How a 24 year old started a $70,000-a-month online business and travels the world

ResRequest blog

Written by Tanza Loudenback

Aileen Adalid entered the corporate world at age 19 after graduating from De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines, with a degree in business management and had a combined year of training experience under her belt at huge multinational companies like Nestlé, Unilever, and Siemens.

But the trilingual Philippines native quickly grew envious of the flexible lifestyles of “digital nomads” she met while freelancing on the side in Manila.

At 21, after spending two years working as a product controller, which paid just $300 per month, at Deutsche Bank, she realised the corporate life wasn’t for her. She was increasingly intrigued by both entrepreneurship and travel, so she left her job with about $600 in savings in April 2013.

For the next year, Adalid freelanced in graphic design, web design, SEO management, and online marketing, sustained largely by one stable client contract that earned her more than double her previous salary. The best part: The flexibility enabled her to travel frequently to places like France and Thailand.

After a year of freelancing, Adalid,with a friend to start an online Amazon retail business called Adalid Gear, a health and outdoor accessories company, and relocated to Belgium on a student visa after being accepted to a graduate program at the University of Antwerp.

When her namesake business took off a few months later, Adalid left school and switched to a partner visa, with the help of her Belgian business partner, to focus on growing the business. To get the company off the ground, they started by carefully researching the market to discover the most in-demand products.

Their dedication paid off. Adalid Gear, which sells sports and outdoor gear, now has average monthly sales of $70,000, and has established markets in the US and UK.

She also revived her one-time teenage diary blog, I Am Aileen, fashioning it into a lifestyle and travel blog that has gained traction among online travel communities.

Adalid herself now earns about $5,000 a month from the business and “affiliate partnerships, sponsored posts, and social media shout outs” related to her travel blog. And thanks to brand and tourism board partnerships, Adalid often scores free travel and accommodations. But she doesn’t accept everything she’s offered. “I want [the blog] to remain authentic, personalised, and uncluttered … besides, I already earn most of my ‘keep’ from my online business.” Thanks to travel freebies and discounts, she says she’s able to save about 70% of her income.

Adalid typically works less than four hours per day on Adalid Gear, mainly handling research, marketing, promotions, and communication, allowing her to go on a trip from her home base, (now back in the Philippines) at least once a month to destinations throughout Europe and Asia.

Adalid’s nomadic lifestyle has taught her a few lessons about productivity. “Being constantly on the move can ruin anyone’s focus, rhythm, and pace, but I’ve discovered that it can be easily solved by doing slow travel and finding the right balance to how you do your workflow.”

Adalid is back in the Philippines now with plans to make Spain her next home base. Her long-term goal is to continue to grow her businesses and to travel to every country in the world.

First published on Business Insider

Will daylight savings time affect my ResRequest?

ResRequest blog

Daylight saving time (DST) or summer time is when people adjust their clocks forward by one hour during the summer months so that evening daylight time lasts an hour longer. DST is particularly prevalent in the Northern Hemisphere where the summer days are long and winter days are short. DST allows people to make the most of the longer summer days and the clocks are then adjusted back at the start of autumn.

While DST benefits people, it can disrupt electronic equipment and computer software often adjusts automatically for DST. At the end of October, many countries in the Northern Hemisphere will reset their clocks to adjust for the end of daylight savings. In Africa, only Namibia, Libya, Morocco and Western Sahara observe daylight savings.

As South Africa does not observe daylight savings, it is important to ensure that your computer is not set to automatically adjust for daylight savings so that ResRequest continues to function correctly.

If you need assistance with this, all technical queries can be directed to: support@resrequest.com.

Your online presence and ResRequest web pages

ResRequest web pages

Written by Jennifer Coppinger

What is the value of having a great website?

Having a website is no longer optional. Having a positive online presence through a website and social media platforms has become essential for almost every business and service. The quality of these sites and platforms is constantly evolving in the up-beat and competitive digital era that the majority of the world’s population has rapidly embraced.

You may ask why? A website is merely a marketing tool that doesn’t truthfully communicate the quality of the business or service. Or does it? There is method to the madness. A website is always accessible, it offers a chance to keep your customers informed, it grows your potential target market to a global scale and it can talk to every potential customer at the same time – there are only a certain number of phone calls you can take in a day! It’s often the first aspect of your business that people see and you know what they say about first impressions!

