We often get asked how Rezgo stacks up to the competition.  We prefer to let the system speak for itself, but since you are going to do some due diligence, we recommend asking the following ten questions of the Rezgo competitors you choose to review and compare their answers to the ones we provide.  We’re pretty sure that at the end of the day, you’ll see why Rezgo is the clear market leader.

1. How long has your system been around?

You’ll probably get answers like “That doesn’t matter, older doesn’t mean better” or “We’re young and hungry for your business”.  As a business owner, you already know the statistics. The majority of new businesses fail within 5 years with most of those failing within 3 years.   So at the end of the day, you want a technology partner who has been there, done that, and knows the ins and outs of the tour and activity industry.  Rezgo is an established business with over a million dollars invested in its development, hundreds of customers, and processes millions of dollars in transactions per month.  Here are some quick facts for your consideration:

  • Development started in 2005, Beta released in 2006
  • Over $1 Million worth of research and development invested
  • Over 450+ active business members
  • Over 5,000 tour and activity products in 100+ countries
  • $20 Million in bookings annually
  • 240,000 passengers annually

New reservation and bookings systems pop up all the time but very few stand the test of time.  Don’t trust your business with an unproven technology partner.

2. What is your background in the travel industry, specially tours & activities?

It’s not surprising to find that most tour booking systems out there were designed and built by a tour operator who thought it would be a great idea to build a reservation system for themselves and figured they could make more money by having other operators pay to use it too.  The problem with that approach is that it doesn’t make for very good software.  Why?  Because, as we have learned over the years, tour operators are all different and the system they use needs to support both their specific business requirements and industry best practices.

Rezgo was built by professional developers in consultation with a community of tour operators.  Over the years, we’ve worked with hundreds of operators who offer everything from balloon rides, bicycle tours, boat tours, sightseeing, and excursion companies.  We add features and functions based on the collective needs and requirements of a large group of businesses rather than just our experience.  We have also pulled from our collective team experience working with online travel agencies, suppliers large and small, other booking engines, XML APIs from various travel and non-travel providers, as well our extensive e-commerce experience.

Rezgo is travel technology, designed to serve the needs of companies that make up the third largest segment of the travel industry, the in-destination tours and activities.

3. What have you done for the industry?

We realized early on that the tour operators in the tour and activity segment need help.  So, since that time, we’ve committed ourselves to helping the industry get the recognition it needs in order to grow both online and in the real world.   Here are just some of the ways we’ve given back to the travel industry and the tours & activities segment in particular:

  • Launched  a tourism technology blog in 2007 to help tour operators learn about best practices and online marketing.
  • Sponsored the creation of the Tips from the T-List which recognized and helped foster the travel industry blogging community.
  • Published the Tips from the T-List book which highlighted the best contributions from travel industry blogs.
  • Helped create the first ever Blogger Summits at the PhoCusWright Conference, ITB, and Online Revealed.
  • Rezgo CEO is a founding contributor at Tnooz.com and is recognized as an industry expert.
  • Published the “Social Media Strategies for Tour & Activity Operators” ebook.
  • Sponsored ground breaking research into the in-destination tour & activity market.  This research has resulted in the rest of the travel industry paying closer attention to the segment.  Interest in the tour & activity space has grown tremendously since the report was released in February of 2011.
  • Active member of the Open Travel Alliance.  Rezgo CEO is the current Chair of the Board of Directors.
  • Donated the schema (structure) of our XML messages to the Open Travel Alliance as a framework for creating industry standard messages.
  • Donated hundreds of hours of volunteer time to help with the creation of the Open Travel Tour & Activity Schema V.1.0 released in December of 2011. This is the only industry recognized standard.
  • Presented at dozens of conferences Worldwide on distribution, tour operator technologies, travel industry standards, best practices, and social media.
4. Does your system support accommodations like hotels, motels, & lodges?

If the answer you get is yes, then you have to ask yourself if YOU sell accommodation products?  If the answer is no then you have to ask yourself if you want to use a system that has a whole bunch of features that are totally irrelevant to you.  What’s worse is that systems that do support accommodation products tend to drive most of their revenue from accommodation customers and so the bulk of innovation and development tends to happen on the accommodation side.  It’s not unusual to find tour and activity functionality added on as an afterthought.

Some of our competitors would argue that the booking functionality required for a hotel room is not much different from a tour, so why not take advantage of cross over and offer a system that supports both?  We don’t agree.  In fact, we believe that the accommodation booking flow is very different from the tour and activity booking flow.  Travelers looking to purchase an excursion don’t shop for them the same way they shop for a hotel room.  Rezgo, for example, is specifically designed to optimize the purchase flow for tours and excursions.  You won’t find any fields or descriptions in Rezgo that refer to rooms or occupancy.

