6 Reasons Why You Need a Travel Agency CRM (Pro Tips Included)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

When the Internet brought us book-it-yourself travel, many people thought that would be the end of travel agencies.


That obviously hasn't happened. You're reading this article, aren't you?

In fact, 44% of millennial travelers prefer to use travel agencies over book-it-yourself options – that's more than both Gen X and Boomers!

But that doesn't mean you can get cocky. The fact is, you're still competing against book-it-yourself travel options, and when 36% of travelers would consider paying more to get a personalized experience, you'd better make sure you deliver it, or you'll get left behind.

A travel agency CRM can help you bring this personalized experience to your digital customers while also automating repetitive jobs.

Not only will it make your job easier, but you'll do it better. Ready to get started?

Introduction to Travel Agency CRM

What is a CRM for travel agents?

A CRM is a customer relationship management system. It's software that links sales, marketing, customer services, and IT on one platform so you have full oversight of your business and all your data in one place.

It also allows you to automate tasks within and between each of these areas. Did you know that about a third of all sales tasks can be automated with CRM software?

Here are some examples of tasks that a CRM can help you automate.


Automations available with travel agency CRM


  • AI-enabled email responses to prospective customers
  • Centralized contact management so that you never lose track of a customer's history
  • Meeting scheduling
  • Data entry


  • Email campaigns and drip marketing
  • Automatic SMS and follow up messages

Customer services

  • Self-service options via chatbots
  • Managing FAQ and online resources

Sounds pretty good, right?

But there are a lot of things that would be “pretty good” for your business to have. What makes a travel agency CRM a necessity?

6 Reasons Why You Need a CRM for Travel Agency

1. Optimization for customers booking on mobile

Mobile booking is a growing trend in the travel industry and you'd be foolish to neglect it. Travelers who book tours and activities on their phones spend 50% more on average than those who book elsewhere – that could all be yours!


With a CRM, you can easily separate mobile customer journeys from other kinds of journeys. You can see how they differ and develop campaigns to optimize them, for instance creating dedicated mobile landing pages – and, importantly, tracking the success of these initiatives.

Call tracking software also allows you to look at where exactly people find out about your business, for example, whether it's through a social media post or a newspaper ad.

So you have an idea of what this looks like, here's what HubSpot's call tracking integration, CallRoot, looks like in the HubSpot CRM:


2. Create ad streams tailored to your target customers

One way of creating a personalized experience is through carefully-targeted ads.

Let's say we're one of your target customers, and we're interested in surfing holidays.


This is what our customer journey should be like from one of your social ads:

  1. We see an ad based on our social media usage and interests.
  2. We click on the ad, which sends us to a dedicated landing page, showing beach and adventure vacation packages.
  3. We sign up for your newsletter to receive a discount code.
  4. This sign-up puts us automatically into an email segment dedicated to our interests.
  5. We receive tailored emails about beach and adventure offers.
  6. When we next want to catch a wave, we book the trip of a lifetime with you.

Every step of this journey can be managed using a CRM system. This is what lead ad management looks like in Zoho CRM:

Zoho CRM

3. Rapid responses to customer queries

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably interacted with a chatbot before.

More and more businesses are using them for customer support and sales inquiries – searches for the term “chatbot” have increased 121% over the last five years:

Chatbot stats

There are loads of advantages to having a chatbot onsite.

  • They remove the need for sales reps to have repetitive FAQ conversations with customers
  • They provide instant assistance 24/7
  • They can direct complex queries to the right representative using contact center technology
  • They can even manage verification tasks like trip confirmations and contact detail checks with SMS via a CRM contact center

With all these capabilities, it's no wonder that chatbots have been seen to improve sales by as much as 67%. A good travel CRM will help you make the most of this.

4. Instant access to up-to-date databases

One of the most useful things about CRM systems for travel agents is that centralizing your data means you can find the deals you want for your customers more quickly and easily.

Instead of hunting through error-riddled or out-of-date spreadsheets, you can simply log into your travel CRM's centralized database to access the most up-to-date information about your business partners and the deals available.

A travel CRM can even help you track the performance of your vendors. Let's say you get word from a customer that one of your vendors failed to meet the standards promised – you can note this in the system instantly, or even, as seen in Zoho CRM below, and rate that vendor for their service.

Not only do your customers get better deals, but you have a better time finding them. It's a win-win.

Zoho CRM

5. View trip and customer data in one dashboard

Listen, we've all messed up from time to time. You start talking to a cross-country skiing fanatic about their upcoming trip to the Bahamas and the result is, well… awkward.


With a travel agency CRM, you can say goodbye to that awkward experience.

Not only can you see trip information all on one screen, but your team can access and update that information from anywhere.

Travel agency CRM

Just as a CRM can tie up all your trip information into one page, it will also do the same with contact information.

This is important for pretty much every business, but perhaps especially the travel industry, where personalization and knowing your customers' histories is key.

If a customer calls and you know what they're interested in, what they've bought before, and what's coming up in their trip, that will make them feel catered to in a way that book-it-yourself offers just can't achieve. Take that, AirBnB!


