Ghost Bus Tours operates bus tours in London, York and Edinburgh for tourists. Bookings for the tours originate from the website, agents and major companies.
A significant problem for the management of the business was the old booking system’s inability to segment reporting data by city.
The old hosted solution used for the bookings could not distinguish between sales and bookings segmented by city. All the bookings were lumped together. Clearly for tracking sales performance and comparisons, this was a significant limitation.
Other issues included:
- Impossible to change booking functions
- Booking functions not meeting the business needs
- Booking steps operate on the booking provider’s website
- Poor reporting capability
- Per booking fee charged, added business expense.
A significant amount of effort was spent reviewing the existing booking process and also the desired new booking processes needed.
It was clear that segmentation by city was a critical requirement. We therefore ensured that all tours could be related to a city and any other important booking objects could also be linked to a city.
A detailed requirements document was drafted with the assistance of the Ghost Bus Tours team. The requirements were documented, reviewed and agreed.
The development was segmented into logical phases and as each phase was completed it was passed to the Ghost Bus team for review and feedback. This phased process ensured the Ghost Bus team were always up to speed with the development status at all times.
The development was created on a private secure server and was tested and load tested in isolation from the old live site.
Features of the Solution
The back-end administration allows the back-office to run and manage the booking operations and to manage agents, API bookings and bookings from major companies.
The admin system also allows defining manifest users, these are users who work on the tour buses and access the admin using a mobile device.
Tour schedules can be set-up with ease over any period of time with flexible setting of dates, days and times.
Agents can be allocated any number of seats per tour trip and can be offered incentive lower rates for off-peak tours on specific dates.
Agents can also be associated with a schedule, so for example, an agent can be limited to only one tour every Sunday.
The back-end admin includes the following features
- City manager
- Tour manager
- Tickets types manager
- Group discounts manager
- Tours manager
- Tour schedules manager
- Optional extras manager
- Checkout survey manager
- Bookings manager
- Orders manager
- Direct phone booking via admin
- Bus manifest manager
- Vouchers manager
- Discount codes manager
- External agents manager
- API manager
- Reports manager with 11 bespoke reports.
Website booking features
- Mobile friendly one page booking selector
- Select city
- List tours
- Purchase or redeem vouchers
- Use discount codes
- Select ticket types and get group discounts
- Select options or have fixed extras
- Select date and time for tour
- Answer survey question on checkout
- Optional link to email marketing database
- Sagepay payment gateway
- Fully integrated to existing website for all steps.
- Agents can be restricted to city, tour or schedules
- Agents login and book
- Agents invoiced weekly
- A schedule report alerts if any agents are unpaid after 7 days.
The API is a set of commands and functions that allow an external website that has permission to be programmed to mimic all the same booking functions that an agent can do manually.
The API allows any website to have its own site visitors book in real time on the remote Ghost Bus booking engine. Agents’ websites can now book based on real time availability information.
Manifest user accounts
Operations staff working on the tour buses can access manifest information to view who the booked passengers are for each trip. Staff can access the manifest using a mobile device.
Benefits for Ghost Bus Tours
The solution provides the following benefits
- Lower operating costs, zero per booking fee paid
- Meaningful reports allow accurate management of operations/schedules
- API and agents accounts open up more booking channels and increase sales
- Booking steps integrated on same website, no hopping off site
- More efficient back-office operations
- Faster to set-up tour schedules
- Ability to quickly add new functions and fine tuning the booking steps.
To increase your booking sales, reduce times for changes and reduce costs, please get in touch: