Many current Open Destinations customers had formerly built and used their own in-house reservations system before switching to our Travel Studio or Travel Builder solutions. Conversely, we sometimes speak to travel companies who choose to build their own bespoke system rather than take on existing third-party software.
While we may offer some support to companies who choose to do this, we’ve been in the business for long enough to know that it’s a huge challenge and even greater risk. Here are 4 reasons why we think this is the case:
IT’S EXPENSIVE AND TIME CONSUMING
If you choose to build your own system, you’ll be contracting an external agency to build everything to your specifications. Whilst the cost of this can vary from market to market, it’s undoubtedly more expensive than buying a software licence or opting for a SaaS solution from a specialist. Also, it could be as much as a decade before the vast initial outlay you make will be justified – and that’s only if you’re in-house system stands the test of time.
YOU WON’T GET INDUSTRY SPECIALISTS ON THE JOB
While the web design agency you hire to help you build your own system might be technical experts, it’s extremely unlikely they’ll truly understand your business and your customers. With the intricacies of travel in terms of customers, booking types, buying methods and much more, it’s extremely important to work with experts. By choosing to procure your reservations system from travel industry experts, many of whom have also worked in all sorts of tour operators, you’ll be in safe hands.
THERE’S NO COMMUNITY SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT
It’s common practise amongst travel technology suppliers to operate under a user community development model. This means that whenever a software development is built at the request of a particular client, that same new functionality is included in a product update for all clients. Any travel company that opts to build their own system will miss out on this advantage and pay handsomely for each and every new functionality in their software.
It’s also important to point out that user community updates are born from the ideas of hundreds of travel professionals looking to strengthen and secure the future of their business. Therefore, by going with a third party provider, customers get access to an intellectual network as well as a development one.
YOU’RE UNLIKELY TO GET 24×7 SUPPORT
With a global staff network numbering over 450, Open Destinations is built to supply round-the-clock support for an international client base. While some travel companies may only operate in a single time zone and working with a web developer that is geographically close by, many will require constant product support. This is far more likely to come from a travel technology specialist than a generic web design agency.
Clearly a fully bespoke in-house system has its advantages. The main one being the ability to construct something completely customised to your operation. However, there are numerous drawbacks and sacrifices that must be made to going this route. Whichever way your travel business decides to go it remains an extremely important decision that should be taken with a carefully considered, long-term vision.
If you would like to learn more about acquiring a new reservations system for your travel company, be it bespoke or off-the-shelf, then our team would love to hear from you. Simply email us at [email protected]. Alternatively you can book an online demo of either Open Destinations’ reservations system by clicking the links below.