The 6 Best Web Based Tour Operator Software

17 min

Have you been wondering which tour operator software is best for you? Choosing the right tour operator software is one of the most important decisions you can make for your business.

As more travelers and travel agents book online reservations in real time, a user-friendly web interface and a robust booking management system are two of the key factors in generating revenue and growing your business.

In this article, we’ll outline the pros and cons of various tour operator software options. Not only will we discuss the top free and paid web based tour operator software brands available, we will link contact information for each one so that you can find the right solution for your business. Let’s dive into the advantages and disadvantages of various operators so you can determine the system that’s meets the needs of your business, your guests, and your bottom line.

What is a web based tour operator software?

In many cases, choosing software for a business can be intimidating. By knowing the offerings of the software and the purpose it serves, you can become a confident decision-maker. There are dozens of tour operator software providers within the travel industry, most of which offer similar features. Most commonly, features include:

  • A booking engine or online reservation system: A booking engine is a user interface for online bookings. This engine allows guests to enter their preferred date, room type, and package option. After selecting their preferences, guests confirm their reservation in real-time on the website or via a website link.
  • Payment processing: Payment processing refers to the ability to accept payment from guests online via credit card or PayPal. Some software providers integrate their services with payment systems similar to Stripe.
  • Booking management: Booking management is the ability to access a database of all reservations where you can change dates, edit names, process cancellations, etc.
  • Customer relationship management (CRM): A CRM is a database with information for all your guests including contact information, preferences, past bookings, and more. This information helps you to send targeted marketing offers and offer a more personalized experience to your guests.
  • Travel agency management: A travel agency management feature allows travel agents around the globe to easily book your products.
  • Reports: Many web-based tour operators offer customizable reports based on a plethora of metrics.
  • Reviews and ratings: A review/rating feature allows companies to collect guest reviews, send responses, and display reviews on their website. The ability to hear feedback helps to improve business services and make potential guests more confident about booking with you.

The benefit of web-based software is that you can access the software via your web browser! Since the service is web-based, there are downloads needed.

Top 3 Free Web-Based Tour Operator Software

Are you looking for an excellent software system at an affordable price? The following tour operator software providers offer their services without a monthly cost. Since these systems do not require a monthly payment, they charge a minimal fee per booking.

FareHarbor: The best all-around software provider

FareHarbor is an award-winning software and one of the travel industry’s most popular choices for tour operators worldwide. FareHarbor designs a beautiful booking engine for your website, creates a powerful booking management system, allows for easy payment processing, and integrates with websites like Booking.com and GetYourGuide. Fareharbor offers pricing recommendations based on artificial intelligence and a support team that is available 24/7.

One of our favorite features of the Fareharbor service is the comprehensive booking management system. When using the management system, you have the ability to edit details for one customer or for a group of customers simultaneously.

Advantages

FareHarbor is one of the most affordable products on the market with no monthly or annual fees. One of the greatest parts of using this service is the ability to customize all content and transform any page into a booking platform. Fareharbor makes it extremely easy for your customers to make reservations. Fareharbor integrates with many popular booking platforms including Expedia, Booking.com, and TripAdvisor.

Disadvantages

FareHarbor is not suitable for hotel bookings. Many brands use Fareharbor for day tours and activities. The browser interface is not mobile-friendly. There is a separate mobile app that can be downloaded but it is not as seamless as the web platform.

Unlike many affordable tour operators, Fareharbor offers a space for ratings and reviews. The space for reviews is easily accessed on the user interface and is simple to use. The location of the rating option on the interface makes it more likely for consumers to review their experience.

How much does it cost?

FareHarbor charges no monthly or annual fee but collects a payment processing fee of 1.9% + $0.30 per booking. Since Fareharbor has no contracts or required commitments, you can stop using the system if it doesn’t meet your needs.

How do I start using it?

Sign up for a free demo on the FareHarbor website and you will be assigned to an onboarding representative that will walk you through the setup process. This process details all of the assets of the system and allows you to determine if this solution is right for your brand. You can call Fareharbor at +1 (855) 495-5551 or email sales@fareharbor.com. If you are not ready to try a demo, take a tour of the various services provided through the platform.

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

The online demo provides a thorough explanation of services provided through Fareharbor.

Xola: The easy-to-use software provider

Xola is a web based tour operator software that offers an online booking engine, reservation management system for online and offline bookings, reporting tools, and connections to affiliate companies such as Expedia. Xola is also known for their outstanding customer service that is available 24/7.

The Xola interface is user-friendly and allows you to access a wide range of information with just a simple click.
A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated
The Xola platform is easy to use for customers and operators

Advantages

One of the greatest assets of Xola is that the interface is easy to use for both operators and customers. There are options to offer coupons and reviews. Unlike some other tour operators, Xola has a streamlined process for mobile reservations. In addition to typical services, Xola offers a huge variety of training tips and resources through Xola University.

Disadvantages

The analytical tools offered by Xola are not effective compared to those offered by competitors. Although exporting the information to Excel provides better analytics, the reporting tool glitches regularly and the integration features are not seamless. The booking fees are more expensive than other competitors that offer more advanced reporting tools.

How much does it cost?

Xola offers two pricing models. The first model offers no subscription fee but approximately 8% per booking and the second offers a yearly fee starting at $199 with no fee per booking. Many Xola customers advise that paying the annual fee rather than the booking fee reduces the overall cost of using the product.

How do I start using it?

Sign up for a free demo on the website to determine if Xola is the right solution for you. If you prefer to call or email, you can contact Xola at +1 (415) 404-9652 or join@xola.com.

Checkfront: The most integrated software provider

Checkfront is a web-based booking software with a robust suite of features including a streamlined management system that includes reservations made over the phone and in person. The Checkfront customer management tool has the ability to send automated emails, facilitate promotions, sell gift certificates, and sign digital forms.

