Slashing the cost of travel and leisure customer acquisition

Slashing the cost of travel and leisure customer acquisition

We helped this travel agent integrate with a new Global Distribution System (GDS) which increased flexibility, search, and value for money for their customers. 

Background

Our client, a medium-sized independent travel agent came to us upon the recommendation of one of our long-standing travel industry clients. An increase in demand had rendered their existing system obsolete and they needed a new easy-to-use and secure online system to facilitate their growth predictions. 

Ardent researched travel flights, tours and holiday rates suppliers and were able to propose travel industry leader, Multicom, as the preferred option for sourcing rates and availability. 

The business challenge 

Our client needed to be able to offer their customers a wide choice of travel and holiday options, including the flexible search of 250,000 hotels and package holidays across 76 countries around the world, as well as a secure payment system. In order to give customers the flexibility and value for money they wanted, Ardent needed to achieve four key goals: 

  • integrate Multicom into Flight Booking System’s existing operating system
  • create a new easy-to-use website
  • integrate Multicom into the website 
  • integrate a Sage secure online payment gateway into the website. 
The Ardent solution

We developed an ultra-slick application with simple easy-to-follow steps for the booking process. Quick to respond to the end user’s command, the search results were near-instant and included up-to-date rates and availability. 

Ardent created a responsive web portal using Asp.NETwith MVC, a development framework for building web pages, and LINQ, a Microsoft .NET Framework component that adds native data querying capabilities to .NET languages. We added a Sage secure payment gateway, which was integrated into both the website and the travel agency’s system, for a secure online payment option.

The result was a visually delightful, fully integrated travel portal, offering customers a number of different travel categories. Customers are now able to choose between family, summer or adventure holidays or shorter city breaks, and enjoy information on popular and favourite travel destinations. 

Customers are also able to experience greater flexibility with filtered search options, i.e. by destination, departure point, star ratings, budget or board type. If they are unsure of dates, the system can offer search results with a variance of plus or minus three days giving the traveller increased choice. In addition, the site gives the option of booking flights, accommodation and car hire independently of each other. 

Exceeding our client’s expectations

The new Flight Booking System website means that end users to can book ready-made packages or custom design their own bespoke dynamic package. This improvement to their service was as a direct result of our recommendation which Ardent introduced as an option to Flight Booking System upon realising that Multicom offered all the information needed to build this element of choice into the website. Now, customers have more control and can view numerous prices and availability individually - on flight destinations, hotels and car hire – while also enjoying the opportunity to put it all together to create their own bespoke travel package. 

The result

The completed website went far beyond our initial brief, much to the delight of our client. We were able to make recommendations during the project that far exceeded what the client thought was possible. As a result, the company can now offer consumers a wide choice of travel and holiday options including package and bespoke travel, flexible search dates and secure payment.  

Our client saw an immediate return on their investment as soon as the website went ‘live’ with an immediate 40% reduction in cost per customer acquisition. They are now in a position to deliver more competitive service levels, while increasing profitability through cost reduction.

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Services

Application Development, System Integration, Quality Assurance