6. Recognize trends

Because they're pulling data from all areas of your business into one central system, travel agency CRM systems can offer you unparalleled analytics and forecasting.

Not only is this great for target-setting and managing growth, but it's also crucial for spotting trends.

Take the trend for “workations” that has emerged over the pandemic, where over a third of travelers have said they've considered booking a trip to work from a different destination.

You could use a travel agency CRM to optimize your webforms and add question fields to assess customer appetite for work trip packages. Then, using this data, you can develop appropriate campaigns and offers – again, within the same CRM system.

Key Considerations When Choosing a CRM for Travel Agencies


You have two main options when you're choosing a CRM for travel agencies:

Travel CRM option



A ready-built CRM system designed for the travel industry

  • Intuitive for your team when onboarding because it is built with your industry in mind
  • May not have the features or integrations offered by more general CRMs
  • Less flexible when fitting to your processes

Customizing a general-purpose CRM

  • Can fit your CRM to your exact processes
  • CRMs like Zoho One and HubSpot come with a huge range of app integrations to help you customize
  • Can be a high start-up cost due to the cost of development
  • More customization can sometimes lead to bugs and errors

Ultimately, the option you choose will come down to your business processes, and which one offers you the features you need to streamline them.

To start with, you should be looking for all the standard CRM features. These include:

  • Cloud storage, so that you can access your CRM from anywhere
  • Contact management
  • Email marketing automation
  • Lead distribution
  • Calendar automation

However, you'll also want industry-specific tools and integrations that are advantageous for travel agents. These include:

  • Trip management
  • Offer management
  • Vendor management
  • Drip marketing automation

Customer service

We've spent all this time talking about how important personalization is to your customers. But what about you?


When it comes to installing and using your travel agent CRM, you should be looking for the same things that you're using a CRM to provide to your customers:

  • Careful consideration of your needs and budget
  • A solution that delivers exactly the outcomes you want
  • Round-the-clock, ongoing support before and after your purchase

Not all travel CRM systems offer this kind of service, and it should be front-of-mind when making your decision.



You're a smart person, you knew this was coming.

The price of your travel agency CRM will probably be the single biggest factor in your decision, and hey – we understand that! We just don't want it to be the only factor in your decision. That's why we put it last.

A good CRM is worth paying for. CRM systems earn back $8.71 for every dollar you spend on them, so it makes sense to invest as much as you can.

But what if you just don't have the funds – should you consider a free option?

Free CRM Software for Travel Agents – Yay or Nay?

There are free and low-cost options out there if you're looking for a travel CRM, but you'll usually be getting a limited version of the software. You know what that means, right?

Yep. Limited results.

Let's look at HubSpot, the most famous free CRM on the market. What are the features of the free version like compared to the paid tiers?





Starting at $50/month, 2 users included.

Additional users $25/month


Starting at $500/month, 5 users included.

Additional users $100/month

Gmail & Outlook integration

Contact management

Contact & company insights




Email scheduling

Email tracking & notifications

Email templates




Canned snippets


Live chat

Conversational bots




Email sequences


Email & in-app support


Conversation routing


Multiple deal pipelines


2 Pipelines

15 Pipelines

Phone support



Standard contact scoring



Required fields






Smart send times



Deal stage, task, and lead rotation automation



Workflow extensions






Stripe integration



Custom reporting



Multiple currencies



1:1 video creation



Salesforce integration



Slack integration



Sales Analytics




As you can see, the free version is very limited compared to its paid counterparts, with key features like custom reporting, sales analytics, email and in-app support all only available for a premium.

This is food for thought if you're considering free travel CRM solutions.

Best CRM for Travel Agents



Is it a little cheeky of us to put ourselves first? Maybe. But we really believe that Ringy is the best CRM for travel agencies.

We offer powerful, cloud-based sales and marketing automation features at a fraction of the cost of other leading CRM systems.

With the click of a button, you can:

  • Launch a drip marketing campaign
  • Import leads
  • Send SMS or emails to customers
  • Take or forward calls

… and much more. All in an easy-to-use interface that'll have your staff up to speed in no time.

Our pricing is great value at just $99 per month after a one-month free trial, with add-ons for cloud calling usage usually totaling around $40 per month.

This is especially great because you won't be surprised by rising prices as you move up a tiered pricing system, like with some travel CRMs – just take a look at the top of that table we showed you earlier to see what we mean.


Capsule is an example of a purpose-built travel CRM system, one of many that Capsule has built for different sectors.

The key selling point of this travel CRM is its range of integrations with well-known apps, including:

  • QuickBooks
  • Mailchimp
  • Sage
  • Outlook
  • Gmail

Capsule also has analytics features available to give you in-depth, usable insights into your customers, such as their favorite destinations and even their preferred hotels.

It is priced per user, per month, starting at $12 for the Professional package.

Capsule CRM


Zoho CRM

Like HubSpot, Zoho One is a big player in the CRM market.

It's highly customizable, with a vast suite of integrations available with many major apps as well as more niche add-ons.

Zoho's pricing doesn't scale as eye-watering as some CRM solutions, and it has a free version available for up to three users.






