NEW YORK — In advance of Virtuoso Travel Week, modern travel agency Fora is unveiling the alpha release of its integrated booking platform. Fora’s booking platform allows advisors to seamlessly research and book trips from their computer or on-the-go with their smartphone.
“It’s all about the ease of this tooling,” Jake Peters, Fora’s Co-Founder and Chief Product/Technology Officer explained. “We know travel advisors are busy, and our booking platform streamlines their workflow. It negates the need for countless website tabs open, comparing different hotels and partner perks… Fora’s new technology allows advisors to go from research to booking with just a few clicks.”
On the booking platform, advisors can search by specific hotel or browse by destination, comparing preferred partner hotels in real-time with crystal-clear visibility into Fora’s preferred rates & perks. The booking platform is connected to Fora’s Vault, a secure and seamless tool for payment card storage and collection. When advisors are ready to make a booking, they can securely add client payment information to lock down the reservation, all without ever leaving their Fora Advisor Portal.
“Fora’s booking platform is the tooling I dreamed about in my years as a travel advisor,” Henley Vazquez, Fora’s co-founder (and a seasoned travel advisor of 15 years) said. “I’m a firm believer that being a travel advisor is the best job ever, and Fora’s tech and tooling makes a travel advisors’ role that much easier — and fun.”
The booking platform is powered by Fora’s central supplier database, so advisors can easily gauge the popularity of hotels through Fora’s bookings data. In the future, proprietary data (such as traveler and advisor reviews and related training sessions) will be available in the booking platform.
“It's a huge win for our suppliers and partners because we're developing all of this amazing content and linking that intel to the booking platform,” Vazquez said. “It’s super simple to see how many advisors have booked a property, how many times their clients have stayed and what their commission levels are. We’re taking the mystery out of search and discovery for advisors.”
Fora partnered with Travelport, a leading GDS company, as the first integration partner for its booking platform.
“Travelport and Fora are a perfect match — both companies are focused on driving the travel industry to innovate, and modernizing the overall travel retail experience for every traveler,” said Dan Godsell, Head of New Business & Partnerships — Americas at Travelport. “With Travelport+, Fora’s users will gain access to a wide range of travel content from multiple sources, so that their travelers will have a wide range of options to choose from when booking their trips.”
The alpha release of Fora’s booking platform was unveiled to select Fora Advisors just prior to Virtuoso Travel Week. All Fora Advisors will gain access to the booking platform in September. The alpha version includes a browse & book function for Fora’s 4,500 preferred partners, and additional features will roll out this fall.
“This is the next step in our big vision for our tech platform because it connects all of our tooling together,” Peters said. “And it's just the start. Later this year, we will bring online all the hundred thousand plus hotels available through the GDS. Next year, we’ll look at cruises, transportation, activities, and insurance. It’s going to be a one-stop shop to seamlessly browse & book travel.”
Fora continues to lead the way in developing tooling for advisors, and the company’s approach is rooted in building a feedback loop between advisors and Fora’s engineering team.
“Fora’s booking platform is amazing! The traditional way of pulling hotel rates is so time intensive,” Natalie Kurtzman, a Fora Advisor and one of the alpha users of the booking platform, said. “I cannot wait to see all of these features continue to roll out. A big thanks to the Fora HQ team for all of the incredible work that will help me scale my travel business.”