Sheli Gupta, Fri Oct 26, 2018

What's the difference between a Trip Management Platform and a Travel Booking site?

What's the difference between a Trip Management Platform and a Travel Booking site?

Booking Site History

Travel booking sites have been around for years, the first was actually introduced as far back as 1996.  In the early days of the internet, they began selling rooms and flights and car rentals online. This was a significant convenience compared to the days of calling a hotel or using a travel agent or calling lots of different places.  Over the following 20 years or so, some of these sites—the more well known, like Expedia and Priceline—became huge.   Today, they own and control most of the travel sites you see advertised regularly. Expedia, for example, owns Hotels.com, Hotwire, Travelocity and Orbitz, while Priceline owns booking.com, Agoda, and many others.

The Purpose of Booking Sites

Simple, really. Make a sale. And then try to make another, like any good retailer. They focus on helping you find travel items, like rooms and flights.  Once you visit the site, they work hard, really hard, to get you to book one of those items. Check out our post about How Big Online Travel Sites Use AI to Discourage Shopping. That's because they spend billions to bring your eyeballs to their site, and they need to get paid back for that investment.  

Booking Sites Business Model

Often, booking sites charge a fee, usually hidden in the fine print of the booking process. These charges may be less than the typical travel agent fee, which according to the American Society of Travel Agents, is typically $36 per booking. In addition, the big booking sites, sell advertisements to travel suppliers, which is why you see lots of popups and displays when you get results. Allot of their money comes from booking commissions, paid by the hotel or the car rental company for connecting you to their products. There are twists on this approach, but that’s the basics. 

For full disclosure, Relovate also gets a commission from hotels when a room is booked, but we do not display advertisements and we do not charge a fee. For more about our business model please see our post in FAQ

Trip Management Platforms (TMP)

TMPs aspire to do more than sell a room, or a flight.  The goal here is to offer a complete solution, one with multiple tools you can use BEFORE making a booking.  At Relovate we include features that benefit you with your planning process and to help make your experience more convenient, less distracting and efficient.    

Relovate helps you consider multiple options, compare items, build budgets, create itineraries.  And, we also help you collaborate with friends, or post trips to social platforms so your friends can actually use your trip plan collaborating with friends.

Check out our blog post Big differences with Relovate’s Trip Management Platform to get a detailed view of what our trip management platform can do for you.  Or, if you're more of a "at a glance" reader, check out our Compare Us page.