Cost per user, per month (billed annually)





However, as we've mentioned above, customizable CRM solutions like this can have a high start-up cost due to the development work involved in getting them set up.

You'll need to work with a Zoho development partner to fit the software to your business needs, and SalesNexus reckons that CRM development projects like this usually cost around $17,000 total.


Depending on your development solution, you may also be sacrificing the customer service we outlined as being so important earlier.

3 Travel CRM Pro Tips

1. Use your CRM to generate referrals

You might already have a referrals system up and running.

If you don't, you need to get on it ASAP.

Roughly a third of travelers say that the recommendation of someone they trust plays a large role when it comes to booking airlines and hotels – that's a powerful tool to use when generating sales.

You can use your travel agency CRM to get referrals in several ways, for example:

  • A/B testing referral campaigns that contact customers at different points in their journey, for instance when they've just checked into the hotel vs. after they've returned home
  • Adding a note to the files of customers who refer you to friends, making a note of when in the process they made the referral, and using this data to generate campaigns
  • Creating a referral rewards program and tracking this using your CRM

2. Use analytics to develop and track new offers

Value for money is the most important factor in booking for travelers, and one of the most powerful uses of a travel agency CRM is to track and optimize your offer systems.

This might be done by using analytics to predict lulls and amp up offers to compensate; alternatively, it may be accomplished by using dynamic placement on your web pages to push popular deals to the forefront.

This is what offers look like on Trafalgar's Deals page.


3. Use forecasting tools to create seasonal strategies

We all know that the tourism industry is a seasonal one, with the post-Christmas period being an important one for sales. Just look at how travel searches ramp up in the early part of the year:

Clicks by device

Forecasting tools on your travel agency CRM can help you not only identify when your peak sales periods are, but also dig down into contributing factors such as:

  1. The profiles of the customers buying
  2. What kinds of trips they're planning
  3. How much they're spending
  4. Which channels they're coming in from

And here again is the huge advantage of an all-in-one travel CRM: not only can you access this data, but you can act on it from within the same system.

You could simply hop out of the analytics dashboard and directly into your marketing campaigns to prepare for peak periods and counteract lulls when you spot them.

Travel Agency CRM Success Stories

It's all very well us telling you the things you could do with a travel agency CRM. but it's time for us to give you a concrete example.

Introducing Indus Travels, a travel agency specializing in small group tours and independent vacations to more than 50 destinations worldwide.

They started with a team of just two people and quickly became bogged down with multiple applications tracking different elements of the business, paying multiple subscription fees for an inefficient solution.

They needed a sustainable travel CRM solution that would not only centralize their data but be able to grow with them.

They used the travel agency CRM solution offered by Zoho One and customized it with additional integrations and advanced workflow automation, including:

  • Customized booking forms
  • Customizing Zoho's HR software, Zoho People
  • Implementing WorkDrive for better HR and document management

The process took just under three months, and the Managing Director reported an average of 20-25% growth per year thanks to their implementation of automation processes.



What is the best CRM for the travel industry?

We believe that Ringy is the best CRM for travel agencies, thanks to our budget-friendly pricing model and our wide array of sales automation features.

In the Ringy dashboard, sales reps can see it all: their incoming call list, real-time text messages, and lead vendor success rate, and with just one click launch whole drip marketing campaigns, import leads, send SMS messages or emails, and manage calls.

That's powerful stuff if you ask us.

Why is a CRM important in the travel industry?

CRM systems are important in any sales-focused business, but especially in the travel industry where personalization is key.

A good travel CRM will help you keep track of all your customer data in one place, giving you more power to attract leads, better oversight of your customers' journeys, and a much better chance of delivering the one-of-a-kind experience travelers expect.

What system do travel agents use?

Many travel agencies use general-purpose CRM systems that they customize to their needs with integrations and software development work; the other option is to use an out-of-the-box travel agency CRM.

Here are some examples of these different systems:

General-purpose CRM systems

Travel CRM solutions

  • Ringy
  • Zoho One
  • HubSpot
  • SalesForce
  • PipeDrive
  • Capsule
  • Dolphin Dynamics
  • Kapture
  • TutterflyCRM

How do you automate a travel agency?

Sales automation is the future of efficient business processes, and many industries are already using software solutions to achieve it. The best way to achieve business process automation in a travel agency is with a travel agency CRM that brings as many of your business's processes as possible together into one software.

This may include automations like

  • Email marketing
  • SMS messaging
  • Lead distribution
  • Lead scoring
  • Dynamic pricing
  • Social media ad management

You Need to Consider a Travel CRM

Let's summarize the problem you've had with your systems up til now:

  1. You've been storing data in different places
  2. You've been losing track of key information
  3. You don't have oversight of your sales process

This has three major knock-on effects:

  1. You're working too hard
  2. You're not getting enough done
  3. Your customers aren't getting a personalized experience

With a travel agency CRM like Ringy, you can eliminate these issues through sales automation.

Our software will take the repetitive tasks off your hands, empowering you to deliver the personalized experience your customers know you for.

Let our software take care of the boring stuff. Book a demo with us today.

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