FAQs

What is Tourism Exchange Australia (TXA)?

TXA is the national booking exchange supported by all State Tourism Organisations. The Exchange has been selected by your state tourism body to give you more exposure by making your products both visible and bookable on a multitude of regional, State, national and international websites, Visitor Centres and other distributors.

TXA is to Australian tourism what the Stock Exchange is to shares. TXA is an automated market that simply brings buyers and sellers together and facilitates transactions. It is the single common booking platform across the entire industry chosen and supported by all State and Federal tourism organizations. 

What is ATDW?

The ATDW system is a central distribution and storage facility for tourism industry product and destination information from all Australian States and Territories. This content is compiled in a nationally agreed format and electronically accessible by tourism business owners (operators), wholesalers, retailers and distributors for use in their websites.

Who is V3?

V3 is a technology and marketing company that was established back in 2001. V3’s Open Booking Exchange technology was chosen by tender to deliver the technology (booking and e-commerce) elements of TXA. V3 has a contract with the State Tourism bodies to deploy TXA in all states and to assist in the roll out.

V3’s focus is helping large and small and micro tourism Operators across all tourism segments fully engage in online marketing to get more online bookings. We want to see you have as many sales channels as possible available to you to increase the online profile of your business.

For some background on V3 and TXA, go to our website at http://v3leisure.com/our-history.html

What makes TXA different?

The revolutionary concept of TXA is to provide tourism operators with the distribution and management tools that are fully integrated with the Property Management System or Booking System software you currently use in your business.

By bringing all the management elements within the sales process into one, TXA has created a single, flexible and powerful solution for you that give you total control of your availability, online distribution, commissions and prices.

How does TXA work?

View the video below to see how TXA works:

 

 

What information do I need to sign up to TXA?

Joining Tourism Exchange Australia

Q. Firstly you need to determine whether you are using a booking system that is connected to TXA?

Answer is YES! If you are using a TXA connected booking system just follow the three easy steps below.

Answer is NO! If you don’t have any system, one that is not TXA connected or you’re not sure, simply contact V3 on 1300 266 582 for assistance.

"If you have a TXA connected booking system"

You will need the following information about your business:

Step 1: Complete TXA online application form here (click on your booking system logo): http://v3leisure.com/

1. Business information; requires basic information about your business like contact person, email address and contact numbers.

2. Activating your website; if you want to use TXA to power bookings on your own website. To place a book button requires either your FTB [file transfer protocol] details for your website or your web developer’s contact details so our tech can liaise with them to get the book now button loaded to your website. You can use TXA or your own system for your own website, it is your choice.

3. Description, Booking Terms and Conditions of Use; this information is required for your TXA booking pages as they appear when customers click through book buttons on listings on the various distributors;

  • a. Business Details (marketing description) (Up to 2000 characters): A brief description about your property. Below is an example from one of our top bookers. We can work with you on this.
  • b. Booking Terms (Up to 2000 characters): This will be your standard booking terms that you use and needs to include your cancellation policy and any cancellation fees.
  • c. Conditions of use (Up to 2000 characters); this includes information like children policy, no parties, no pets allowed, no smoking and any other conditions the hotel has.
    d. Tax invoice message: This will go onto all tax invoices that are generated and can be as simple as “Thank you for staying with us! We look forward to your next visit”

Step 2: Submit Direct Debit Request and Payment Approval form

Click this link to go to the VPay DDR Form

Under ‘Important Information’ you are requested you to print off the Direct Debit form. This form must to be printed off, completed and signed. Once signed, please scan and email back to V3. This is the way fees and Distributor commissions are settled.

Step 3: Select an Online Payment Facility (an Online Merchant Facility or sub-merchant)

Click this link to go to OMF details

There are two options;

1. The operator can use or establish their Own Online Merchant Facility

Or,

2. Use IntegraPay’s Sub-Merchant Facility

I want to be part of TXA, what are my options?

