Learn from frequently asked questions
All you need to know
What is EasyOTA?
EasyOTA makes use of its proprietary simple, responsive, intuitive, and high conversion Online Booking Engine (OBE). It delivers efficient results and superior ‘search to book’ performance. It uniquely has the ability to build and book complete itineraries consisting of accommodation, flights, transfers, vehicle rental, experiences & activities. A system through which customers search, book and pay for their products and services through your website.
Who is it for?
What does it achieve?
Trade partners will be able to book (and/or enable their customers, be it public or trade, to book) directly with live availability, instant confirmation, payment and issuing of vouchers. Time and money will be saved, mistakes will be reduced, resulting in better customer service.
In what way will using EasyOTA save me money?
Why is EasyOTA referred to as a ‘platform’? What does that mean?
Is EasyOTA a travel agent?
How does this all work technically?
What do I pay to EasyOTA?
For Product Owners: All businesses are subject to a once-off set-up fee that is charged per service, starting at USD$150; the average set-up fee is $280 per business or product. This fee gives you a white label, turnkey, ready-to-go booking platform where your customers can book your products and services, as well as those of your preferred third party suppliers, to build their itineraries.
As for commissions payable: No bookings, no payment. Our model works on a commission basis, where each channel attracts a different commission structure. Depending on your type of business and volumes, we have a sliding scale with earnings caps. Our starting point is a fraction, usually 1/3 of agents’ commissions. Our rate scale reduces as turnover climbs, with a cap being implemented.
For the Travel Trade: Set-up fee of the platform for Agents, Tour Operators, and DMCs: from $1760.00. The once-off set-up fee gives you a white label platform, turnkey, with custom emails and vouchers, DPO Integration, 100 Hotels, 20 Activities, 100 point-to-point transfers, daily vehicle and driver hire up to 25 vehicles, domestic flights at EasyOTA rates, 15 B2B agents and 3 User Licences.
The one-time set-up fee is for all my products?
Will my staff be trained?
How does the EasyOTA-network work?
EasyOTA makes it possible for any business to do this, and to earn commissions in the process. The network effect takes place when your products and services become available through multiple websites, essentially businesses that want to offer their customers your products and services.
Who chooses the 3rd parties that I sell?
Who is responsible for the customer?
How do I receive my payment?
When a buyer is ready to pay, the payment provider asks for various details such as Visa, Mastercard, Amex / mobile money / PayPal, proceeds to ensure that the details are correct and that the funds are available to meet the purchase amount. Payment providers also do some fraud checking.
EasyOTA uses Direct Pay Online or Pesapal as its payment provider. Payments are made in real time once the customer payment is confirmed by the payment provider. By Direct Pay’s X-Pay network, the inventory owner, any third-party additions to the clients itinerary and EasyOTA, each receives their payment instantly, including any commission splits agreed to.
Do I have to invoice manually?
Do I need an online payment provider?
Can I ask for deposit payments?
Can I give credit to the purchaser?
What can EasyOTA mean for you?
Why would using EasyOTA create higher margins?
Which reservations systems can link EasyOTA to?
For Airlines, EasyOTA integrates with AeroCRS, Videcom and Flightbook. Flightbook is owned by EasyOTA and is perfect for small local / regional airlines to manage their inventory.
For Experiences, Activities, Car Hire, and Transfers EasyOTA will provide its own inventory management system for you to use.
What if I don’t have a reservation system for my business?
How do I manage my rates and inventory?
For airlines, EasyOTA integrates with AeroCRS, Videcom and Flightbook. Flightbook is owned by EasyOTA and we are therefore able to offer small airlines and charter businesses an inventory management system.
For any other category of service, EasyOTA has inventory management capability and will set your products and services up. For these service providers, as an added benefit, you will be able to utilise the EasyOTA system to manage all of your bookings, whether from online or offline sources.
How can I offer my products/services to both Trade and Travelers?
