Choosing the right tour booking software can be tricky. With so many options, it can be hard to pick the best booking software for tour operators.

This blog wants to simplify this process. We'll guide you on how to select a tour booking software that meets your business needs.

"73% of travelers purchase travel experiences online." - Meta Business News Insights

From defining your goals to evaluating the best options and efficient software solutions, we'll cover the key steps to finding the best booking software for your tours and attractions.

Our focus is to guide you through your options, ensuring you select a system that offers ease of use, comprehensive features, and value for money.

Step 1: Understand Your Needs for Tour Operator Software

Finding the best tour operator booking software starts with knowing what your business needs.

Each tour company has different goals and ways of working.

First, think about what your business needs and wants.

This will help you choose the right software.

Let’s look at how to figure out your business goals.

Selecting Booking Software as a Team

tour operator talking with his staff about what their tour company needs from a booking software

Get your team's input before researching online systems.

  • Take a look at every part of your business, from administration to finance, marketing, and operations.
  • Make a list of the critical requirements they don't meet right now.
  • Once you've got your list, align it with your company's goals.

By doing this, you'll get a better idea of what your company needs from tour and activity management software.

Key Takeaway

  • To make sure you're getting what you need, talk to your entire team before choosing an online tour booking system.  

Identifying Essential Features in Tour Booking Software

make a list of all the features and assess which ones your operations needs

After your team provides input, you compile your must-haves and nice-to-haves list. 

Next, add your business's goals to this list to create a clear distinction between the two columns.

Although it's helpful to have a particular feature on a tour booking platform, you shouldn't invest in it if it doesn't align with your goals. 

Focusing on what matters to your business is the key.  

Key Takeaway

  • Make a list of what you really need and what's nice to have in booking software, with input from your team. Choose features that save you time and make your life easier.

Budgeting for Your Online Tour Booking System Investment

make sure your chosen tour operator booking software fits your budget

Reviewing all the different tools your business uses can help you figure out your current spending.

Destination management companies often use multiple tools that don't work well together.  

You might end up with about ten different tools, each storing data in its own way, leading to multiple payments every month.

When searching for software for your activity or business, keep your budget in mind.

Not all booking systems are the same; some cost more because of various fees and pricing plans.

Choose software that’s affordable and meets your business' booking needs.  

Key Takeaway

  • Look at all the tools you use and what they cost to plan your budget for new booking software. Pick one that's affordable and fits your business needs.

Step 2: Compare Available Travel Booking Software Providers

logos of available booking software options- fareharbor, tripworks, bokun, peekpro, ticketinghub, xola

After you assess your business needs and goals, it's time to research tour operator software providers.

Many online reservation systems are available, so research the right one for your business.

Top Booking Software Providers:

Consider the following factors when looking for the right booking software:

Check the Software Provider's Stability

When looking for tour operator software, it's critical to consider company stability.

Some companies are growing quickly and expanding rapidly, while others are more established and have been on the market longer.

It is crucial to choose a stable, fast-growing company with a reliable reputation.

  • Are they expanding rapidly?
  • Are they well-known and respected in the tour operator industry?
  • What type of tour operator software do they offer?

Not all online reservation systems offer the same software. Some providers offer more comprehensive software, while others provide more specific software that fits your business.

It's a must to research all of your options and find the best provider for your specific needs.

Key Takeaway

  • When picking tour management software, check if the company is stable and well-respected. Pick one that's growing and has the ease and features your business needs.

Ensure Customer Support Quality

snippets of ticketinghub's customer reviews on software review sites like capterra and software advice

Some providers have a customer support team available 24/7, while others have one available during certain hours of the day.

Also, consider customer service quality.

  • Is it worth it?
  • Is it easy to contact them?
  • What do their customers say?

Key Takeaway

  • Make sure the booking software provider offers reliable customer support. Check out software review sites like Capterra, Software Advice, and G2 to find out if they're worth it.
Customer reviews of TicketingHub's booking software

TicketingHub's customer service team offers fast response times, helping clients keep track of their tours.

Test the Checkout Experience

TicketingHub offers a 5-step checkout flow that's quick, easy, and trustworthy to ensure a smooth customer experience.

Checkout flow is the process of booking a tour or experience. But, first, make sure it is trustworthy and easy to use.

This will ensure customers have a positive experience when purchasing tickets and increase return rates.

Key Takeaway

  • Ensure the checkout process is easy and secure to give customers a pleasant buying experience and make them more likely to return.

Ensure Staff Usability in Tour Booking Systems

a group of tour staff looking at the laptop learning to navigate a new software

Backend software runs the company. If it is not easy to use, staff will not be able to run back-office processes effectively. 

Instead, they will likely find other ways to complete tasks, such as using unapproved software or even pen and paper.

Ensure that the online booking software you select has an easy-to-use back end so that staff can manage tasks effectively.