5. Do you support general purpose scheduling like spa & doctor's appointments?

This may seem like a strange question, but it is an important one.  There are loads of scheduling apps out there that support booking spas and doctors appointments, some even offer support for tours and activities claiming that the booking flow is the same and the underlying requirements are similar.  I think you would agree that selling a winery tour or a kayak adventure is quite different from accepting a appointment for a doctor’s visit.

We are big believers in the idea that to be really good at something, you have to focus.  Rezgo is specifically designed for tour and activity operators.  We don’t offer a system that supports camera rentals, fitness classes, or doctor’s appointments.  Although you may find a way to use Rezgo to do these things, we don’t encourage it and we certainly don’t advertise it.  We are focused on providing the best possible system for tour and activity operators.

6. How do my customers pay me?

As a reservation system, Rezgo is dedicated to making it easy for your customers to pay you.  This is why we have focused on making payments a seamless process for your customers.  Did you know that reservations that use an off-site payment process (where payment doesn’t happen on the reservation website) have a 10x higher abandonment rate than integrated payment.  That’s why Rezgo is directly integrated with more than twenty leading global payment gateways.  These gateways connect your Rezgo account directly with your bank account so that you receive payments from your customers at the time of booking.

Some of our competitors offer only connections via third party hosted payment services such as PayPal or 2Checkout and some even offer, what they call, integrated payment processing.  Ask yourself if you want your reservation software company to act as your bank?  There is a good reason why merchant providers and banks exist, it is to ensure the integrity of your payments.

7. Do you have a distribution strategy?

Distribution is a key part of Rezgo.  Did you know that we released our distribution platform in 2008?  In fact, Rezgo is the only dedicated tour and activity operator software available today that has a fully integrated distribution platform.  Although distribution is still relatively new for the tour and activity space, it will become a more important revenue driver for businesses in years to come.  Many current Rezgo members already work with some of the largest online travel agencies and resellers in the tour and activity space.  To help these Rezgo members manage their bookings more effectively, we have developed technologies that allow tour operators to import booking emails from providers like Expedia and Viator.

Our long term distribution strategy, however, is focused on building relationships with organizations that can bring incremental revenues for our member companies by utilizing the combination of our powerful XML API and our strong relationships with travel distribution partners from around the globe.

8. Do you have a fully transactional API, if so how long has it been around?

This question may seem a bit technical, but it’s important.  An API allows developers and third parties to build applications and extend functionality on top of Rezgo and, more specifically, your account.  Having a fully transactional API means that third parties can actually push bookings directly into your account through their own applications.

The Rezgo XML API is recognized as the most advanced and well developed API of any dedicated tour and activity operator software.  In fact, we developed our XML API first before building our consumer facing booking engine.  This allowed us to ensure that the quality, reliability, and performance of our API would live up to the two million requests a day it now handles.

Whether you use the Rezgo hosted booking engine, the mobile optimized booking engine, the Rezgo WordPress plugin, or the Facebook App, the Rezgo XML API is there connecting your interface of choice to the core Rezgo system.

9. Can I call you for support?

Yes, call us during our regular office hours (9am – 5pm GMT – 7) and we would be happy to talk to you in person.  In fact, we work really hard to provide the best possible customer service.  We offer live chat, Skype, email, an extensive knowledgebase, and even one on one webinars… at no extra cost.

10. What is your motivation to ensure that I am successful?

Our motivation to ensure you are successful is simple, we only succeed if you succeed.  Our pay for performance model depends on our ability to help you generate direct bookings.  Our competitors like to brag that they don’t charge a commission but we believe a pay for performance model based on a percentage transaction fee or a commission is a good thing.  As a business owner, it means that your technology costs are variable and grow only as your revenue grows.   As a transaction fee based system, we are motivated to find ways to increase your direct, mobile, incremental, and point of sale bookings.  We want to help you generate more sales and will support you any way we can in the process.

What sort of motivation does a fixed fee system have to ensure your success?  As a customer you are only worth a certain amount and nothing more.  Are you really going to trust your critical business information, customer credit card information, and payments to a system that costs you less than your monthly television bill?  Charging a low fixed fee may seem like a great deal for you in the short term, but ultimately you want a system that has your best interests in mind.

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So what are you waiting for?

The proof is in the pudding. Take Rezgo for a test drive and you'll quickly realize why it is the best software for tour and activity operators available today.

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