New Version of DSBW’s Online Booking System Released

Adriana Smirnova, 28.11.2013 19:05
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The DSBW travel agency has come out with a third version of its online search engine. Pavel Gusyatnikov, the company’s deputy development officer, told TRN magazine about the new functionality and the user-friendly services of the updated system, about innovations and intelligent approach, and about the growing market of online booking.

- The DSBW online booking system has earned the expert mark of recognition. Congratulations, Pavel! How did you manage to achieve all that?

Thank you! Well, I believe that our success is made possible only through the hard work of the DSBW team: programmers and marketing and usability experts who keep their nose to the grindstone each day of the week developing and polishing the product. Also, our system has already made a name for itself on the market, and many have praised its quality and convenience. The professional community’s recognition is just another testament to the fact that we are moving in the right direction

- This year’s update was a major one. What are the main improvements?

- Active work on the development of our online booking system was started four years ago. At first, only hotel booking was available, but then we added air tickets, excursions and car rental services. Right now the search engine is at its third version, which has all cream-of-the-crop features from the previous installments and a number of unique services of its own. One of the main features that set us apart from the competition is the cart, which lets you book a whole package of services during one booking session. 

We have created one cart that can include an unlimited number of flights and hotels, all within one reservation.

Moreover, when choosing the package ‘air ticket + hotel’, the client is offered to make a reservation for the air ticket under a special IT tariff, which is usually a lot cheaper.

Thus, the new cart is not only convenient, but also grants a number of bonus deals.

Another innovation is the intelligent flight selection system DSBW Solomon.

The majority of online search engines only allow for one tariff per search. So we came up with the DSBW Solomon system, which can search for different tariffs from different airlines separately for outbound and return flights. According to our statistics, there is a 10-15% chance of getting a cheaper deal than with a single tariff. 

Also among the new features are the DSBW+1 program that guarantees the best price for a hotel, the possibility to book insurance (right now – only medical, but other kinds are on the way) and transfers in the top European cities online.

- Pavel, could you go into a bit more detail as regards the DSBW+1 program? How does it work?

- It is quite simple, really. The DSBW+1 program works like that: if an agency finds a cheaper hotel price (than that offered by DSBW) elsewhere, we offer a €1 discount for booking a hotel on our site. To get it, an agency should send an application to bestprice@dsbw.ru. It is understood, of course, that in order for the agency to get the discount, certain pretty transparent conditions should be met. In particular, it should be the same hotel, the same dates, the same food and the same cancellation policies. The full list of conditions can be found on our website - http://www.dsbw.ru/info/tourist/bestprice. Also, most of the time we try to fully preserve the agency’s commission.  

There are more than 300 thousand hotel offers from 15 providers in the DSBW booking system today. And another new feature of the engine is the column with special regional offers that appears on the right when searching for hotels in a city.

- Is the new booking system strictly agency-oriented?

- No, individual clients can use it as well, but the bulk of the current users is made up of agencies, since, being a travel agency itself, DSBW is more interested in working with travel companies. To remain accessible to our target audience, we regularly hold seminars and webinars explaining how to use our booking system. Also we send out messages with the service user manuals.

- Can travel agencies install the DSBW booking system on their own website?

- Yes, they can. Agencies can go to ta.dsbw.ru where they will be asked to enter login and password for their DSBW account. Then a special code will be generated which will let them install the booking system. Integration takes no more than one minute, and the agency gets all the capabilities of our website. Also, our product is highly customizable. An agency can pick only the services it is interested in selling and disable all the rest. There is no mention of DSBW in this version of the engine. It should be noted that there are no additional agreements that an agency would have to sign in order to use the system. All that is needed is the agency contract for the main excursion product.

- What other agency-related projects does the company plan to launch in the near future? What are the prospects for development?

- It is only going to get better from here on out. We will increase the number of providers and the range of our services, there will be more special offers and unique features. DSBW+1, an all-inclusive cart and DSBW Solomon are all just a glimpse of what is to come. We plan to offer more excursions, in addition to booking which the client will also be able to book tickets to various events, to the cinema, to a museum, or reserve a table in a restaurant. The look of the search engine will also be given a new coat of paint. Right now a team of designers is working on making it more memorable and vivid. After releasing a third version of the search engine we constantly continue improving it, introducing something new each week, streamlining the service, making the system more user-friendly, more functional and more beneficial for our clients.

- What are your predictions for the future of the online booking market in Russia?

There are differing opinions regarding this issue. For instance, in the West the share of individual booking already takes up 50% of the market, while Russia is trailing behind with only 10%. Many analysts believe that there will be a steep yearly rise of 40-50% on the Russian market, yet there are no forecasts for explosive growth of individual booking, with package tours being projected to remain the ‘best seller’. Competition in this segment is becoming fiercer by the day, especially in the field of air travel, where there are many powerhouse companies. They remain on top not only thanks to the product they offer, but also with the aid of the investments being made into the project development. We think that our success lies within the segment of hotel booking, where we can match the competition with our high-quality product.
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