Audley Travel Group is a travel company headquartered in the UK, with offices in London, Boston and Witney. It specializes in tailor-made luxury tours provided to most regions of the world. The company usually builds individual tours from scratch with account of all customer preferences. Audley Travel is flexible when it comes to managing trip details and pricing.
Initially Audley Travel had its own reservation system built in .NET and integrated with TravelPort flight GDS. All interactions with other smaller suppliers, including local DMCs, ground agents and hotels, were done offline or via manual search & book inside external supplier systems. Such infrastructure was far from optimal, as the volumes of manual work were very tough to handle. Ultimately, the management at Audley Travel started searching for an IT vendor capable of solving the supplier issue.
The main goal of the project consisted in development of a unified interface which could effectively aggregate and simplify cooperation with 3rd-party suppliers.
Phase # 1: Travel Supplier Aggregator
The most pressing issue to solve at the very beginning was the automation and standardization of travel supplier integrations. As agreed with Audley Travel, GP team developed a custom solution called “The Hub” – an agent interface for search & book of hotels, transfers and activities. The core for this solution was provided by the proprietary API Aggregator GP Tavel Hub.
GP Travel Hub is a well-structured and reliable back-end solution serving as the single point of communication with various travel consolidators, GDSs, bedbanks and other travel suppliers. It is capable of sending requests to multiple suppliers and processing responses simultaneously and in a standardized format.
The scope of development included:
- More than 20 XML API integrations done from scratch (mainly local DMCs)
- Development of a unique B2B interface
- Delivery of a sophisticated mapping tool capable of room-level mappings
- Functionality to “freeze” hotels inside the system in case a customer is not happy with the quality of service
- Synchronization with an existing “Journey Desk” system.
Phase #2: Inventory and Extranet
Numerous partner hotels of Audley Travel were not too advanced technologically and could not provide availability data via an API. To address this situation, GP team offered a solution based on GP Travel Enterprise platform.
GP Travel Enterprise is a modern and comprehensive system for travel business automation configurable to match a variety of travel business models: online travel agencies (OTAs), tour operators, airline companies, meta-search portals, destination management companies and more.
The major pieces of work around GP Travel Enterprise included:
- Installation of Inventory module allowing Audley Travel to manage direct contracts with hotels, set commercial conditions (prices, tariffs, cancellation policies, penalties etc.), availability conditions (on request, limited etc.)
- Provision of Extranet access to hoteliers for managing product prices, descriptions, rate plans, price maps and tracking of bookings on their own.
- A significant increase in business efficiency took place.
- Multiple supplier integrations were successfully performed by GP team.
- The booking and content management processes were optimized.
- Audley Travel and GP Solutions established successful cooperation with fulltime allocation of dedicated resources.
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