Hotel pickup functionality is designed for day tour operators who pick up customers from their hotel
There are generally two styles of hotel pickup in use within the industry
Pickup on the way to the tour
e.g. if 3 different groups of customers are on a single tour, and staying in different hotels, a vehicle will be sent to pick up the 3 groups and then will proceed immediately to the tour
Pickup and bring to a central point
e.g. where all vehicles are used to pick up customers, perhaps on a regular schedule. The customers are transferred to a central point (e.g. a visitor center). The pickup vehicles then become tour vehicles. This approach is often used in higher volume operators as is the most efficient at scale.
To schedule or not to schedule
TourCMS has the capability to let you add schedules (e.g. specific times you will be at specific hotels). OR you may let the customer/travel agent make a free text entry for a requested hotel pickup. Generally, the decision comes down to operational factors and the number of hotels. e.g. if you have several hundred hotels it can become challenging for a customer to PICK a hotel from a list (especially on a mobile device)
On each tour (within setup) you can select if a tour allows a free choice of pickup from an unlisted hotel.
Firstly go to Configuration - System & Setup and add some hotel pickup points. These will include hotel name, address and geocode (lat / long).
Now, when you are on a tour, in the setup section, you will see a new tab called hotel pickups. You can assign individual hotel pickups (and times) to that tour. Multiple schedules can be created (e.g. if you have a different pick up time/schedule for the afternoon version of a tour vs the morning version)
Geocodes ARE helpful as if a customer is not staying at a hotel that has a pickup service, you can (based on the TourCMS API) show the customer where their nearest hotel pickup point is.
On the booking edit screen, a new tab shows where you can add, edit and remove hotel pickups (on a per tour basis). Hotel pickups may be configured to be added by members of staff only (not travel agents/customers).
Hotel pickups appear on the regular arrivals reports (grouped by tour)
There is also a specific hotel pickup report to group by pickup & time. One advanced aspect of this report is the ability to report by hotel pickup route (rather than just by hotel/time). i.e. create a print out for a specific pickup driver. YOU NEED TO setup route codes on each tour, on the pickup configuration, for this to work
- Tour options (with dropdown questions) ARE a viable alternative to hotel pickup functionality for some situations. Over time the TourCMS hotel pickup functionality will improve and be optimized around hotel pickups - but if you have a special situation - or you are already using tour options for hotel pickups - that will continue to be OK
- Currently, TourCMS has no capability to do PRICED hotel pickups (e.g. where a certain pickup will be charged to a customer differently to others). Tour options can achieve this through.
TourCMS, as part of the voucher redemption functionality, has a second status that enables you to check a customer into a hotel pickup bus (i.e. you will then in live time know who has got onto the different hotel pickup busses you may be running). Ask us for details