Introducing Fora’s Integrated Booking Platform: the Next Big Thing in Fora Advisor Tooling

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Fora Author Fora Travel

The Modern Travel Agency

Fora Travel

    Travel advisors have long suffered from outdated technology. From booking hotels to  collecting commissions, inadequate, piecemeal or even a total lack of tech tools have led to notorious pain points for advisors. At Fora, we didn’t see a viable solution in the industry, so we built it ourselves. 

    One of these solutions is our integrated booking platform, an online booking engine that provides a major upgrade to the travel advisor workflow. Launched in 2023, this all-in-one tool enables advisors to browse, quote & book hotels in real time — directly from their Fora Advisor Portal.

    Read on for a breakdown of Fora’s integrated booking platform, including what it does and what’s next for the booking engine (including new integrations and travel agent tools). Plus, learn how it streamlines travel advisors’ day-to-day work, and ultimately takes the friction out of hotel booking. 

    If you're interested in using the booking platform for your clients, learn more about becoming a Fora Advisor

    What the platform does

    A major time-saver for travel advisors, Fora's integrated hotel booking platform, enables Fora Advisors to compare and book nearly 30,000 hotels in real-time. Advisors have crystal-clear visibility into Fora’s partnerships and preferred rates & perks at 5,000+ hotels (and counting). All perks are noted in the platform and connect directly to the hotel’s reservation system.

    It’s worth noting that we’re constantly adding to the bookable properties in our Portal, so it’s an ever-growing list that will eventually include more hotels, as well as other travel providers, such as cruises, vacation rentals, experiences and more. And, even if a hotel is not currently listed, Fora Advisors can still book it through our membership program.

    As a Fora Advisor, you can search by specific hotel or browse by destination and compare views on hotel room type, perks, cancellation details and commission rates through different programs. This makes it easy (and quick) to see which program to book with (for example, comparing Virtuoso vs. an in-house preferred program). Once you decide, you can book through each program directly via Portal.

    "Fora's booking platform streamlines the travel research process,” said Fora Advisor Timadge Berkhadley. “Its seamless interface and efficiency allow me to quickly check hotel room rates, enabling upfront conversations with clients."

    In addition, Fora’s booking engine allows advisors to discover helpful data & insights from the greater Fora Advisor community. For instance, advisors can see which properties are popular with other Fora Advisors & travelers (including how many advisors have booked it).

    “My favorite feature by far is the ability to see how many times other advisors have booked a property,” said Fora Advisor Caroline Weilert. “If I am unfamiliar with a property, the validation by my community strengthens my booking confidence."

    Why the booking platform is a game-changer

    It makes the booking process more efficient & streamlined

    Say your client wants to book a hotel in a popular destination like Miami. Instead of juggling supplier logins, special codes and countless hotel website tabs, everything you need to go from researching to booking a room will be in one place. Plus, advisors have access to an integration called Sidekick, an AI chatbot that answers questions and directs them to the right resources in the Fora Advisor Portal. 

    “Fora's platform keeps a lot of my research focused on one site versus my spending hours researching hotels on multiple hotel websites,” said Fora Advisor Jennifer Lopez

    It offers tons of flexibility

    The booking platform is optimized for easy use on your computer, tablet or mobile phone, meaning advisors can work on the go. Now, you can discover hotels, make direct bookings and plan trips from just about anywhere — at the office, at school pick-up, by the pool or at a coffee shop.

    It’s seamlessly integrated with other tools

    When advisors are ready to make a booking, they can utilize the Vault, our tool for convenient payment collection & storage. The Vault is integrated into Fora’s booking platform, allowing advisors to collect and securely add client payment information to a client’s profile card. Then, when you are ready to make a hotel reservation, it is conveniently stored for you to add at checkout  – all without ever leaving the platform. (Learn more about the Vault.) 

    The booking platform also simplifies the commission process for travel advisors. Payment processing is automatically matched within the platform and our finance team does all of the invoice tracking and payments — meaning you get paid without lifting a finger once you’ve made the booking.

    What’s next for the booking platform

    Our product team is consistently rolling out exciting (and user-friendly) new booking tools, big and small. Later this year, advisors will be able to book at 100k+ hotels around the world with an advanced search engine. They’ll access maps, community features (like reviews from other advisors & travelers) and direct links to destination & supplier trainings that are relevant to each hotel (including marketing materials provided by partners). 

    Plus, we’ll expand our AI offerings for hotel booking: for example, we’ll be launching AI recommendation tools (i.e “you booked Mauna Lani in Hawaiʻi, you might also like Hacienda AltaGracia in Costa Rica”). These tools will provide greater insight into travel providers and guest experience.

    A feedback loop with our community

    Fora is focused on community, and our advisors have a seat at the table throughout the entire development process of the booking engine. With every tech tool we build, we’re tapping our advisor community for their input, and iterating based on their needs. The result is a constant feedback loop between our advisors and our engineering team — and a community-driven tech evolution.

    But don’t just take our word for it… 

    “Fora’s booking platform is amazing!” Fora Advisor Natalie Kurtzman said. “I cannot wait to see all of these features continue to roll out.”

    Interested in learning more about the booking platform and how it can work for your business? Sign up to become a Fora Advisor today.

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