I already have live booking on my website. Why should I change to EasyOTA?
Can I add extras to my product/service?
What can I sell?
Do I have to own the products and services people buy?
How can I earn extra money with products from my partners on my website?
How can my loyal DMC’s profit from me going online?
Is it secure?
Who will be able to see my rates?
Will my trade tariffs stay confidential?
What do you mean by an itinerary?
What is access to my live availability?
How can I give access to my live availability?
Do I have to update my inventory manually?
Do I still have control over my inventory?
What if the system overbooks?
Does the system allow provisional bookings?
Can my client change a provisional to a confirmed booking himself?
Does the system automatically release provisional bookings?
Can I put release conditions?
As a restaurant owner, can I sell transfers to my restaurant?
As a hotel owner, can I take restaurant bookings?
Can my own foreign and local agents book my hotels and experiences?
What can EasyOTA mean to you?
In only an instant, guests/agents can book accommodation, experiences, transfers, flights or rental cars. Upon completing a booking, instant confirmation/s and vouchers/tickets are sent automatically to the guest/agent by the system via email. Each of the businesses with whom the guest/agent made a booking is notified instantly via email. By using EasyOTA you will save time, save money, reduce frustrations and mistakes, for all your stakeholders.
How can this system be advantageous for my service to my (trade) clients?
What is the advantage for the supplier?
Will my EasyOTA platform be public?
A tour operator or travel agent using EasyOTA will have a public platform, to be used by the public or their trade partners. Guests book at the retail or rack rate, whilst the trade book at their preferred or agreed rate (trade partners will be given a password protected login to the EasyOTA system)
How will EasyOTA know what the service provider's special rates are for me as a DMC/ tour operator?
How are accommodation promotions applied? For example, stay 4 pay 3?
How does online planning and booking for a DMC work?
Can my travel desk take bookings on EasyOTA
Is it secure?
Does the system allow provisional bookings?
Can I change a provisional to a confirmed booking myself?
Does the system automatically release provisional bookings?
E-COMMERCE – If you are new to online
What is e-commerce?
Why do I have to go online?
Travel buying continues to transition from face to face consultations to the purchase of customised travel itineraries online. Choice, the ability to compare, and immediacy of confirmation drive this consumer-led demand. Ideas, exploring destinations, building an itinerary or choosing from a variety of available holiday packages tailored for specific needs, all through a mobile device or personal computer, has made selling online travel a highly competitive industry. Almost 50% of all travel related purchases globally are online, with some markets approaching 80% for leisure related travel.
With no limitation of a brick and mortar store with office hours, any customer across the globe, irrespective of their time zone, can make an online travel booking. By giving the customer the option to make an online travel purchase any time that suits them, you can greatly increase sales.
Also the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us the easiness and safety of buying online. People became used to buying things online and continue to do so. Actually, travel partners who are digitally selling have been able to recover business faster than others who haven’t gotten into this game successfully.
Competing without is not an option. African travel businesses need to offer their products and services in ways and through channels demanded by today’s consumers. These customers demand e-commerce capability from you if they are to purchase. It’s a trust and reputation issue.
Which part of the market will be interested in online travel booking?
Why should I focus on selling directly to the client?
Why is there so few online booking in the safari industry?
Basically, because there was no access to the right technology. Nno business has designed and built the right technology and Online Booking Platform for the safari industry with its unique and very real challenges. And nor has any specialist marketer offered the right services in the right combinations to act as the ‘safari guide’. Until now…
But there are other, more subjective reasons, such as the belief that a safari is too complex to sell online, that safaris are tailor made and therefore need massive amounts of customer attention. That a safari is logistically too complex and that it’s not possible to build a full safari itinerary online with all logistical / park fee requirements being met. Then there is the doubt that the levels of personal service cannot be given online, and mostly, there is fear of structural change, fear of disturbing the set relations with travel partners. Read on to get more insight into the above points in the blog:
How can my website stand out in this very competitive online travel market?