For many businesses, websites are a tool, a space for customers to view products, make reservations and even pay online from anywhere in the world.

What has your ResRequest system got to do with this?

Although ResRequest is your in-house reservations and property management system, remember that you still have some public facing pages. These public web pages are made up of your login page, your public availability calendar and quick search and may also include a Pay Now page if you have opted to use this functionality. All of these web pages can be extremely powerful in driving direct bookings to your establishment.

So if you’ve been skipping ahead with the times and have redesigned your website, remember that you can get these ResRequest public pages updated too. Just send us an email and we can get these pages redesigned for you to accommodate your new look.

ResRequest web pages

screen-design-2

Please be advised that these changes are billable at our standard support charges.

e-Commerce Strategy

ecommerce banner

Written by Jill Bennett-Howes

Online selling is a very exciting area to add to your sales strategy. We’ve seen many of our customers celebrate increased profits when they implement and manage an effective online strategy.

Key elements for your eCommerce strategy

Each element will need effort from your team to prepare the strategy, implement, maintain and review it – we call this the PACstrat (of course I couldn’t resist slipping in that bit of Pacman-geek-speak!).

With an effective eCommerce strategy and a dedicated team, increased profits result through new sales and/or through more efficient business procedures.

The importance of an eCommerce strategy

You have plans for increased profits but where will your increased profits come from? Whether it’s increased sales through new channels, closing sales or working more cost effectively, a very likely source of your increased profits will come from a well managed e-commerce strategy.

Online booking words like Look To Book, Credit Cards, OTAs, GDS’ and Channel Managers very quickly get marketing and sales teams dreaming up these profits and increased occupancies. Their enthusiasm is catchy – but plug those buzz words into Google, hit enter and the volumes of search results leave you feeling like there’s not enough bandwidth on your laptop – let alone enough to get your eCommerce strategy up and running.

With this being such an overwhelming business strategy, hoteliers often make the fatal mistake of approaching eCommerce as a sales after-thought or a fishing expedition. They think that randomly implementing a few connections and a few technologies will bring the profits they seek – and they often come miserably short. They celebrate the ad hoc booking instead of comparing it with all their overall sales strategies. These customers rarely claim true online profits – in fact many of them go horribly wrong and just confuse the market or create price disparity which weakens their product and can negatively impact other carefully nurtured sales strategies.

Implementing and deploying an eCommerce strategy is a business decision – one that’s as important as your existing sales strategy. It needs a dedicated team to workshop, manage, track and refine your eCommerce plans.

So, whether your focus is maximising direct sales or making working with your partners more efficient, you’ll need to: define an eCommerce strategy, add technology to achieve it and allocate resources to ensure that you get the profits your marketing and sales teams promise. This means you have a lot of work ahead of you.

As the online inventory and availability distribution hub, ResRequest plays a key role in working with our partners and customers to identify online booking options that work for you.

To help you kickstart your blueprint to success, we have identified the online booking options available to you, their pitfalls, successes and general industry trends.

Distribution Options

Your website. Your investment in a great web design is to excite customers about your product and lead them to buy. Once your customer has made a commitment to purchase, they ask for price and availability, which culminates in a sale. For this reason close to 90% of our clients proactively engage in showing rates and availability on their website.

Luxury / remote lodges have been less confident of the value of creating bookings and processing credit cards directly from their website. Reasons for look-to-book reluctance includes fears that guests will not be able to arrange complicated transfers. In addition lodges are concerned that automating bookings sidesteps the value of building a relationship between the customer and their product. To top these concerns, many lodges are wary of how trade partners may react to them openly targeting the direct market. As a result of these concerns for many years we saw a trend of caution to creating bookings online. Many customers only displayed availability with easy-to-use enquiry forms – but this trend is changing.

Online consumers expect to be able to book online and they trust that you have implemented solutions to make their booking uncomplicated and to resolve any potential challenges. As this expectation has changed so our customers have found ways to counter online booking challenges, they’ve implemented simpler online rates, easy booking forms and resolved transfer concerns with online or central reservations solutions.

