Time 5 mins read

Ways in Which SaaS Can Support Your Travel and Hospitality Business


The SaaS business model is gaining traction across the travel and hospitality industry. Quick implementations, minimal investment (CapEx) and scalable OpEx, the ease of upgrades and inbuilt features for data security have become the key drivers for the adoption of SaaS applications in the domain.

A report by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) reveals that the total market size of the tourism and hospitality industry in India, which stood at $117.7 billion in 2014, is expected to reach $418.9 billion by 2022¹. This domain is growing at a cumulative annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14% every year and brings a significant amount of foreign exchange to the economy.

As in several other sectors, technology has been the critical enabler of growth for the travel and hospitality sector. Indian companies have been leveraging it for over a decade now. From search engines and global distribution system (GDS) services to online travel agencies, the travel industry has witnessed significant innovation, and there is scope for more. A primary driver of tech-oriented growth for travel and hospitality companies is their adoption of cloud solutions and the development of Software as a Service (SaaS) technologies.

SaaS application development has helped to deploy better software engineering practices and has simplified the integration of solutions offered by content creators, digital travel agencies and payment gateways. With this, travel companies – from startups to large-scale organisations – can build engaging online experiences for their customers. They help travellers to plan their entire trip seamlessly, choose the prices that fit in their budget and post reviews for others.

The pay-as-you-go model of cloud computing-based SaaS helps businesses to reduce their IT CapEx and keep a more manageable OpEx. Startups can leverage the quick-to-deploy SaaS applications as avenues to build up their business idea from concept, to production, to scaling. And this becomes possible without bearing huge costs of data centre management.

This is why startups today can afford to offer services such as price aggregation for flights, rate management for hotels and bespoke travel itineraries to consumers. For companies that plan to augment value-added solutions, SaaS enables seamless collaboration and extension of services.
Let us look at the prime benefits of SaaS for travel and hospitality businesses in further detail.

Scalability
The core tenets of any e-commerce business are the scalability and reliability of its website. Each time a travel company offers a new deal or discount as a limited period offer, the spike in traffic can hit the infrastructure of its website. This, in turn, affects the revenue and reliability of the business in offering a consistent user experience.

With SaaS technologies, hospitality companies get the desired on-demand scalability for their infrastructure. They can scale up a SaaS-based website for the duration of the deal and enable cost savings on scaling down the infrastructure components.

Ease of managing payments – with security
Online travel services require payment gateways, which are crucial infrastructure aspects, to ensure that the transactions on the portal are completed without any issues and with fail-safe security over the network. It can be complicated and expensive for travel companies to handle customers’ personal and card details with on-premise hosting systems.

On the other hand, SaaS providers offer compliant payment gateways at technology infrastructure levels. As per the service providers’ SLA commitments, they must constantly work on maintaining a secure and functional payment management system for their clients. In India, they must also keep up with the RBI’s guidelines on electronic payment options.

Expedited content delivery
Customers today expect faster page rendering times and downloads. As they plan for their journeys, they check a range of pictures and videos posted by service providers and other travellers. When the streaming and downloading of heavy media content takes considerable time, it can result in a poor website experience.

The antidote to this challenge comes in Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) offered by SaaS providers. CDN solutions help to reduce the download times and enable travel companies to reach a more extensive client base across geographies.

Personalisation and data analytics
With abundant options available for the customers today, personalisation has a crucial role in offering an engaging user experience and retaining their patronage. Travel service providers must continuously work to keep their customers posted on new deals and send them recommendations based on their past choices. They also need to leverage price comparison portals such as Trivago, Make My Trip and Google that are already popular among segments of the travelling public in many parts of the world.

SaaS applications help here by aggregating and analysing a vast amount of data in cloud pipelines. They facilitate the statistics required to verify different propositions and allow travel websites to test and validate a variety of user experience models focusing on enhancing metrics such as daily active users (DAU), monthly active users (MAU) and conversions across various devices.

Looking forward
As cloud and SaaS technologies continue to evolve, the solutions offered by them will help businesses to address more challenges and create better experiences for their travellers.

Businesses today are also focusing on machine learning to improve their service offerings. Once model designs get automated in the cloud, new travel companies that do not even have much data analytics experience can begin leveraging machine learning to gain a new competitive edge in their markets. They can handle their rate and revenue management at lower costs.

While commenting on what the future holds for the travel domain in India, Yatra’s CEO Dhruv Shringhi said that the market is growing at a rate of 12% and is ripe for the adoption of more efficient technologies².

SaaS ecosystem brings a host of innovation and growth opportunities for travel and hospitality companies. At Tata Tele Business Services, we stay in sync with the transforming technology landscape and offer these advanced cloud-oriented solutions to help businesses achieve high performance, agility, scalability, data security and cost-effectiveness in their operations.

To check our range of SaaS offerings, visit https://www.tatateleservices.com/business-services/cloud-and-saas and feel free to call us for more information.

Sources
1-https://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/india-s-tourism-potential-needs-to-be-tapped-economic-survey-ii-117081101522_1.html
2-https://skift.com/2019/01/09/what-india-reveals-about-the-future-of-online-travel-a-skift-deep-dive/

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