Key Takeaway

  • Make sure the tour booking software's backend is user-friendly. This way, your staff can manage tasks efficiently, avoiding makeshift solutions like unapproved software or pen and paper.

Step 3: Assess Tour Booking Software Features

User-friendly interface  

Suppose you intend to use it every day.

It should also be easy to navigate, so you won't spend more time learning how to operate it than actually using it.

Especially for users, your scheduling software should have a user-friendly interface allowing easy checkout flows, so you won't have any chance for them to change their minds.

Key Takeaway

  • Select software that is easy to use daily, with a clear interface and quick checkout to prevent user drop-offs.

Inventory Management Capabilities

sample of software interface showing availability overview calendar

Most online booking software offers a portal to manage your inventory and resources. 

You can handle tickets, check availability, manage bookings, and coordinate tour guides, all from mobile devices.

However, it's wise to pick software with an easy-to-use interface. You should be able to easily add and change booking information. 

The software must update ticket availability in real time, showing it on a live calendar. 

For example, when a customer books a tour and pays, either online or in person, the software should instantly update your dashboard with the booking, customer information, and payment details.

Key Takeaway

  • Choose booking software that enables easy ticket and tour management, with real-time updates accessible from a mobile device.  

Customization and SEO-readiness of Booking Widgets

booking widget that can be customizable to a tour's branding

The software booking widget should match your brand, so you need something customizable.

This alignment with your branding helps you stand out. Additionally, ensure the widget is SEO-optimized.

For example, it should be lightweight to ensure quick loading times, which decrease bounce rates.

A fast-loading widget also helps keep customers engaged and leads to quicker checkouts.

Key Takeaway

  • Choose a booking widget that's customizable to fit your brand and SEO-optimized for fast loading, reducing bounce rates and speeding up checkouts.

Gaining Insights from Software Analytics

software interface showing a booking sales report with live analytics showing total sales and bookings

Look for booking software that gives you easy-to-understand analytics and insights.

Tour operators need this feature to see how well their business is doing and find ways to book more tours quickly.

The right software should check:

  • Guest History: Get a full list of your guests with details like names, emails, phone numbers, and when they booked.
  • Ticket Sales: Look at how many tickets you’ve sold for each tour, and when.
  • Booking Sources: Find out how guests are discovering your tours and where they’re booking from.
  • Revenue: See a clear summary of your tours' money.

These tools can help you grow your business and keep your customers happy.

Key Takeaway:

Choose booking software with straightforward analytics to track performance, understand customer behavior, and increase bookings effectively.  

Strong Automation Features

sample of how you can automate sending of booking confirmation notifications and tour reminders via email and sms

The booking software you select should save time. So prioritize those with strong automation features.

These features streamline various tasks, making your operations smoother and ultimately leading to happier customers.

Look for software that handles:

  • Sending booking confirmation emails automatically
  • Reminding your guests about their tours and sending notifications
  • Managing waiting lists efficiently
  • Verifying email addresses
  • Allowing guests to manage their bookings themselves
  • Gathering customer reviews effortlessly

By automating these tasks, your tour business can operate more efficiently, giving you the speed you need to excel.

Key Takeaway

  • Choose booking software with automation to simplify confirmations, reminders, and reviews, boosting efficiency and satisfaction.

Payment Integration Options

TicketingHub booking system connects with 130+ payment gateways around the world.

For your booking software, reliable payment integration is essential.

It should connect seamlessly with trusted payment providers like PayPal, Stripe, Spreedly, and SumUp.

With this feature, you can offer your guests a variety of payment options, so they can book easier.

As well as catering to your guests' preferences, this variety ensures their payment security against online threats, keeping their online transactions safe and secure.

Key Takeaway

  • Choose booking software with reliable payment integration, supporting providers like PayPal and Stripe, to offer secure and varied payment options for guests.

Choosing the Best Booking Software for Tour Operators

a tour operator thinking seriously about how can he find the right booking software solution for his tour business

When selecting booking software for your tour operator business, consider these questions to guide your choice:

  • Can I afford this software within my budget?
  • Does the software meet my specific business needs?
  • Will it help me achieve my business goals?
  • Is the booking process easy for my customers to use?
  • Does it have the features I need, like automated notifications and payment integration?
  • Can I customize the software to match my brand?
  • Will it integrate smoothly with my other business tools?
  • Does it offer payment options for my customers?
  • Is the system secure to protect my business and customer data?
  • What kind of customer support and training does the provider offer?
  • Can the software scale as my business grows?
  • What do other tour operators say about the software in their reviews?

These questions will help you assess whether booking software is the right fit for your tour operator business.

Case Study: The Search for a Better and Simpler Online Ticketing System Grew a City Tours' Sales by 400%

  • Who They Are: City Belfast Hop on Hop off Tours
  • What They Offer: Sightseeing tours in Belfast, covering historical sites to modern attractions, including Game of Thrones locations.

