ResRequest’s Channel Manager, ResConnect, increases revenues and online branding.

Last week we explained how using ResConnect to connect to Online Travel Agents (OTAs) will strengthen your brand and increase your revenue. In this fourth edition of our Email Series, you will learn how signing up with Specialist Agents who are members of our ResConnect Partner Programme can also increase your profile and revenues.

ResConnect also offers our clients the opportunity to connect with Travel Agents, Tour Operators, and Travel websites that specialise in electronically sourcing and selling bed nights for the African Tourism industry.

Making use of ResConnect is a great way to distribute your stock across the globe or geotarget specific countries and markets, we provide you with everything necessary to take full advantage of fresh tourism markets, generating revenue has never been this easy.

Currently, over 60 Travel Agents, who specialise in travel to Africa, integrate directly with ResRequest through our ResConnect Partner Programme. Partner Agents develop a connection to ResRequest that enables them to electronically check availability and rates or look and book directly into ResRequest (you do get alerted when they make a booking!). Their access level is dependent on the access they require and what you allow.

Many of our Partner Agents specialise in online sales (like OTAs), with the difference being that they focus on attracting travelers who want a unique travel experience to Africa (your perfect customer!). Many of these Agents make it easy for online shoppers to book an African experience on their platform, including complex flight arrangements and packages. Your properties can be included in their itineraries!

In 2022 alone ResRequest has connected over 100 clients to over 50 of our ResConnect partners. For these ResRequest clients, this means greater online exposure and of course more revenue. This revenue is generated without lifting a finger or saying a word.

Do all of these Agents sell my property online?

Not all Partner Agents market you online, some Partner Agents have developed a connection to ResRequest to make business more efficient and to remain competitive. These Agents find email the new ‘snail-mail’ and they have opted for an electronic connection to reduce the back-and-forth engagement between your sales team and their sales team.

But will an electronic connection dilute the relationship I have with the Agent? 

These Agents want to compete with OTAs or they want to be able to sell a personalised itinerary, with rates and accurate availability, fast. Waiting for your sales team to reply to their sales inquiry via email, phone, or chats slows them down and will result in them losing business to other more responsive or electronic channels.

Also, because your Agent may have implemented electronic connections to improve their business efficiency, ignoring how they work could result in you losing business. Over time they may stop selling you in favour of selling a competitor that is electronically connected to them. Don’t confuse your Order Taker process with your Order Maker process. Connect to these Agents electronically, in the way they prefer, and find a different way to build your relationship with them.

I’m in! What are the next steps?

Once you have established a relationship with Partner Agents you would like to electronically connect your availability and rates with, they will ask your ResRequest System Administrator to email ResRequest Support to request a connection. In reply to this email, our Support team will ask your System Administrator for a few details, like:

  1. Which properties and room types may the agent access?
  2. What rate type should the agent have access to?
  3. What access should the agent have to your stock, view only or view to book?
    (Your System administrator can set up the above details in your ResRequest system)

Once you have confirmed these details (or your System Administration has set them up), our team will set up the connection, contact the Agent and inform them of the connection update. Once the Agent confirms the connection is active, they will advise you that the connection is complete.

Is there a cost for this connectivity? Monthly connectivity to ResConnect Partners is FREE. There is a once-off cost for the initial connection. Budget 1 to 3 hours at R490 per hour (ZAR customers) / $40 per hour (USD customers) for ResRequest support to set up a connection per Agent, and to train your manager on how to manage incoming bookings.

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