A startup aimed at disrupting the conventional tourism industry by not focusing on the tourists but rather on the tour operators may seem like a bold move, but this exactly what VacationLabs aims to do. By enabling tour & activity operators to accept online bookings & payments on their website within minutes of signing-up for the VacationLabs service.
The idea is simple – tour operators either those present in remote locations or those in metropolitan cities without the money and the muscle, can start using VacationLabs instead of getting into the hassles of setting up a payment gateway or a website. Once the service is set up the operator can start cashing in on the service by booking packages.
In the present model, the payment mode for the VacationLabs could be done in two ways. Either the operator could pay depending upon the range of transactions he has in a month or it could use their technology for free and pay as and when they get a transaction. Currently operating under closed beta, VacationLabs is targeting operators especially in Bangalore, Mumbai and Goa in the initial phase. After the service launches publicly, CEO Saurabh Nanda promises a tons of offerings in the VacationLabs package.
Beginning with the basics, service is aimed at the operator who will be using it to customize as per his requirements. With customizations to manage features like the amount payment or minimum number of days among a host of others options. The dashboard makes it easy to keep a track of all the bookings along with a record of lost customers by keeping a tab of the visitors who left the booking process mid-way.
Coming along with it, is the concept of “offline booking” A vast number of independent operators rely upon their phone for bookings by giving out the account number for the payments as they don’t have the necessary set up to accept payment on their website. VacationLabs would allow the operators to update the booking availability via an SMS which in effect would update it on their website to avoid overbooking. Or they could even use the dashboard to update the offline payments.
A mobile website would also be a part of this offering which would enable the administrative controls for the tour operators. The service is compatible with CMS (content management systems) and other calendar services to make the process a breeze for the operators.[VacationLabs launched @UnPluggd, India’s Biggest Startup Event. Do check out the 10 startups that demoed @UnPluggd 5th edition.]