As a small business owner, it’s not always easy to differentiate from your competitors. Basic offerings, location, views, local cuisine and service is usually quite similar. So what is your competitive advantage?
Knowing who your target audience is, what they’re looking for and how their decision-making process is influenced will guarantee an increase in online bookings. To get there you have to build a relationship with your customer, to express loyalty, trust or quality. Reado on about some high-level concepts on how to build an emotional relationship with the customer and how to keep that relationship going, in our blog:
How to make your online booking engine work for you?
The key is simplicity, context and value. Your online booking engine needs to add value for the customer – real value. Just to be able to search does not necessarily add value for the customer. It’s the quality of the results that add real value. Read on for some tips in our blog:
How to guide the customer in their decision-making process?
Read more on this topic in our blog:
How do I convert the interested visitor on my website into a buyer?
After having created an emotional connection with the customer and having offered him an exciting experience, you want to mould this online travel experience to be even more satisfying. First you need to lay down a value proposition for your business and/or website, a short, to the point statement that explains what value you’re adding to the
customer’s life with your product or service.
Second, it’s all about well-structured content. This is not just the foundation of a quality website, but also sets the stage for tools, such as online booking engines, to drive online conversions. If the content is lacking substance or is confusing, the customer can get confused and lose interest. Read more in our blog:
Why is a specialized booking engine so important?
Some customers like what they see on your website, but this is always more than the number of people who book / buy. Why? Availability OR a poor on-site experience as a result of a non-specialised Booking Engine. It is a well known fact that a poor search, select, book and check-out experience is one of the primary reasons for users not completing their on-line purchase. Check-out which affect a poor booking engine or a website not well optimized can have in your sales funnel in our blog:
What is an e-commerce optimised website?
Why is website e-commerce optimisation important?
Optimisation addresses a number of facets from the way a website looks, what and how information is presented, where each bit of information is presented, the process of searching the website, how the results are displayed, and importantly, the processes the consumer is taken through until check-out.
Optimisation ultimately talks to TRUST. What trust signals do you give your customers?
Why should my website be mobile-friendly?
Is e-commerce safe?
How to secure your e-commerce website?
1. Choose a secure web host and eCommerce platform
2. Get an SSL certificate
3. Perform regular SQL checks
4. Leave payment and data processing to the experts
5. Keep your website updated and patched
6. Monitor what you download and integrate
7. Regularly back up your website data
8. Get and use a website application firewall
eCommerce security are the guidelines that ensure safe transactions through the internet. It consists of protocols that safeguard people who engage in online selling and buying of goods and services. EasyOTA secures our and your customers’ trust by putting in place the following eCommerce security basics:
● pciDSS global security accreditation for all your confidential information. We do not have site of, nor do we store any of your confidential payment information.
● GDPRS compliance means your information is used only for the purpose intended when using our booking portal.
ABC OF DOING BUSINESS ONLINE
What is an online business?
What is a web-based booking platform?
What is content on a website?
What is inventory?
What is a channel manager?
What is an OBE?
What is a PMS?
What is an OTA?
What is an API?
What is an online payment provider?
What is white label?
What is a distribution channel?
What is a sales funnel?
From the moment prospects hear about your product or service until the moment they make a purchase (or don’t), they pass through different stages of your sales funnel. In general, there are four main stages:
Stage 1: Awareness
Stage 2: Interest
Stage 3: Decision
Stage 4: Action
What is the difference between a domain, a URL, a website, an email?
URL: A URL (aka Universal Resource Locator) is a complete web address used to find a particular web page. While the domain is the name of the website, a URL will lead to any one of the pages within the website. Your domain name is included in the URL, but a domain is not the same thing as a URL.
Website: Set of related web pages located under a single domain name, typically produced by a single person or organization, and published on at least one web server.
Email: Email is a system of sending written messages electronically from one computer to another. Email is an abbreviation of ‘electronic mail’.