The new Travlocals platform was designed taking into account the feedback of our clients and hosts from the first 5 years of operation on the old version.
Thus, we tried to develop the fastest, easiest and most secure, foldable booking flow on the Romanian market.
Considering that the tourist niche we approach is not as rigorous as the hotel niche and does not have qualified staff in the departments, it was quite complicated to find a formula to avoid double reservations, but at the same time to offer a good user (customer) experience.
We commission the hosts with 10% of the value of the reservations provided through our channel, with the obligation that the rate listed in the platform is the reception rate (without hidden commissions).
How do we do that?
Updated or synchronized calendars for all hosts
The main challenge was to convince the hosts of the importance of the updated calendar, an aspect that in more than 50% of cases was seen as an unnecessary hassle.
Even so, we realized that this tourist niche is not prepared to receive direct reservations, a double check from the host being necessary.
Thus we thought of an optimized flow, which we will detail below.
SMS and email for every important notification
In order to avoid notifications entering spam or noticing them after too much time to validate the reservation, we will send instant SMS and email for any important notification.
We hope, thus, to reduce the entire reservation process to a few minutes.
Mandatory reception rates
The Travlocals partner hosts are obliged by contract to display the reception rates on the platform, without commissions hidden in the price.
Thus, the client no longer has to look for the best offer in multiple sources.
Internal messaging between the client and the host
Customers and hosts can communicate through an internal message, even before booking. Thus, any question can be addressed.
However, to ensure that there is no attempt to get out the reservation from the platform, the messages will be automatically moderated and manually checked if we suspect a violation of the contract by the host.
The host has no right to unjustifiably cancel the reservation
Considering the obligation to update the calendar, there are no reasons to cancel a reservation.
However, there are human or technical errors in the calendar synchronization system, in which case reservation requests can be canceled promptly.
Unjustified cancellations of reservation requests or cancellations constantly motivated by the carelessness of the host, attract the delisting of the respective services from the platform.
1. The customer chooses the service and sends a reservation request.
2. The host receives a notification by email and SMS to approve the reservation from the host’s account.
3. The host approves the reservation, and the client receives notification by email and SMS to pay online, directly from the client's account.
4. The customer pays for the reservation, which is considered completed.
What happens if the host does not approve the reservation request?
We hope that this scenario will be encountered as rarely as possible, but if the reservation request is not approved in max. 24h, this is canceled automatically.
What happens if the host cancels the reservation request?
If the host cancels the reservation request, the customer receives an email and SMS notification that the reservation has been canceled.
What happens if the host approves the reservation request too late and the customer is not paying it because another reservation has already been confirmed?
If the customer does not pay in max. 24 hours after the reservation request is approved, it is canceled automatically.
What happens if the customer wants to cancel the reservation after it has been paid?
In this case, the client is reimbursed the percentage of the amount paid, depending on the cancellation policy valid at the time of booking.
Even if the new platform is already launched, we are still working on many optimizations and new functions, which will improve the user experience and facilitate the work of the host's job.