What are Automated Travel Systems?

An automated travel system (ATS) is a type of computer software that is designed to automate various tasks and processes related to travel, such as booking flights, hotels, car rentals, and other travel-related services.

An automated travel system typically includes a range of features and tools that help users plan, book, and manage their travel arrangements. These features may include online booking portals, mobile applications, travel expense management, automated travel approvals, and more.

There are two types of automation in these systems:

1. Rule-based automation

This kind of automation is a type of automation that involves creating a set of predefined rules to guide the behavior of the system. These rules are based on specific conditions, actions, and outcomes that are predetermined by the user or developer. The purpose of rule-based automation is to simplify complex processes, reduce errors, and improve efficiency for travel companies.

2. Cognitive automation 

Unlike traditional automation, which is rule-based and relies on pre-defined instructions to perform tasks, cognitive automation is more flexible and adaptable. It can learn and adapt to new situations, make decisions based on incomplete or ambiguous data, and perform tasks that require judgment and critical thinking.

Some examples of tasks that can be performed using cognitive automation include data entry and analysis, customer service interactions, and fraud detection. In each of these cases, cognitive automation can help to improve efficiency, reduce errors, and enable travel organizations to provide better service to their customers.

The most advanced travel agency automation provides options for both rule-based automation and cognitive automation, so that users can customize the software to best fit their unique business needs. 

Advantages of Automated Travel Systems

In the ever-evolving travel industry, upgrading to an ATS can offer several advantages for travel agents and tour operators. 

Here are some of the main benefits:

Increased efficiency

Automated travel systems can streamline the booking process, reducing the time and effort required to book travel arrangements. This allows travel agents and tour operators to process more bookings in less time, which can increase their overall productivity.

Improved accuracy

ATSs can eliminate many of the errors that can occur with manual booking processes. This can reduce the likelihood of mistakes and increase customer satisfaction.

Access to real-time data

Travel management systems can provide travel agents and tour operators with access to real-time data about flight schedules, hotel availability, and other travel-related information. This can help them make more informed decisions and offer better recommendations to their clients.


ATSs can allow travel agents and tour operators to customize travel itineraries to meet the specific needs and preferences of their clients. This can improve customer satisfaction and help them build long-term relationships with their clients, including in business travel management.

Cost savings

Furthermore, these systems can reduce the need for manual labor, which can help travel agents and tour operators save money on staffing costs. Additionally, these systems can often negotiate better rates on behalf of their clients, which can result in cost savings for travelers.

Better customer service

ATSs enable travel companies to provide better customer service by streamlining and elevating customer communications with features like direct-to-email trip proposals, on-the-go assistance, and more.

The Future of Automated Travel Systems

The tourism industry has been significantly impacted by technological advancements, including the rise of automated travel systems. These systems, which encompass everything from automated booking processes to self-driving vehicles, are changing the way that tour operators and travel agencies operate. As we move further into the future, there are several features that will define the next generation of automated travel systems.

One of the most significant features of future automated travel systems will be increased personalization. As consumers become more accustomed to personalized experiences in other areas of their lives, they will begin to expect the same level of customization from their travel experiences.

This will require travel agencies and tour operators to collect more data on their customers, including their preferences and past travel behavior. With this data, automated systems will be able to make personalized recommendations for destinations, activities, and accommodations that are tailored to each traveler’s unique preferences.

Another important feature of future automated travel systems will be seamless integration across different platforms and devices. Today’s travelers use a variety of different devices to plan and book their trips, from smartphones to tablets to laptops. Automated travel systems will need to be able to seamlessly integrate with these different devices and platforms, ensuring that customers can access the same information and services regardless of where they are or what device they are using.

Furthermore, future automated travel systems and automated travel agents will incorporate new fintech technologies. Why? Because more and more people are prioritizing travel, but not everyone has the same budgets. Therefore, travel companies will begin to incorporate fintech as a way to offer new payment options to their customers. Some of these will include: 

  • More funding options
  • Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL)
  • Frictionless payment