You need to use a Booking System that is connected to TXA. A Booking System is an electronic system which manages inventory and bookings. TXA can connect to operator’s Products via their chosen Booking System. Booking systems that are part of TXA are termed ‘TXA Connected Booking Systems’. This logo can be displayed by booking system suppliers to signify that they are connected to TXA:


 
Booking systems can be grouped into either:

  • Self Managed Booking Systems where you select the distributors, prices etc. For example, RMS, JRS, RoomMaster, frontdesk Respax etc. and,
  • Aggregator Booking Systems where an Aggregator (for example, a wholesaler) selects the distributors for you (for example, AOT, Roamfree, DiscoverWest, Pan pacific etc)


It’s important to note that TXA Connected Booking Systems are only those systems directly connected to TXA and do not include sub systems that ‘feed’ Aggregator Booking Systems (for example, BookEasy).

TXA is aware that there are various pathways for an operator’s Products to be fed into an Aggregator Booking System. It is a matter for the operator to discuss this with their chosen Aggregator. TXA is unable to make assessments or advise on those pathways.

How do I join TXA?

Apply now by going to our website at v3leisure.com and filling out the application. V3 will help you and arrange installation, set up and training, putting a Book Now button on your website, getting an online payment facility and opting you into key distributors. They also have a wealth of material for you about online marketing.

Sales: 1300 266 582
Email: v3sales@v3sales.com
Website: www.v3leisure.com
Contact us: http://v3leisure.com/contact
 

What do I do (as an operator) to be part of TXA?

To be in TXA all you need to do is use a TXA connected Booking System (a list of TXA Connected booking systems can be found at http://v3leisure.com/). If you are using one of these systems, becoming part of TXA is easy, just call 1300 266 582.

Your business will immediately benefit by exposing your products to more consumers and saving you time by automatically updating your rates and availability across all websites you want to sell through whenever a customer makes a booking.

If you’re using a booking system that is not TXA Connected, then contact your booking system supplier and ask them to connect to TXA. They simply need to contact V3 on (08) 9227 3933.

What if I don't have any computer based booking system?

There are two low cost booking systems built specifically for TXA called frontdesk and iLoader. Both can be used for accommodation, tours, attractions and small ticketed events. frontdesk is the recommended entry level system for those that want a full property or tour management system. iLoader is for those that just require a booking system with less sophisticated features.

What is iLoader?

iLoader is a simple, easy way to manage online booking system that helps you capitalise on TXA’s broad distribution through all the big travel websites and other key sales channels local VIC, regional sites and state tourism sites plus your own website. Click here to sign up for iLoader

iLoader is used by micro to small accommodation, from holiday house to 10 rooms and small activity suppliers with 1-10 tour products to deliver:

  • Increased bookings: with over 200 existing distribution contracts with both traditional ‘on-account’ online travel agents (OTA) and ‘payment direct’ Distributors
  • Simplified distribution: rates, availability and content, and payment information are entered once and managed through iLoader. TXA does the rest
  • Sophisticated connection to TXA
  • “My Booking pages”: iLoader provides a high conversion booking pages through distributors and your own website. The booking pages are customisable, mobile and web device sensitive, Facebook compatible, Google Analytics linked, and deliver bookings, payment and customer detail.
  • End-to-end transaction management: iLoader delivers booking ‘money directly into your bank’. Faster and simpler payment and settlement service
  • Low cost (yet to be finalise but could be no sales, no fees, no risk)
  • Single data entry
  • Automated inventory management
  • Creates single inventory pool integrates offline and online bookings
  • Secure booking payments where booking funds go securely into your bank at time of booking through most channels and your own website
  • Automated commission settlement for most channels
  • More bookings on your own website broad display across multiple channels helps funnel customers to your website
  • Smartphone and mobile device capability
I don't have a website, what should I do?