Your business partners. Over time, marketing groups have formed with the objective of stimulating travel in niche markets – sort of stitching itineraries together. Some of these groups are commercial ventures, while others are informal associations born from like-minded neighbouring properties. Over the last few years we have seen an increase in interest for marketing groups and regional availability, where independent / neighbouring properties are interested in publishing availability on a collaborative web-page. This is a market sector that is growing in popularity and benefits both direct guests and travel trade.

Specialist agents. Ask any agent or tour operator and they will tell you that a large portion of their success is the skill with which they are able to quickly prepare a customised itinerary. Giving specialist agents access to your stock means that agents are able to prepare and respond to requests for quotations faster then their competitors. More then 90% of our clients allow agents to access stock with their own ResRequest login, with close to 20% allowing agents to create bookings directly into their ResRequest system.

To enable agents with their own systems to electronically extract rate and availability from multiple clients, we have developed an auxiliary product, ResConnect. Approximately 90% of our clients have established relationships with our agent partners who use ResConnect. Many of our ResConnect partners display availability directly on their website in order to compete with OTAs and GDS’. If you’re considering working with OTAs and GDS’ you should definitely be considering giving your loyal travel partners controlled access to their rates and your availability.

Online Travel Agents (OTAs) / Global Distribution Systems (GDS). Travel sites reported significant 2014 revenues: Expedia $5.7 billion, Amadeus at E1,3 billion. With revenues like these it is understandable that every hotel would love to tap into those markets. So why are remote hotels cautious of tapping into these very lucrative channels?

Concerns include the effect of boycotts by specialist travel agents and tour operators. Lodges also fear that channels will create a price war climate that will ultimately result in cheapening their products and forcing rack rates to drop. In addition lodges have logistical fears that these channels may have no concern for the guest’s knowledge or ability to transfer to and from complicated, remote locations.

Over the last few years we have seen many customers tap successfully into these channels. It takes effort and evidence shows that once the connection is established, and the right marketing effort is applied, the results are well worth it. As more products become available on these channels we expect to see OTAs and GDS’ introducing ways to help remote travellers with complicated transfers – for now it’s not a problem at all – our customers playing in this space simply make the transfer arrangements as an added on service to the traveller.

You may ask, how much effort is really needed for an online channel to sell my product? Getting return from this sales sector takes a lot of resources, time and work. Consider each travel portal as a new business relationship except, unlike traditional agents, you need to manage your own rates, your online listing and you need to learn how each travel portal works so that you can optimise sales over your competitor’s listings. Start with a few channels and, once you’ve monitored the trends and your team are experienced in working with this space, start expanding to more relevant portals.

So how does ResRequest make this happen?

ResRequest covers all your distribution needs with our own direct connections and via channel managers. The diagram below illustrates our distribution blueprint.

 

ResRequest ecommerce

ONLINE OPTIONS

Online bookings are about reaching online customers and working more efficiently with your business partners through electronic connections.

What’s available?

ResRequest’s Online Bookings module lets you connect to online users electronically; distribute your availability and rates, and make bookings through online channels and your own website. Your online strategy will include one or many of the online services available to you in ResRequest. Some of these connections are direct and some are available through our Channel Manager partners.

DIRECT SALES
Ideal for your online-savvy clients and repeat customers.

Show availability and rates on your own website and give your customers the ability to ‘book and pay now’.

Your website:

1. ResRequest: Brand and use ResRequest’s online booking form and credit card gateway, or let your web designer use our interface (API) to develop your own booking form on your website. Alternatively use our booking widget, ResNova, on your WordPress or general website.

2. Channel manager: offer a direct booking form available via any of our partners channel manager.

FaceBook: Add a booking widget to your Facebook page using some of our preferred Channel Managers. A ResRequest widget for FaceBook.

TripAdvisor: Via selected Channel Managers, list your stock alongside popular OTA’s to increase your chance of a booked next to your ratings.

Circuits: Using the ResRequest interface (API) create circuit bookings within your own products or collaborating with other ResRequest properties.

SELL TO YOUR TOP AGENTS
Help your top agents compete with online travel agents by giving them an online edge.

Give your selected agents access to ResRequest with a secure login.

Give your preferred agents controlled access to ResRequest by adding them as a ResRequest user. Let them lookup availability and make bookings to increase their chance to quote quickly and book efficiently.