This tab shows the unique ability that Checkfront has to manage both in-person and over-the-phone reservations in one place.

Advantages

Checkfront offers a wide variety of integrations, including booking channels like Expedia and Tripadvsior, payment processors like Stripe and QuickBooks, and marketing tools like Facebook Ads and Google AdWords. Reports are customizable and the financial tools for creating and sending invoices are useful. Checkfront offers a 21-day free trial to all prospective users.

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

Disadvantages

Similar to FareHarbor, this system is primarily used for tours and activities. The options for memberships and payment models are limited. The booking fee model seems less attractive initially but the paid selections cap the number of bookings allowed per year. Some inventory restrictions cannot be customized within the platform.

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated
This photo shows the detail included in each reservation as well as the space given to add comments and notes accordingly.

How much does it cost?

Checkfront is available as a free version that results in a booking fee charged to the customer. Checkfront offers a paid subscription plan that starts at $49 per month.

A picture containing sitting, black, green

Description automatically generated

How do I start using it?

You can start a 21-day free trial with Checkfront here. Contact the company via email at sales@checkfront.com or by phone using the information found on this page.

A screenshot of a social media post

Description automatically generated
Checkfront guides you through the process of securing your first booking.

Top 3 Paid Web Based Tour Operator Software

If your tour operator budget includes funds for software expenses, these high-quality, paid software solutions offer a substantial amount of value.

Travefy: The traveler-preferred software provider

Travefy is a trip planning and itinerary creating tool that is ideal for travel agents and tour operators that offer bundles of experiences. Travefy offers a robust, web-based client management system for travel industry professionals. This system is designed with a sleek, customizable, traveler-facing app that offers a hassle-free way for travelers to manage their trips.

A screenshot of a social media post

Description automatically generated

You can customize your marketing profile to include information that you want your guests to see.

Advantages

Travefy gives travel agents the ability to send proposals, manage client preferences, build custom content, and source travel guides from the library of destination content. The software integrates with many cruise and flight systems allowing itineraries to update automatically. The traveler-facing app is attractive to many consumers.

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated
It is easy to create and send proposals through the Travefy platform
A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated
The customer-facing mobile app is a huge asset for Travefy users

Disadvantages

Travefy works best for travel agents and tour operators with complete itineraries. Travefy may not be of value to day tour operators or activity providers because they will not have a need for the system’s full functionality.

How much does it cost?

After a 10-day free trial, Travefy costs $39 per month. You can access Travefy for $31 per month when you pay for one year upfront.

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

How do I start using it?

You can sign up for a free 10-day trial on Travefy’s website. If you have additional questions, email contact@travefy.com.

Rezdy: The most robust software provider

Rezdy is an online booking system that integrates with Facebook and Google and allows your business to accept reservations in real time through both a third-party booking engine and your website. In addition to online booking services, Rezdy offers a booking management tool that allows you to add offline bookings to the system and see everything in one place.

Advantages

On top of the booking management capabilities, Rezdy offers payment processing and advanced reporting tools. Rezdy has an easy-to-use customer database, passenger manifest tool, and inventory management system. The Marketplace tool is a unique feature that connects your business to third-party channels like Expedia for additional exposure.

A screenshot of a social media post

Description automatically generated

Rezdy has a comprehensive dashboard that allows you to search for the answers you need

Disadvantagess

Since the system is highly complex, it takes a longer time to adapt it to your preferences. The customer support response rate is slower than most other tour operator software providers.

How much does it cost?

Rezdy offers a 21-day free trial. After the trial period, pricing plans range from $49 to $249 per month + booking fees. Rezdy offers a large variety of pricing models, allowing you to find the solution that works for your company.

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

How do I start using it?

Sign up for a free 21-day trial with Rezdy. If you have questions or want more information, you can get in touch with the customer support team via the “Contact Us” page.

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

Tourplan: The best quality software provider

Tourplan is the highest quality tour operator software on the market. This award-winning system offers a comprehensive list of functions ranging from quote sending services to integration with third-party channels. The functionality of Tourplan allows your brand to add complex restrictions, sell products across different currencies, manage inventory in real time, and build website integrations.

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated
Tourplan offers a wide range of services compared to the competition

Advantages

This software is designed for small and large tour operators. Large businesses are more likely to benefit from the massive suite of services provided. Tourplan supports group bookings, MICE, FIT’s, and wide varieties of packages and tours. Tourplan is comprised of a global team and dedicated support reps that are available 24/7. You can access Tourplan through a desktop application, a cloud-based browser, or a mobile app.

A close up of a logo

Description automatically generated

Tourplan offers videos and resources that help you determine if they are the right software provider for you

Disadvantages

Tourplan is the most expensive software on this list. For smaller businesses, the services offered through Tourplan will not be as valuable for their brand. Tourplan does not allow multi-day booking services.

How much does it cost?

You can explore Tourplan for free but they do not offer a free trial. Pricing plans start at roughly $5000.

Explore the resources available

How do I start using it?

You can request a free demonstration on Tourplan’s website or schedule an in-person meeting in one of their offices around the world.

Conclusion

Whether you choose to start big or small, there is a web-based tour operator software that is right for your brand. Instead of choosing the most convenient software provider, choose a provider that truly specializes and services the needs of your customers.

If you are ready to grow your tour operator business, the right software can help you to grow and excel at a faster rate. With the large variety of services and pricing models offered, there is surely an option that suits your budget and allows you to accept online bookings, strengthen customer relationships, grow your revenue, and convert your audience.

You can increase your capacity to reach more prospective customers by streamlining information, designing an easy-to-use interface, and providing excellent customer service.