Travel APIs: Types and Integration Specifics
7 minutes read
Nowadays, software products are tightly connected, and it is a gift for many industries and Travel tech, as you can provide users with all the necessary services to plan a trip in a single place. In that case, one can skip visiting dozens of websites to plan their vacation or trip. Different APIs help software products reach such a level that they become synonymous with the word “comfort”.
There are many types of APIs, but for this article, we will consider Travel APIs. They are a so-called bridge between airlines, car rentals, hotels, transfers, and online travel agencies, allowing customers to find, book, and pay for flight tickets, hotel rooms, cars, and transfers on one platform.
Before describing the main types of Travel API, it is essential to define such terms as GDS (Global Distribution Systems) and OTA (Online Travel Agencies), which are used to provide travel-related services.
Global Distribution Systems (GDS) is a system that collects and stores data from services to allow agencies to book flights, hotel rooms, cars, etc. With such a system, agencies do not need to contact each service provider and manually book services such as flights and hotel rooms.
Having defined these key terms, we can move to consider their kinds, purpose, and role within travel tech products.
This type of API specializes in providing such searching services as:
What APIs can you integrate?
Amongst the Flight search APIs, the most popular and reliable are the next:
Travelport Trip APIs can offer you:
There are three types of hotel booking:
Cloudbeds APIs have approximately 20,000 hotels in their portfolio.
Such aggregators are GDSs, connectivity providers, and switches. We already know the definition of GDS, but let’s define connectivity providers and switches.
Сonnectivity providers and switches are major aggregators that connect hotel reservations, availability, and content from different sources. That can work as directly with hotels as with mediators.
A switch is a subtype. It connects hotel CRS and distributors and becomes a point of contact for both.
You can use the following APIs:
This type of API fits small businesses the most. For room distributing rooms, there are two primary API providers:
– Booking.com APIs are for affiliate partners and channel managers PMS providers.
For affiliate partners, APIs provide the ability to retrieve and book hotel rooms.
For channel managers and PMS providers, there are such functions as rates and availability, promotions, reservations, problem reporting, and content.
– Expedia Partner Central contains a set of APIs that can provide the following services:
When you use more than one supplier, there is always a chance duplicates emerge due to different names and IDs. To prevent duplicates, you can seek help through the following APIs:
These two reliable car rental providers in the market can satisfy your needs:
When you need a proper API for business travel management, there is always Concur, ready to provide you with everything you need to track expenses during business travel. Concur API offers travel expenses management services and travel and itinerary support.
Reviews and rates from real people have a crucial impact on customers’ decisions, so it is vital to have such a system.
TripAdvisor recommended itself as the best tool for such purposes. It allows users to:
Except for accommodations, flights, and car rentals, you can provide your customers with different tours and other experiences. The brightest representatives APIs are:
TiqetsAPI distributes museum and attraction tickets and allows you to search for a ticket near you or to take the ticket to a specific place.
Travel APIs became core parts of any travel software product because of their numerous advantages. Amongst many of them are the following ones:
– Up-to-date information for OTA
Thanks to API systems, online travel agencies constantly have updated information about fares, availability, and offers for flights, hotels, car rentals, etc.
– Improves user experience
Users can skip visiting a few more websites to book a flight or a hotel. It increases the comfortability of using the services, as the user can book in a few clicks in a single place.
– Easy integration
The integration process has five steps. They organize the process to make it consecutive and effective.
Step 1. Defining goals and systems of the business
The first thing to do is define what systems exist in the business and which require improvement. After that, it should be outlined how and what exactly API can provide a solution for the system.
Step 2. Identifying integration options
Integration has many options, so we need to answer the following questions to choose the best choice:
Step 3. Developing Data map
It is time to organize all the gathered information with all the details that will be used during the next two steps. With a good understanding and a well-organized data map, the integration process will be as flawless and fast as possible.
Step 4. Beginning of the development
During this step, the development of the interface that integrates systems begins.
Step 5. Testing
After the integration, tests should be conducted to ensure that it has no bugs and during the integration of other services.
In the end, Travel Industry is vast and involves many different technologies and types of software to provide customers with flawless and comfortable services. Moreover, due to the high level of software diversity, you can choose any APIs to customize your product to get what you need and reduce redundant things.
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