CEO & Co-Founder of Rezgo.com, Chair of the Open Travel Alliance, & Tnooz Contributor. Entrepreneur, speaker, industry analyst, & travel technology consultant since 1995.
As an entrepreneur building an online business over the past seven years, I have found that the single most important tool in my marketing arsenal has been social media. Unlike traditional marketing, it has the ability to engage, build credibility, and drive awareness in a way that resonates with people. The keys are understanding when to listen, engage, articulate, and demonstrate online.
Take a look at the presentation I delivered to the Alaska Tourism Industry Association or download my free ebook available at http://www.rezgo.com/get-your-copy-of-a-social-media-strategy-for-tour-activity-operators
I've been a travel technology consultant since 1995. I've integrated booking engines for a number of Canadian OTAs and travel start-ups. I helped develop and still contribute to the ongoing development of our flagship product Rezgo, a tour and activity reservation platform. I am the current Chair of the Board of Directors of the Open Travel Alliance, a standards body whose mandate is to foster the development of travel distribution messaging (primarily in XML) for all segments of the travel industry.
Based on your question, I would presume that you are relatively new to the travel technology space. Given that, my recommendation would be to go with the simplest approach and that is to use an online travel agency (OTA) API for pulling rates. Expedia's Affiliate network, for example, provides you with a nice API with rates and availability for their partner hotels. There is no cost for this except for your integration cost, of course. Once you prove your model and show some traction, you'll have a better chance of working out a better connectivity deal or even direct deals with the hotel brands. Remember that Hipmunk started out by using the Orbitz API for their flight data, so this is a totally valid way to start.
It has been a pleasure implementing Stephen's Travel Software into our business. Sentias has been a very professional company to receive support from. I know I made the right choice
Stephen is an entrepreneur and eTourism leader. His passion and knowledge abut the tourism industry and technology is obvious to anybody who has been in contact with him. I've joined him on panels to discuss internet and tourism topics and I'm always impressed with his insights.
Stephen, has an incredible talent and magic ability to comprehend the details of very complex technology and business solutions. He was a key member in the projects we sold and was dedicated to ensure satisfaction and customer loyalty.
I had the pleasure of working with Stephen as directors of the Pacific Club. His drive, energy and commitment to the club not only ensured that we were able to increase our membership but also, as a direct result of his efforts, were able to put together events that truly inspired Vancouver's young professionals.
Stephen is a consumate web professional and he and his team at Sentias provide excellent service to their clients in the travel industry. I recommend his firm to anyone looking for technical web solutions in the travel industry.
Stephen has worked with me on a number of projects for our organisation over the past few years. Both at Sentias and prior at Secret Agent. Everytime the projects have been run to schedual and design. If you are looking for a professional in this area then I am pleased to recommend Stephen and Sentias.
Stephen Joyce is one of the most brilliant, innovation and creative entrepreneur's I have ever met. I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Stephen during my term at Niagara Parks. His knowledge, his professionalism and his passion for Tourism Technology cannot be matched. It is for these reasons that I offer high recommendations for Stephen and for Rezgo without reservation. If you have any questions regarding this recommendation, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Stephen is based in Canada and runs a tourism industry blog and is the founder of an online reservations website.
I am responsible for reviewing online booking websites and systems for an Australian tourism organization (the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse). In this capacity I made a number of recommendations to Stephen who went to the trouble of contacting me to find out how he could improve review scores for his site.
He listened and to suggestions and acted on them. I have found him to be a very constructive and thoughtful colleague.
It has been a pleasure working with Stephen on their Rezgo.com project. Stephen is progressive, committed, and is one of the global leaders in the travel and tourism technology industry.
Stephen helped PlanetEye (and now iStopover) navigate the online travel industry. He is well respected in the industry and really understands the business. He provides valuable insight, recommendations and advice.
I had the privelage of working with and for Stephen at Sentias Software Corp. from 2005 - 2006 was was continuasly impressed by his impeccable skills as both a programmer as well as a manager. He is able to sustain a level of positivity in the office which rubs off on those working with him, and displays a solid level of confidence and leadership.
Stephen is an honest, humble person who has always been a pleasure to work with professionally.