A successful travel business can no longer be run on the basis of spending enough on sales and marketing of its products and services. Today, with the advent of technology, there is a paradigm shift in the way a travel business is run. We have started talking about travel APIs, which are nothing but web services which avail the travel deals from the Global Distribution System (GDS), hotel APIs, travel consolidators as well as third-party flight APIs.
It is through these XML/API Integration that the travel agencies can provide inventories of flight seats, hotel rooms, tours, etc. Your online travel agency can leverage this large inventory to increase sales and ROI. This article will highlight some of the best XML/API GDS Integration services providers. But before that let us understand what exactly is API and the steps for XML/API integration.
What Is XML/API Integration?
XML/API integrations are third-party suppliers or connectors between suppliers and travel agencies that facilitate fetching of information on different suppliers on an online travel portal. Application Programming Interface (API) keys enable the integration of third-party suppliers with your system and fetch real-time information. Therefore, travelers can access the live inventory of hotels, flights, tour packages or rental cars on your travel portal.
Every online travel agency will have a booking engine and there is an integration of the travel API with the third-party GDS, feed, inventory system. The APIs belong to the suppliers or the banks. The banks and payment processors have their APIs integrated with the site of the travel agencies. The payment gateways will have APIs through which the clients will be able to make secure payments, using their debit or credit cards.
How To Integrate XML/API With Online Travel Agency?
The first and foremost step in XML/API GDS integration is the selection of required suppliers by your travel portal. While finalizing the suppliers you need to consider factors such as your business requirements, supplier rates and regions they serve.
Your online travel agency may require multiple APIs therefore, the suppliers send API documents to you and your technology partner which may be a travel portal development company. These documents contain technical information about the implementation of APIs, the URLs, names and other parameters.
The travel portal software company analyzes the implementation feasibility of APIs and whether they need any modifications. If any modifications are made, approval is required by suppliers to ensure that the modifications comply with their standards.
The travel portal development company then prepares a testing environment for the portal after which a live environment is delivered to you for the live inventory to be viewed by travelers to complete their bookings.
Best XML/API Integration Suppliers For Your Online Travel Agency
The travelers will have a better inventory available for the services sought, only when multiple APIs appear on your travel portal. The information on the suppliers, from whom the data is fetched remains hidden in the travel agency website.
Amadeus – It is one of the largest GDS systems in Europe covering about 40% of travel agency reservations and used by about 90,000 travel portals. Amadeus initially focused on supplying airline inventories but has now expanded to offer inventories on hotel rooms, car rentals, railways, etc. It provides both B2B and B2C distribution on a global level with 24-hour access to hotel inventories for travel agencies.
Sabre – Sabre is a US-based GDS which is older than Amadeus but has a smaller market with about 60,000 travel agencies using the GDS. However, even though it lags behind with respect to market share, Sabre outperforms Amadeus in terms of hotel bookings. It offers the best access to the North-American market for travel agencies and travelers.
Travelport – Ranking third in the list of largest GDS systems, Travelport is headquartered in the UK and owns subsidiaries such as Galileo, Worldspan, and Apollo. The main market for Travelport is North America, but it also has spread its reach in Europe and Asia Pacific region. Travelport supplies inventories on airlines, hotel rooms, and hotel products.
Abacus – It is the leading supplier of travel solutions in the Asia Pacific region with about 100,000 travel agencies using the GDS integration services. It provides travel information that is specifically tailored for the Asia-Pacific region, on flight reservations, car rentals, hotels, and insurance providers.
Worldspan – A subsidiary of Travelport GDS, Worldspan provides travel distribution services to travel agencies, suppliers, travel portals and corporations globally. The Worldspan API provides interactive shopping tools with industry-first fares, booking technology and pricing for hotel rooms, airline tickets, tour packages, rental cars, etc, that facilitate online travel agencies with cost reduction and increased revenues.
Galileo – The Galileo software is owned by Travelport and consolidates inventories for airline reservations, hotel rooms, cruises, train travel, and rental cars. It provides travel agencies with 24-hour access to global hotel inventories and pricing information.
Other XML/API Integration Suppliers
|Suppliers||Types of API's|
|Ease travel||Airlines, Hotels, Railways, and Bus Inventory|
|TRAVEL BOUTIQUE ONLINE||Hotels Inventory|
|YATRA||Flights, Hotels, Buses, and Trains Inventory|
|ROOMS XML||Flights, Cars, Cruise, Hotels, Trains Inventory|
|JAC TRAVELS||Hotels Inventory|
|ASIA TRAVEL||Flights, Hotels, and Tours Inventory|
|GULLIVER||GTA XML Integration – Hotels, Tours, Transfers Inventory|
|TOURICO XML Integration||Hotels, Cruises – Worldwide Inventory|
|HOTELBEDS XML Integration||Worldwide Hotel Inventory|
|HOTELSPRO XML Integration||Worldwide Hotel Inventory|
|JAC (JACOB) XML Integration||Worldwide Hotel Inventory|
|SPECIAL TOURS XML Integration||Europe & Middle East hotel inventory|
|Hilton XML Integration||Worldwide Hotel Inventory|
|BOSCOLO XML Integration||European Hotel Inventory|
|JUMBO XML Integration||European Hotel Inventory|
|Hotels-Do XML Integration||Spanish Hotel Inventory|
|Transhotel XML Integration||Spanish and European Hotel Inventory|
|WHL XML Integration||Italian Hotel Inventory|
|RESTEL XML Integration||Spanish and European Hotel Inventory|
|GO-GLOBAL XML Integration||WorldWide Hotel Inventory|
|WORLD AVENUES XML Integration||Middle East Hotel inventory|
|DOTW (Destinations Of The World) XML Integration||Middle East Hotel Inventory|
|SMILO XML Integration||Spanish, European and Central American Hotel Inventory|
|TravelAsia XML Integration||Far East Hotel Inventory|
|TRAVCO XML Integration||USA Hotel Inventory|
What are the benefits of XML/API integration?
Providing access to live inventories globally for every aspect of travel and tourism, from hotel rooms to flight tickets, tours, car rentals, et al, XML/API integration has become a significant part of every online travel agency.
The benefits of XML/API/GDS integration services help travel agencies to have wider access to customers worldwide, provide travelers with customized travel solutions thereby increasing their sales, revenue and creating brand visibility. Take a look at some of the benefits of integrating APIs with your travel portal:
- APIs provide a large inventory for flight bookings, hotels, rental cars, tours, payment gateways, etc enabling travelers from all over the world to plan their travel with ease.
- Facilitates your online travel agency with target marketing by integrating with large suppliers based on geographical location.
- As the inventories are managed by the API owner, your travel agency can maintain the system without any issues.
- Inventories are centrally managed.
- Your online travel agency can implement multiple integrations in one system to access a large inventory.
This era is dominated by smartphones and modern travelers prefer information at their fingertips while on-the-go. They require accessing real-time information and the availability of flights, car rentals, hotels, and other activities, at the most competitive rates.
If your online travel agency doesn’t provide enough information or the ease of booking to these modern age travelers, you might end up losing them to your competitors. Therefore, it is vital for you to use the best XML/API GDS Integration services and achieve a robust growth for your online travel agency business.