SELL TO AFRICA’S TOP AGENTS
Distribute your stock to Africa’s top safari agents.

Connect your stock and bookings to specialist agents and tour operators using our electronic connection programme, ResConnect.

Sign up as a ResConnect customer through our call centre. A ResRequest user is created with restricted permissions. The user is linked to each ResConnect partner via our bridge.

SELL VIA OTAs and GDS’ (Online Travel Agents & Global Distribution Systems)

Connect to OTAs and GDS’ and leverage access to thousands of global agents and travellers who are searching for a safari vacation.
Use our Channel Manager partners to distribute your inventory and rates and make bookings to OTAs like Expedia, bookings.com or GDS’ like Pegasus and Sabre. Our Channel Manager partners include: Nightsbridge and SynXis.

Select the Channel Manager that suits your distribution needs, budget and reach. Your account is setup with the channel and then we connect ResRequest for you. The last step is that you manage your profile and rates on your preferred travel sites.

 

Backing up

Backing up your data

Technology and data, and free access to both, has become a vital part of everyday business running procedures. People still overlook the importance of backing up their data, making sure that in case of an unfortunate event, they will not lose valuable information.

We have a backup policy for our online systems to reduce the risk of data loss, this being said, each client is responsible for their own data back ups for their offline services. To help implement good backup procedures we’ve drafted guidelines and recommendations for your IT team.

 

Why are backups important?

Having duplicate copies of your most important information saved in a alternate location keeps it safe in the case of damage to your computer.

There are a number of ways files can be lost unexpectedly:

Computer crashes – always happen when you least expect it, and can lead to data loss.

Virus Infection – aggressive malicious viruses can corrupt files and disable computers.

Hard drive failure – hard drives have a finite lifetime and can fail suddenly and without warning. The sudden death of a hard drive can cause the painful loss of months or years of irreplaceable files and the timing can be catastrophic.

Physical computer damage – your files are more at risk if you use a laptop. The portable and light option comes at the price of reduced durability. Laptops are sensitive and easily damaged if dropped or liquids are spilt on them.

Theft – computers are sought after by thieves and cannot always be kept secure whilst travelling.

The bottom line is that if you value what’s stored on your computer, it’s wise to take steps to protect your information from sudden loss. Work can be redone, but the loss of cherished files like family and travel photos is permanent.

 

Many users regularly backup their files to their computer hard drive, but in the event of a total computer breakdown this will not protect the information. Saving data to a separate location makes much more sense and can be easily done if you have an external hard drive, or a large-capacity flash drive to back up onto.

However, this method is only as secure as the device you’re backing up to. When saving your files to physical devices, your backup device needs to be kept in a different location to your computer, and can in turn fall victim to damage or loss. In addition, despite your best intentions, you may forget to copy your files as often as you should, leaving a large amount of recent work unprotected.

A safer and more effective method of securing files is backing up online. Files stored online are safe from damage your computer, and if something goes wrong with your machine you will still have remote access to your information from any computer with internet access. This means files can quickly and easily be restored to your computer from a secure online server.

 

How frequently should you backup your ResRequest database?

The most popular schedule is to run back ups at daily, weekly and monthly intervals, with daily backups on a rotation system, this is to ensure that you have a redundant backup, if one frequency fails then reverting to another previous version is easily accessible.

 

What time of day should your ResRequest database be backed up?

Running a backup will slow your system down so schedule your backups at a time when no one is working on the server e.g. before or after working hours.

 

How do your backup your ResRequest database?

Step 1: Install ResRequest script

Our mysqlback script will convert your ResRequest backup into a compressed file and dump the backup into a folder of your choosing. C:\Mysqlbackup\backupfolder\. Changing the backup location will be done in the script, on line 63, by changing to the path desired. The timing is edited and made using the built in windows “Task scheduler” to run the mysqlbackup.bat file at your chosen time.

 

Step 2: Install a backup tool that will backup the compressed file

In case you don’t already have a plan on how to or where to backup your database, we have a few suggestions

  • Use of a 3rd party backup program, like Smartsync pro, which can manage multiple backup schedules to different locations.
  • Back up to two locations, first being onsite for an easily accessible copy. The second on an external hard drive that is only brought onsite on a weekly basis to back up but is kept off site.

