Thursday, March 26, 2009

Technology can determine tour company survival in 2009

2009 seems to be all about cutting costs and doing more with less…but like any period of challenge there is opportunity to move to the front of the pack, re assess organizational processes and come out of tough times a stronger and more effective company.
The adventure tour industry in particular has been slow to adopt the technology that saves other travel sectors millions annually. But for those visionary tour operators the application of technology has allowed substantial company gains even in these tough times.

The case of Sacred Rides Mountain Bike Tour Company is true testament to the opportunity present for those companies ready to seize it. The company president Mike Brcic comments,

“ New technology has allowed me to move over 90% of my sales through the website shopping cart avoiding time intensive calls, not required particularly for my return guests. With an average of just half an hour per sale this frees up over 20% of my sales budget and staff time to invest in other areas of the organization.”

“Adventure Engine allows us to automate our online availability and bookings. If a client registers online: credit card payment, client/s data entry to the database, trip seat adjustment, gear adjustment and allocation, follow up email and receipt, balance owing and reporting are all managed in one step automatically. We can even include charitable donations in the check out as an option for guests. We also had the opportunity to expose our products through channels like WestJet and to present to and promote our trips through a large national travel agency in 2008, unlikely without Adventure Engine.”

Mike goes on to discuss the impact this has made in his business “…moving to the online booking system provided by Adventure Engine has provided us with a quantum leap forward in productivity, allowing us to dedicate our time to the continuing effort to improve our product and customer service. In 2009, this paid off nicely with a ranking as the “#1 mountain bike tour operator on Earth” by National Geographic Adventure magazine. “

The success of companies like Sacred Rides may become the foundation for more adventure and experiential tour companies to embrace new technology as a critical tool for surviving the tough waters ahead.
The turbulence is even being felt now in regional tourism organizations as they feel increasing pressure to make their region more competitive and win over the lessening number of travelers.

Adventure Engine Partner Amber Hayes comments “We are celebrating with clients the capacity for these systems to optimize operations in such a customized way. We are a tech company founded by tour operators and are passionate about the success of this industry. Now we just hope more tourism boards use this system to get their region to market so we can report on gains in that area as well. “

To review the system and how results like Mike’s are achieved please contact Adventure Engine.
Visit Adventure Engine , email