Making payments online and using credit cards in general are not so easy in Ecuador. Local banking and tax laws prohibit foreigners from paying with their cards. As the tour operator happygringo.com states, under Ecuadorian law, Ecuador-based tour companies are not able to receive credit card information online or by phone. This obviously makes pre-bookings difficult: Clients must provide information manually, sign it and send the authorized papers via email. Since this requires additional work, companies charge something from 5% to 10% extra commission on manual credit card payments.
Ecuador-based tour operators can’t even use PayPal as a solution to this problem, since this payment service provider has restricted money withdrawals from Ecuadorian paypal accounts. To withdrawal money from a PayPal account requires an US American Bank account and therefore a permanent US address, which is obviously difficult to obtain for an Ecuadorian. Exchange services, such as Western Union, could solve this problem, but they charge significant fees for the payment transaction without providing any link to a booking system.
All these legal and operational constraints mean that most tourists visiting sites such as the Galapagos or the Ecuadorian mainland either cannot book their trip with Ecuador-based tour operators in advance or have to use tourism agencies such as Lastminutes Galapagos. This leads to higher costs for the tourists, lower revenue for local tour operators, and a strong dependence on non-local agencies.
Significant increas in international tourism in Galapagos. Source
The best way to solve these problems is to use a payment service provider outside of Ecuador that has the capability of accepting payments anywhere in the world in any currency and to send the money into Ecuador. And this is exactly what TrekkSoft provides tour operators with. We enable you to integrate our service as a third party service into your booking process. As the whole payment is conducted outside Ecuador there is no problem with local laws. Furthermore, TrekkSoft can provide direct money transfers to any bank account in Ecuador in the local currency which, since 2000, is the US-Dollar. To know more about the solution see TrekkSoft’s website about payments and the FAQ section.
All credit cards which are issued by an Argentinian bank are now charged with an extra 15 % tax by the Argentinian government for any consumption outside of the country. This especially affects tourism, tour operators and activity providers. A lot of these companies are using Booking Plattforms (which counts under this perspective as a consumption outside the country). Do you have experience with this new regulation? We are happy to support you on any open question, we are currently working on possible solutions for Tour Operators & activity providers.
TrekkSoft.com is getting a lot of sign ups from African safari companies, and I am writting here with some tips and tricks for these kind of companies:
1) Average Basket: OK, safari trips are sometimes quite expensive and have an average basket of somewhere between USD 1000 and USD 3000.-. For an unknown company, it is quite hard to sell online an average basket of USD 1000 to USD 3000.- , and thus we recommend to sell trips that average baskets of USD 100.- to USD 200.- If your company is getting more established, with perhaps some listings on tripadvisor.com, you can start to sell more expensive baskets online. But as a starter, we don`t recommend selling baskets online that are higher than USD 100.- to USD 200.- In any case please inform the visitors of your page about your refund policy and terms of services. If you are a member of a Travel Trade Bond Association, please inform the guests that their purchase is backed with a travel trade bond association. If you have a history, please inform the guests for how long you are successfully operating a business. You need to generate TRUST.
2) Start to build up your brand – trekksoft.com helps you to connect with Facebook and Twitter, so you can export passenger names and emails to send out newsletters etc. But it is YOUR JOB to start the marketing for your tour operator company. If you just open up a trekksoft.com account and you hope to get millions of bookings, you will be in for some disappointments. You need to advertise your page, tell your friends and business partners. If you have already an exisitng domain, make sure that you either redirect your domain to your trekksoft page or at least integrate an Iframe with the booking page or at least a booking button.
3) Photos/ Videos: please don`t forget that you sell your product/service online, so please update your page with photos and also upload photos on facebook. For example, if you have photos of a guided tour, “tag” the guests (if they are happy with it) on Facebook and all the friends of a guest of you will see your product/tour/service online. You need to convince your visitors online that you have the best tour on the world and that you are a serious business company which guarantees the best service in the world.
We just integrated a new PSP (Payment Service Provider) from India – EBS. If you are an Indian tour operator company or an Indian activity provider you can choose EBS to receive payments on your Indian bank account in INR (Indian Rupees). The advantage of this solution is that you can now accept INR and you have real time payments available. Plus, you get paid out on the date of a trip sold.
TrekkSoft CMS offers you the option to implement your own corporate design on a page which has a fix structure as a basic set up. If you upload a logo the system automatically makes proposals of the basis colours of the page. The whole set up is also optimized for Google Search. Also for Google Ad Words and optimized landing pages, the system is optimized.
You can integrate TrekkSoft.com via Iframe or Button into your existing website. You can also use trekksoft.com as your stand alone website because trekksoft.com provides a integraded CMS.
Under Settings // Emded TrekkSoft, you can automatically generate the code to insert into your website.
The first option you can choose is the Iframe – an Iframe offers you the option to insert the booking engine in a window in your existing website.
If you would like to integrate only a button, you can use this function. Customers are then redirected after clicking on the button for the booking process.
In the tourism industry, everything is about having agents and resellers for your products. With trekksoft.com we have huge functionalities for setting up agents and resellers and paying out commissions. First of all, you need to set up an agent in your administator backend:
Administator // Marketing // Agents
Then you need to connect a certain agent with a existing user. An agent is always connected with a user. You can also define how much rights you want to give to an agent, for example, is he allowed to get cash from customers? Is he allowed to overbook a trip, etc. The Agent Code can also be used in the frontend (the normal booking process for costumers on your website) and like that you can for example distribute flyers with an agent code on it and combine it with a gift code to attract costumers to use a specific code.
Under Accounting // Agents Accounting you will find, based on the accounting period you defined in the set up of an agent, all the accounting information, bookings, and commissions made by the agent. You can easily generate a .pdf and send that directly to your agent so he can send you an invoice.
IMPORTANT: all accounting is based on the date of the trip and not on the date of the sale. A commission is paid out after the trip and not before.
Another extremly useful function offered by TrekkSoft.com is this: you can share tours (for example a bike tour) with an unlimited amount of partner companies (they just need a trekksoft.com account). If you want to set up a partner tour, you need to first contact firstname.lastname@example.org via email and ask for them to set up a partner tour. Tell us with which tour operator you want to co-operate with and what the “online” and “offline” commission should be. So lets take as an example Outdoor Interlaken. If they want to share Tours with Bus2Alps.com, first of all we need to set up in the TrekkSoft.com backend part the offline and online commissions:
After this intial set up, which needs to be done by us (email@example.com), you can choose in the “Tour Operator Login” of TrekkSoft.com which Tours you want to offer to which partner companies (when you have set up different tour operator as partners):
In this section (logged in as a Administrator), you can choose which tours you want to add and sell them online over your site. Additionally, you can choose which tours you want to offer to your partner companies.
IMPORTANT: Whichever partner makes the sell online gets the money paid out first. For example, if Outdoor Interlaken sells a Partner Tour which is owned by bus2alps.com over www.outdoor-interlaken.ch, Outdoor Interlaken gets the money paid out by TrekkSoft.com. This means that bus2alps.com needs to invoice Outdoor Interlaken (via Partner Accounting Tool). The bilateral accounting between partner tour companies is made via the partner accounting.
//Accounting // Partners Accounting
Under this section you can generate monthly reports as a .pdf to invoice your partner companies for tours they sold for you.
TrekkSoft.com Marketplace is an ideal solution for Destination Management Companies or Organizations, such as a tourism board who wants to push a whole region. By sharing all different kinds of tours, you can create a marketing website with all the tours of a region.
Tour Operator Companies and activity providers can generate more money by selling tours using third party companies
Tour Operator Companies and activity providers can attract more customers by offering them packaging functions