Challenges faced

  • Market Pressure: Intense competition in the tourism sector.
  • Pandemic Impact: Reduced tourist numbers, increasing the need for a more effective booking system.

The solution

  • New Booking System: Switched to TicketingHub's online tour booking software.
  • Features Utilized
    • Multi-location tour sales through various channels.
    • Mobile app for ticket sales and customer management.
    • Self-serve booking modifications and cancellations with gift voucher options.
    • Comprehensive management features for inventory, finance, and client relations.


  • CEO’s Feedback: Chris, the CEO, noted significant growth in revenue and tourist numbers.
  • Growth metrics
    • Increase in inbound tourists by 70% compared to pre-COVID times.
    • Revenue growth of approximately 400%, exceeding previous benchmarks with the new system.


Try TicketingHub Today!

online booking software for tours and activities snippets of software interface and inviting to try ticketinghub demo

Try TicketingHub for your tour business and see the difference!

Our tour scheduling software is easy to use and packed with features.

  • Customizable Booking Widget: You can customize our booking widget to fit your brand.
  • Magic Link: Lets guests manage their bookings easily.
  • Email Validator: Avoid invalid bookings and cut unnecessary phone calls.
  • Automated Reminders and Reviews: Automatically sends tour reminders and asks for reviews.
  • Top-Rated on Capterra: We have a 5-star rating from users, thanks to our great customer support!
  • Pay as You Earn: Just 3% per booking, with no monthly fees.

Get your free TicketingHub demo today and improve your tour business!

Conclusion: Finalize Your Tour Booking Software Choice

In conclusion, finding the right tour booking software doesn't have to be overwhelming.

By following the three key steps outlined in this blog, you can make a well-informed decision that aligns with your business needs.

Here’s a summary of the main points and takeaways to help you choose the best online booking software for your tours:

  • Define Your Goals: Clearly understand what you want to achieve with your booking software to ensure it supports your business objectives.
  • Evaluate Options: Carefully compare different software providers, considering features, usability, and cost to find the best fit for your needs.
  • Consider Features and Value: Look for a system that offers comprehensive features and good value for your investment.

By taking these steps, you can select tour booking software that simplifies your operations, enhances customer experience, and contributes to business growth.

Remember, the right software should make managing your tours easier, allowing you to focus on delivering great experiences to your customers.


Frequently Asked Questions about Tour Booking Software

What is Tour Booking Software?

A tour booking system or online ticketing system is specialized software designed for travel agents, attraction owners, and tour operators.

This online booking engine serves as the backbone of reservation management. And it can streamline travel industry business operations.

Here’s how it enhances activity business management:

  • Reservation Management: Tracks booking history and manages tour availability.
  • Payment Processing: Facilitates online payments, ensuring a smooth transaction process for customers.
  • Operational Support: Aids in the day-to-day operations of managing tour packages and itineraries.
  • Streamlined Booking: Simplifies the process for faster and more efficient online bookings.
  • Accessibility: Cloud-based nature allows remote access to manage inventory and tour descriptions, improving business flexibility.

In essence, tour booking systems like FareHarbor, TicketingHub, and Checkfront provide essential tools for tour management, enhancing customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.

What are the benefits of using an online booking system?

Online booking systems for tours and activities offer a lot of benefits in operations and growth:

  • Ease of Booking: Simplifies the tour reservation system and enhances the customer experience.
  • Integrated Management: Consolidates bookings, customer management, and payments on a single platform.
  • Efficiency and Accuracy: Reduce errors with automated billing and inventory management tools.
  • Increased Sales: Online booking platforms enable higher booking volumes and targeted marketing efforts.
  • Connectivity: Integrates with travel agencies and marketing professionals, expanding business reach.

Overall, tour operator software optimizes reservation and payment processes. But it can also support targeted marketing efforts and lead to better sales and customer loyalty.

What are some examples of tour booking software?

For effective tour management and customer relationship management, attractions and tour operators rely on various online booking engines.

Popular online ticketing software providers include:

  • FareHarbor: Known for its comprehensive feature set, ideal for managing diverse activity businesses.
  • TicketingHub: Prioritizes ease of use and efficient management, with a focus on customer satisfaction and booking engine capabilities.
  • Checkfront: Offers a flexible booking platform with extensive inventory management and customer management features.
  • Orioly: Provides simple, effective solutions for small to medium-sized operators, with key features to streamline operations.
  • Rezdy: Popular for its user-friendly interface and powerful reservation system, enhancing tour operations.

These providers offer robust tools for payment processing, tour availability, and enhanced customer experiences.

They also include mobile apps for on-the-go management and support business operations with various pricing plans, including some without a monthly fee.

Selecting the appropriate software provider enables tour operators to:

  • Enhance their booking capacity
  • Streamline everyday operations
  • Efficiently manage inventory
  • Conduct focused marketing campaigns

All these improvements contribute to providing unforgettable tour experiences for their customers!

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