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Tourism & Hospitality


Ability to negotiate, pre-reserve and book accommodation in bulk.


The project

We have built a successful GDS (global distribution system) system and hundreds of travel agencies are using it to book hotels around Iceland. The application supports getting ARI (availability and rates information) and synchronizing bookings with various channel managers, but there is no way for agencies to pre-reserve rooms under certain conditions and sell them afterward. 

The objective is to create a new module in the application where an agency will be able to request a certain quantity of rooms of a given type, in several properties at once. Additionally, agencies should be able to allot rooms for groups traveling around the country and staying for several days, in a repeatable pattern. 

The request for an allotment should start a negotiation process, in which the hotel and agency will agree on prices, cancellation policy, release conditions, etc. Once an allotment is approved by both parties, it should flow as a specific type of reservation in the hotel’s PMS (Property Management System), taking out availability for those days. From here, the allotment is available and the agency can use it by making reservations that fill the empty allotment slots. Reporting and alerts are needed so that allotment fill can be followed. Automation is needed so that all manual tasks are eliminated.

The goal

  • Ability to request and negotiate allotments;

  • Ability to reserve blocks of accommodation taking out availability;

  • Ability to book using allotments;

The challenge

  • No other GDS software currently similarly supports this;

  • Most PMSs and CMs don’t support allotments;

  • Requirements are not fully known and they are defined as we move forward;

  • Different agencies and properties have different needs;

  • A high volume of data and API communication, lots of transactions across systems;

The result

After several months of work, our team successfully finished the project. It took several iterations, going from a whiteboard, implementation, testing, rolling out on production in beta mode, getting feedback from selected travel agencies and hotels, and back to the drawing board. 

The fact that there is no industry standard on how to do this, combined with the limited functionality of most CMs (channel manager) and PMSs (property management system) that don’t support this feature, meant that we had to adapt and take into account a lot of different approaches. To accomplish this we implemented a more generic structure that can adapt to different types of allotments and different systems, and we slowly activated feature by feature. 

Currently, the system supports all the needed features, like request and negotiation of terms, fit, multi-fit, group, and multi-group allotments, and booking with allotments via UI and API. We had a lot of issues with API communication, especially with slower systems that cannot handle a high volume of reservations at once - which was needed since one allotment can mean thousands of booking slots, which need to be synchronized immediately. We solved this problem by introducing background processing in batches, retry attempts, synchronization status updates, automated alerts, and various other performance improvements.

The final result is that Travia is one of the first applications to offer this feature in such a generic and complete way that is usable for all agencies and properties. We are delighted to see more and more allotment bookings coming through, knowing that with each of them, we saved valuable time for both the travel agent and the property staff.

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