Virtuoso and itinerary management platform Umapped have debuted a number of new features for travel agents.
Umapped has been customized specifically for Virtuoso agencies and advisors based on their feedback, Virtuoso said, incorporating Virtuoso-exclusive content and integrations with network preferred partners. More than 100 Virtuoso agencies from countries around the world use the platform to deliver interactive, media-rich, collaborative proposals and itineraries, using a web link or mobile app to share real-time offers, content and advice at each stage of the journey.
The platform consolidates all trip details into a collaborative itinerary for individual travelers and groups, streamlining advisors’ workflow so they can concentrate on client service. The platform can be accessed via the Trip Publisher, an online itinerary and proposal-building tool, or by using the Umapped API. Feedback from advisors shows a productivity increase of five to 15 times per itinerary as a result of the tool, along with a 30 to 40 percent increase in conversions on proposals, Virtuoso said.
The company is scheduled to launch a new mobile app that further enhances the user experience for travelers. Protravel, a Virtuoso agency, recently launched ProTrip to deliver a customized mobile app to its clients. Another Virtuoso member, SmartFlyer, is also scheduled to launch its own white-label app following growing adoption by its advisors.
Most recently, Umapped has implemented several new features:
- Collaborative group messaging: Real-time chat enables advisors, suppliers and travelers to communicate via the web itinerary, email, SMS and the mobile app. This allows advisors and suppliers to be even more responsive to any questions or requests from their clients, Virtuoso said. According to Phocuswright, nearly 50 percent of U.S. travelers used text messaging, and more than three in 10 used chat apps to share their travel experiences in 2015.
- More tour operator and On-Site integrations: Umapped integrates with numerous Virtuoso preferred partners, in addition to GDSs and an exclusive two-way ClientBase integration. The company also imports bookings from DMCeXplorer, a Virtuoso preferred online booking tool that comprises over 40 Virtuoso On-Sites. This new partnership further enables collaboration and efficiency for advisors, who no longer need to enter supplier itinerary details into Umapped manually.
- Personalized bookable offers: Advisors will soon be able to incorporate live bookable offers within their clients’ proposals and itineraries, further increasing bookings and revenue. TravelBound is one of the first Virtuoso preferred partners to distribute its products with this new functionality.
When Virtuoso Incubator, the organization’s program to foster new technology specifically for travel advisors, launched in 2014, Umapped was one of the original participants and the first to graduate to Virtuoso preferred partner status the following year. Virtuoso continues to see strong and growing advisor adoption rates of Umapped’s tool, praising it for increasing efficiency and revenue, while building loyalty with their clients, the company said. Umapped also has plans to integrate a curated selection of experiential destination content from Approach Guides, a company that is part of the 2017 Incubator cohort.