Every good trip includes a bit of digital development
Ikaalinen Travel, founded in 1991, designs, produces, sells, and implements all its trips itself. The company takes Finns on holiday to over 20 European countries, offering daily departures to all the most popular tourist cities. In 2019, over 125 000 Finns enjoyed the services of Ikaalinen Travel.
The collaboration between Vincit and Ikaalinen Travel began eight years ago with reservation system renewal project. The development process of digital services has continued ever since, paying close attention to the customers’ needs and expanding accordingly.
Flexibility to the reservation system
In 2014, Ikaalinen Travel started thoroughly contemplating what the future needs of their customers might be. The agency set a target of re-establishing itself as a travel agency that would be genuinely appealing to consumers, thanks to the service level that stays on top of the continuous development of the travel industry and trends. The first object of development was the current reservation system that was a part of the website – it needed as much flexibility as possible, as well as additional opportunities to build individual trips. As no adequate tool was found for this development work, the agency decided to build one itself. Vincit's expertise, visions and similar company culture convinced the second-generation travel agency entrepreneurs, and the trip towards the digital top of the travel industry began.
I have been satisfied with our collaboration with Vincit. I value Vincit’s capable people and the company’s way of addressing things openly. That is the core of all that we do and of everything that we are successful in.
Esa Talonen, Managing Director, Ikaalinen Travel
Vincit and Ikaalinen Travel contemplated, how the trips should be put together – and what are the things that make experiences special. Guided by this groundwork, the online service was promptly created, while the analytics-driven development process ensured that the overall solution was both customer-oriented and functional.
The flexibility was further developed in 2017 as the flight reservations were integrated into a widely used Sabre GDS travel reservation system. This integration enables purchasing flights real-time, straight from the airlines. At the same time, the travel agency’s risks that arise when they first have to buy – and then try to sell – allocated seats.
In 2018, a similar kind of integration was done into Sunhotels hotel room reservation system, while active development work continued on other areas. The most recent renewal is TIM Travel that was launched at the end of 2021. TIM provides trips especially for those who do not necessarily view themselves as typical travel agency customers.
Smart integrations and better service
At the moment, travel industry is going through a time of changes as the consumer needs become more versatile. In addition, outside influences such as the Covid-19 keep making predictions even more difficult. The digitalization of operations, data-driven decision-making and smart integrations have helped Ikaalinen Travel to discover the path to success even at times when the overall industry has faced unexpected pressures to change. That is why flexibility and opportunities to react quickly are being continuously developed in collaboration with Vincit. The next improvements will focus on online store, enterprise resource planning and data platform.