To all developers of WordPress "Tour Booking" themes - the thing you do not get

This is to all developers of WordPress “Tour Booking” themes.

I am afraid, you don’t get one major issue:
Us tour operators do not get bookings directly on our own website! We use 3rd party booking platforms, like Rezdy, Checkfront, BookingKit, Regiondo.

But you develop all these hugely complex booking systems that are pretty useless - I am sorry to say.

The reasons that we have to use an integrated 3rd party booking system are:

  • Payment providers are securely integrated with loads of payment options. Which also means that cancellations and refunds are sorted out there - those are a huge pain
  • They automatically post all our tours to many platforms like GetYourGuide / Booking.com / TripAdvisor / Reserve with Google
  • and crucially, we get all successful bookings for each tour from all platforms fed back into one system so that we know when a tour is fully booked

All we need are integrations into those booking platforms and there are only 10 or so. Instead of re-inventing the wheel and forcing us to buy into your “wheel”, I’d suggest that you concentrate your efforts on those 10 APIs.

Here an overview (not all are for local tour operators): https://www.capterra.com/tour-operator-software/

Another issue is SEO:
For SEO, we need at least one custom post type for “Destinations” or “Magazine”. Apart from the “Blog” (that we do need as well). This second post type enable us to rank for keywords that are important to our location.

Because we will never be able to rank with each individual tour, and we will never be able to rank for a blog post alone. We need to write cornerstone content and that is not fixed to one date. At the same time, we cannot overburden our main pages/categories with SEO type/length of text.

Again, for SEO, please also enable internal links from this “Destinations” or “Magazine” to tours. We need to write a post that says: Paris is great, Paris as these sights, and the following of our tours take you those sights.

So, I hope that you get some pointer here. I think that you do great creative work, now let’s get the back end up to speed.

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Oh, one more thing:
Internal (website-only) reviews are worth nothing because Google only shows Google-Reviews as stars in their search.

So, a decent built-in Google-Review system help a lot as well.

While I am at it:
We are not AirBnB, our images are not professional.

Very often our images are not so great because we took them with a smartphone or in bad light. But we do want to use our images to show unique qualities.

So, if you force us to showcase our (low quality) images in a huge banner/slider on top of every tour or on the homepage, your make us look bad.

This looks like a very valuable feedback! I would definitely like to see more stuff like this on forums, because authors (me included) are often very disconnected from the real world use of their items. Thank you!

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