Reservation and ticketing technology for the sharing economy


Reservation and ticketing technology for the sharing economy

Prior to the advent of the sharing economy, tourism services had traditionally been provided by businesses such as hotels, shuttle companies, taxes or tour operators. Ticketing for transportation and also for the tourism industry in general, have also been part of that equation.

In recent years, a growing number of individuals have begun to share what they own temporarily with tourists, for example houses, other accommodation and cars, etc. This has also grown to include meals or exclusions.

This type of sharing is referred to as the sharing economy. Although it is not limited to tourism, it is now found in many areas of social and economic activity, with tourism being one of the sectors most impacted.

The sharing economy with his values of collaboration, cooperation and partnership is changing the tourism and transportation marketplace. By providing people new options from where to stay, what to do and how to get around, it would appear that in a sharing economy, anyone can start a tourism or transportation business.

What is the sharing economy?

There does not appear to be a single definition, as the sharing economy can be business-to-business, collaborative, peer-to-peer or peer to crowd, etc.

Many describe the new-shared economy marketplace as one that allows services to be provided on a peer-to-peer or shared usage basis. This type of sharing our exchange of goods or services is generally facilitated by online digital platforms that match demand and supply, such as:

• Airbnb – short-term accommodation rental and travel experiences platform,
• Homeaway – vacation rental platform,
• Uber – short-distance ride- sharing platform,
• EatWith – shared dining platform,
• Vayable – personal tours and travel experiences platform,
• ToursByLocals – private tours platform

So, the question is how does your business and its current technology utilize or enter into the sharing economy?

For the purpose of this particular discussion, we will concern ourselves with reservation and ticketing concerns for tourism and transportation companies. Tourism as in activities, rentals, campgrounds, etc. Transportation primarily for small bus lines, shuttle companies, water taxes and smaller ferry operations.

Typically, the majority of these companies use fairly basic reservation systems that purely cope with the ability to take online reservations, receive payment and produce the appropriate tickets and invoicing information to their clients.

But, as technology and the sharing economy benefits B2B businesses, it challenges smaller operations to come up with innovative solutions.

Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud Computing, Data-Sharing, and many other technical buzzwords have made their entrance into the modern lexicon, they are in effect forcing the entrepreneurial universe to all new level.

What we are seeing in effect is that large organizations are taking over the sharing economy and leaving smaller individual businesses to either accept reservations being taken on their behalf through the large shared digital platforms and paying appropriate fees and commissions to those platforms.

Or, continuing to carry on business as usual and accepting these costs as part of doing business.

We feel that there is an alternative. Although many businesses are used to thinking of the sharing economy as being peer to peer (P2P), in reality, we find there are at least three common platforms in use: B2B, business to consumer (also known as business to crowd) and P2P.

This is where our digital reservation and ticketing sharing platform called ODIN is best suited. It easily satisfies all of the above scenarios in a single sharing system.

It easily allows a single website to embrace a collaborative business model. Let us for instance look at an activity related website. Using standard tour reservation software, one can only take reservations for those tours, etc. This leaves the website owner at the mercy of large sharing platforms, with their attendant large SEO budgets and ability to reach and offer consumers with multiple activity offerings.

With Odin, you are able to establish a sharing platform whereby not only do you take reservations for your activities, but you are able to offer smaller non-competitors of tourism related products and offerings within your destination the ability to share and take orders from your website.

Not only does this increase the capabilities and profitability of your activity reservation website, but it allows you to become part of the sharing economy using its multi-tenant and multi-website capabilities.

What is Multi-tenancy?

Multi-tenancy is a business strategy in which a single instance of a software application serves multiple customers, or “tenants”. As it pertains to a Reservations & Ticketing business strategy, multi tenancy gives Reservations & Ticketing businesses the ability to enable tenants to share and customize sections of their Reservations & Ticketing solution.

Multi-tenanted software architecture allows you to serve multiple customers from a single application instance running on a single server, or pool of servers. This is in contrast to a single-tenant application where each customer would have a dedicated software instance running on dedicated servers.

By taking advantage of peer-to-peer and B2B marketplaces on their own terms, small business owners using ODIN are finding that they can capitalize on the collaborative consumption trend by adding other products and services on their website in order to grow their companies.