20 to 30 age range, we had to move with the times. Customer’s want information to be easily accessible and the Tineri app has certainly provided that.”
“Customer’s want information to be easily accessible and the Tineri app has certainly provided that.”
Have you needed to call on Tineri’s support very often? If so, how have you found the service you’ve received?
“We have used Tineri’s support on several occasions and each time they have been quick to respond to our queries and have been able to resolve any problems that we may have had.”
Would you recommend Tineri to other tour operators? Why?
“Without a doubt! Open Destinations’ level of professionalism is excellent compared to other companies/products that we have used in the past. They have listened to ideas that we have come with and put things in place to help us. They have responded to our communications within a few hours and have been brilliant to work with.”