 

Clearing out your backups

Over time backups can utilise a large amount of disk space. If your backup objective is redundancy then it’s unlikely that you need to keep backups for longer than 3 months.

What happens if I need to reinstall my backup?

If your server has crashed and requires a reinstall of the ResRequest software, contact our offices for assistance.

Other hints and tips

Many countries experience power outages and also “unclean” voltage, which can result in hardware damage and data loss in some cases. We suggest that either a UPS or inverter with a voltage rectifier is considered.

If the server is damaged and needs to be replaced, the following need to be considered: the re-installation cost at our standard support fees as well as recovering all non ResRequest related settings and data, and putting a good preventative maintenance plan into action to save you money in the long run. Running routine maintenance checks to keep your hard drive and machine clean of unwanted programs, excessive data and archiving data, is important as it keeps your machine running at optimum level.

Remember that your access to digital information is a critical part of business, spend the time to make sure it’s done correctly and effectively.

 

What are connections?

ResRequest connections

logo-band

To be competitive in an increasingly online and automated space, Safari Agents and Tour Operators have implemented software applications that manage their business needs. A software application is the first part of their solution, the second part is electronic access to your system (to view rates and availability and make bookings) so they can prepare quotes and book directly from their solution. This process saves time and helps them compete with online agents.

What does a Tour Operator get with access to rates, availability and booking?

  • The ability to compete with online travel agents
  • Agents can effortlessly build itineraries
  • Prepare quotes quickly, in any time zone
  • Confirm bookings in a few quick steps

What’s your part in this?
Electronically connecting your agent (the buyer) to you (the supplier) is a change in the traditional way of making a booking. Agents are improving the tools they use to book so they can be more competitive, responsive and offer dynamic pricing. The booking process is changing from phone calls and several emails to using automated electronic bookings from systems designed to give Agents a competitive advantage. Your part is to recognise that your agent needs your support to leverage this competitive advantage.

What agents already use this connection to ResRequest?
Specialist agents like, Expert Africa, Bushtracks Expeditions, Go2Africa, African Eagle, Wetu and Wilderness Safaris have developed connections to ResRequest through ResConnect. As agents recognise the power in this connection, more and more have signed up to ResConnect to make it possible to sell Africa’s finest properties using their business tools.

Tourplan operators are also able to connect directly to your stock. The following agents using the Tourplan system are now able to connect to our ResRequest customers and will be requesting booking access permission: African Ample Assistance, Abenteuer Afrika Safari, Africa Travel Group, Cheli & Peacock, Discover Africa Group, Elewana Travel Ltd, Inspirations Travel & Tours, Jenman African Safaris, Live the Journey, New Frontiers, Personal Africa Travel, Safari Destinations, Springbok Atlas – South Africa, Tour d’Afrique, Team DM UK, Tourvest Holdings Brasil Eventos S.A., Sense of Africa, Tourvest Destination Management, Travel Wild Botswana, Uitkyk Holidays, Vintage Africa, Wild Africa Travel, XO Africa Travel and &BEYOND.

What are the steps to connect?
Once an agent has developed a connection between their booking system and ResRequest they will request permission to access your properties. You or our call centre setup their user account and you define what they can see and do in your ResRequest system. Our call centre then links this user to the agent’s ResConnect account which enables them to electronically connect to your rates, availability and make bookings.

We have recommended to ResConnect agents that only confirmed bookings are booked, however each relationship will need to be managed on a case by case basis.

How the setup works:
When you allow an agent to create bookings, the ‘Req Received’ button (at the top right corner of your screen) will flash and show the number of bookings received. These bookings need to be assigned to a consultant and checked.

Do we support editing and cancellations?
We do not support edits to bookings, however when amendments or cancellations are requested, an email will be generated to the supplier.

Will implementing an electronic connection change the relationship with your agent?
No – you’ll still work with your agent as a human – you’ll still meet with them at trade shows and sales visits, but the actual booking creation can be electronic.

Will this help you sell more bed nights?
Absolutely! New agents you have not worked with, will be signing with your property and existing agents, who prefer an automated booking process, will electronically incorporate your property into their itinerary building.

Can you control what the agent can see and do in ResRequest?
Yes, an agent will only see rates and room types allocated to their user profile and they can only look up availability and make bookings if you say they can.

