Any company providing tours and excursions must be on mobile but needs to have a reservation system that can weed out fraudulent bookings, the third annual Small Fish Big Ocean WTM pitch night was told.
Alex Bainbridge, TourCMS chief executive, said customers increasingly expect to be able to book tours in-destination, either making same-day bookings or the night before, and for that booking to be accepted and a pick-up arranged for when they want.
Bainbridge said it was vital for the process to be automated so bookings can be taken and confirmed even when the tour operator’s office is closed. However, this causes a potential problem for validation of bookings, particularly because a significant proportion of credit card bookings will be fraudulent.
To address this, TourCMS has developed a system with the two main providers of handheld tour e-voucher redemption devices which validates the booking immediately before the tour commences. Leading retailer Viator has already started using the system.
“What’s the point of a mobile booking if you force someone to print off a voucher?” said Bainbridge. “Currently in tours and activities there is no way to pull back a voucher booked with a fraudulent credit card. With TourCMS we have for the first time a way to connect to the devices that redeem vouchers. There is no other technology that can combat fraud and make sure that the right customer is on the right trip.”