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Joined: 04/21/2010
Posts: 2
Any guides use online booking?

Hey, this is a question for any other guides in the area. I am looking at vamping my website and I was thinking about online booking. This was a topic at a couple of trade shows and I was just wondering if anybody has any opinions on a good one to use. Thanks! Wave

cowgal's picture
Location: Colorado
Joined: 03/10/2002
Posts: 1787
Re: Any guides use online booking?

I've been working with outfitters for over 15 years now (I create web sites) and none use or want online booking. All require contracts to be signed first, which need to be mailed or faxed back. All do have online inquiry forms, so the potential client can tell them what they're interested in; species, time frame, etc. Some do take credit cards, but that is done over the phone. Most do not take credit cards, because it is costly and all have monthly fees associated with the card processing, even if you don't use it.

I find that booking a hunt for many working class folks is often times a once in a lifetime event (or at least not a yearly event), so most want to talk to the outfitter and find out details about their operation before booking. Some hunters need help in determining unit to hunt, specific seasons that are best for them, etc., so talking to someone that is willing to help them typically helps sell the hunt. I find the outfitters that are most willing to be available to answer questions by phone and are engaging to talk with, are the ones that have the most success in booking.

My recommendation would be not to waste money on building an online booking system. In my opinion the only hunters that would use it, would be repeat clients that know your operation and know what they want. The best thing to do if you are revamping your site is to make the information easy to find, easy to navigate and then respond in a timely fashion to each inquiry.

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