Should you consider limiting an agent’s user access?
Limiting the agents electronic access is like owning a Ferrari and not adding the petrol. When we launched ResConnect 10 years ago, Agents only wanted a way to check availability and rates but now the trend is to create and cancel bookings. Why? Because it saves so much time and improves efficiency for your agent. It gives them a competitive advantage over other online sales platforms.

What happens if agents start booking and cancelling frequently?
Electronic connectivity makes checking availability and making bookings so easy that it will very likely be tempting for your agent to frequently hold space and cancel. Initially some agents may not realise this makes more work for you. Remember to set your reservations that don’t materialise to ‘Deleted’ and if your agent’s actions are causing more work for you – show your agent their conversion stats and ask them to find ways to streamline the process to avoid a negative rating with you.

What can you do if your agent does not have a system but they want a similar competitive advantage?
That’s easy – give them a login to your ResRequest system. Here’s what this means for your agent:

We would love to hear how you benefit from this business to business solution, get in touch if you would like to share your thoughts.

More exposure on Airbnb

Airbnb shares how you can get more exposure for your property by listing it on airbnb.com. More than 80 million people have travelled on Airbnb so listing your property gives you access to a broad base of customers who love to travel. It is free to list and Airbnb only charges a 3% commission.

About Airbnb
Founded in August of 2008 and based in San Francisco, California, Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world — online or from a mobile phone or tablet. Whether a spare bedroom, an apartment, a villa or a private island, Airbnb connects travelers to a more diverse and authentic range of experiences in over 34,000 cities and 190 countries.

How Airbnb works: 

  • Ordinary residents – “hosts” – can list their own homes on the Airbnb website. They create online profiles for themselves and for their property, choose their own price and availability and set guidelines for guests.
  • Increasingly we are seeing that unique properties do really well and that it has become and avenue for small lodges, tented camps, tree houses etc. The key thing is that there is a host who can communicate with and welcome guests and that each bedroom is unique.
  • Guests search for hosts and properties that meet their criteria – dates, location, number of beds or rooms, wifi, breakfast included, etc.
  • Hosts and guests can learn about each other through information provided on their Airbnb profiles, including past reviews, photographs, and identity verification. Additionally, hosts and guests can communicate with each other through the Airbnb website, to discuss travel dates, expectations, and price.
  • Airbnb facilitates the entire financial transaction and holds onto the payment until 24 hours after the reservation begins to make sure both guests and hosts are happy before the payment goes through. Hosts keep 97% of booking fees, and guests pay a 6-12% fee to Airbnb.
  • After the stay, both hosts and guests leave reviews for one another. The reviews are public for all future hosts and guests to read.
If you’re still not convinced, hear what President Obama had to say about Airbnb.

Who can list on Airbnb?
Anyone with a bedroom, an apartment, a small guest house, B&B, lodge or self catering accommodation. What is important is that there is a host to facilitate the guest experience, and that each room needs to be listed separately unless you are renting out the whole place.

Would you like to become a host?

Where do I go to list my space?

If you have any questions, feel free to contact velma.corcoran@ext.airbnb.com or go to https://www.airbnb.com/help.

ResRequest does not currently have an integration with Airbnb, but do let us know if this is something that you would be interested in.

Changes that impact your email

At the end of February we received notification from our email provider, Mandrill, that they would be moving to a more secure method of emailing which would require verification of email senders when sending mail via their web service. The change is in line with a global move to reduce SPAM and have resulted in a new business opportunity from other vendors to step into the gap.

Mandrill notified us with short warning that they would implement these changes on 01 April. The implication would negatively impact our customers since it meant that every user who sends an email from ResRequest (agent, direct or staff member) would need to be registered by their system administrator as a verified email address. This is not a ResRequest specific issue but affects any / all applications that facilitate outgoing mail. As we were unable to work with these restrictions we needed to change our email provider from Mandrill to Elastic Email.

 

How does this effect you?

Emails being sent from ResRequest have an Elastic Email [mailto:mailer@elasticemail.com] On Behalf Of XXX as the “From” address, and for security reasons these have universally been put in place to prevent combat phishing in particular.

When clients reply to your emails it will automatically fill in the reply address. We are unaware of any situations where the email does not recognise the original sender’s email address on the reply.

