Successfully coordinating group travel means mastering many fine details. GroupTools is a one-stop, web-based solution where planners can create trips, import and invite contacts, collect payments and send reminders. Cindy Fish, Group Tour Media’s audience development director, talked to Bruce Amick, co-founder of GroupTools, to learn how travel planners can benefit from using the platform.

Q | What inspired the creation of GroupTools?

A | With a combined 50 years of experience in the group-ticketing industry, we realized that the group travel market did not have the tools needed to easily manage trips and collect payments. We built GroupTools to help planners organize, promote and get paid for their trips; but we also built it to help operators convert more group reservations and increase customer engagement.

Q | How does GroupTools make a tour planner’s business easier/better?

A |  In our research and conversations with hundreds of group organizers, we found that nearly all of them are using archaic methods to organize their group trips. Planners are using spreadsheets, email, Facebook, snail mail, posters, and paper files. With these unconnected, outdated methods, the organizer often has to waste valuable time and effort trying to figure out who’s attending or chasing after payments or trying to find a bus list that was printed out a few days prior to the trip. This process has a proven track record of being inefficient and frustrating for planners.

GroupTools keeps all of these pieces together, from creating itineraries with multiple options, to communicating with group members and securely collecting payments. Every detail is updated in real-time, and since GroupTools is web-based, it is accessible from anywhere, at any time and on any device. On top of that, GroupTools has a well-trained and friendly Customer Success team ready to help users via phone, chat or email 7 days a week.

Q | What is on the horizon for GroupTools? 

A | We have been busy forging new partnerships and adding more supplier resources in an effort to expand activity options for planners and attendees. With GroupTools, it’s easy for planners to offer optional add-ons to their group trips to allow for unique experiences for each traveler within the group.  We will be rolling out an enhanced “catalog” of tour and attraction options that planners will be able to easily plug into their trip or event and have a no-hassle way to add value (and possibly income).

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