Does it affect everyone?

Note that not all email clients display the “On Behalf Of” message and these recipients will be unaware of the problem. Microsoft Outlook users are affected which unfortunately means a large proportion of all email recipients.

Will the problem persist?

This change was unexpected and there is a large community looking for solutions to the issue. ResRequest is also considering different solutions so that the mail “From” address would emulate your own email.

It was not a decision made by ResRequest but instead it was made by most mailing companies globally. We are investigating how we can resolve this for a more professional presentation of your email “From” address when using our web server.

What can we do to help?

Elastic mail is a new mail providing service and therefore doesn’t have a large footprint in the industry, In light of this, a few things need to be taken into consideration.

A lot of SMTP (that’s your mail providers) don’t have elasticmail.com listed as a trusted domain, which means that emails might be sent straight to spam.

White listing the domain or email address for elastic mail in your SMTP will always mark those mails as legitimate. Your agents can do the same for speedy mail and easy deliverability. The email address to add is mailer@elasticemail.com and the domain is elasticemail.com.

rainmaker | Google 360° virtual tour

rainmaker is the accredited Google Street View Trusted Agency in Africa, bringing you all of the new features and benefits of the Google Travel Services. This will significantly improve your direct booking conversions, digital presence ranking and, thus, your revenue, average daily rate and occupancy.

Providing stunning rainmaker VISTA 360° Virtual Reality Tours (powered by Google Street View Trusted), properties can gain the most immersive and best converting content, not only for their own website but also for their Facebook Page and, most importantly on Google. All tours are seamlessly integrated into all relevant Google Services such as Google Search, Google Maps, Google Now, Google Trips, Google Plus, Google Places, Google Hotel and Google Destination. As a result, this increases traffic to direct websites right from Google.

THIS COULD BE YOUR HOTEL

SEE HOW OTHER PROPERTIES GOT MORE BOOKINGS via Website, Google MapsFacebook and Google Search.

Want to know who’s using 360° Virtual Tours? Take a look.

Don’t miss this great opportunity rainmaker and the Google Travel Services provide for all hotels, lodges, guesthouses, B&Bs and restaurants in southern Africa.

Contact riette@rainmaker.travel with any question you might have.

Tour Radar | Booking tours made easy

Want to sell your own tours?

TourRadar, the web and mobile marketplace for group travel has launched a payment and messaging platform connecting small/medium sized tour operators with customers. Now with 20,000 bookable multi day tours TourRadar boasts the largest unbiased selection on the web. Adventure travel news

Specialising in multi day tours, particularly 7-10 day trips including accommodation and transfers they appeal to various budgets and age groups. TourRadar is also associated with Contiki tours which have been running tours for more than 50 years, for travelers aged 18-35 years old. They are specialists in this age group, offering their unique tours worldwide to those who have a passion for travel, exploration and adventure.

Partnered with a range of high-end to smaller operators and using review algorithms they aggregate tours on their platform and pride themselves in price matching.

This year they will be integrating with Amadeus – Asia Pacific connecting to 80000 agents and are currently exploring interfacing to ResRequest.

“TourRadar is the pick of the bunch for its great content, reviews, user experience, integration of social and for trying to do something different in a sector of travel that is under-represented” – Nikki Emmans, Head of Online Marketing at Lonely Planet

Here’s how it works

8 steps to get more bookings

  1. Update the tour details regularly
  2. Clearly state what is and what is not included
  3. Use a high quality photo for each tour
  4. Add videos to my tours
  5. Ask every traveller to write a review
  6. Prompt every traveller who has booked a tour to meet others
  7. Respond to enquiries within 5 minutes
  8. Keep responses short and establish a dialogue

Read more

For operators TourRadar is a Global Online Marketplace where travellers search, compare and book multi-day group tours. Find out more


Why shop for a tour on TourRadar?

Booking on TourRadar is in real time with 24/7 service – questions can be asked and bookings made and confirmed with an agent anytime. They are known to be experts on touring, unbiased comparisons and advice on tours across all brands.

The company is built on transparency and has no hidden fees. TourRadar charges no booking fees, hidden credit card fees, change fees or cancellation fees for additional peace of mind.

The website also hosts a loyalty program for travellers to earn credits on bookings and referrals.