Your own website will be your most important and potent marketing tool. Connecting to TXA will drive more bookings to your website because potential customers will find you on one of the numerous sites that TXA delivers but many will then go to you site to book. If you don’t have a website where they can search, book, securely pay and confirm instantly, your potential customer is likely to book elsewhere.

Contact us on 1300 266 582. We can help so you don't lose your potential customers.

Which secure payment gateway is used by TXA?

TXA's integrated gateways are Integrapay and SecurePay/Camtech

What size of business is the Exchange designed for?

The Exchange fits all sizes of business. From micro, to small to medium to larger hotels, motels, B&B’s, holiday houses and apartments as well as tours, attractions, festivals and smaller event operators.

I am not very computer savvy, is the system hard to use?

The Exchange was designed specifically for SME operators and is incredibly simple to use. It is easily managed by even the most novice computer users. We also provide very advanced Helpdesk support, free of charge, to talk you through step-by-step any technical issues you may ever encounter.

I am a very small operator with only 1 room; do I really need to be online?

The Exchange is there to level the marketing playing field for small to medium tourism businesses. You are exactly the business that the Exchange was developed to assist. If you’re not using the Exchange, you’re limiting your exposure and are missing out on a wealth of bookings by not promoting your business broadly in the online environment. We are providing the technology to you to grow your business. You want that 1 room sold across as many channels as possible, without limiting you’re off line opportunities.

What happens if I already use another allocation system to sell rooms or tickets elsewhere?

TXA can easily work alongside it and save you time and effort.

I already allocate rooms to several distributors. Will this just be another system to worry about?

This is the exact problem that TXA has been designed to fix. It enables you to sell your business through the maximum number of distribution channels without having to allocate rooms. The Exchange has multiple distribution channels to sell your product including major distribution channels. The Exchange allows you (if you choose) to sell your 'live' inventory to all channels at the same time, without allocating. When one channel sells your product it is unavailable to the other channels automatically without you having to update it. You only update if you receive an offline (over the phone, fax, email) booking into your booking system.

Is Facebook a Distribution channel for TXA bookings?

Yes, you can embed your TXA booking pages into your Facebook page. Contact TXA customer service and they will explain how to do this.

How will TXA work in with my current reservation system?

Contact us to check if your booking or reservation system is integrated to TXA. If your system is not integrated to TXA then you may need to make a decision as to whether you want to stay with it or not. That is completely up to you.

I am very busy. Will I have time to maintain the system?

Because we connect to your booking system, there’s almost no separate management of TXA required. The system is linked to the internet and synchronises to a central server which automatically updates all online bookings to your Booking System. The Exchange is specifically designed to save you time and maximize your marketing. It saves you time in the part of the business where you are most likely spending the most time … managing multiple allocation based distribution channels.

I am on the road a lot of the time and not near my computer, what if I receive a phone booking?

There is an SMS service that can notify you of any online bookings received. Availability is automatically updated. If you are away from the office when you receive an 'offline' phone enquiry, you can use any internet connection, including a smartphone, to check your availability via your My Booking Pages, and close-out the room until you can enter your booking.

I like personalised contact with my customers, will I lose this?

The beauty of the Exchange is that you’re provided with all of your clients contact details via the instant confirmation email. They are your client and you can contact them at any point to make special arrangements and personalise their stay.

It still allows you to have contact with your customers who contact you as they do now, but it also gives you the greatest opportunity to convert those customers who want to book in the online environment, giving you the best of both worlds.

What is the cost?

Pay only 2.8% (inc GST) booking fee for guaranteed bookings. No sale, no fee! Therefore it’s totally risk free.

How does the customer payment model work?

You can receive the money into your bank account at the time the booking is made*. Any booking fees and/or distributor commissions are automatically settled in the following month.

*Direct to provider distributors

Is there an alternative to a bank Online Merchant Facility (OMF)?

Yes, the third party payment gateway we use, IntegraPay, also offers you an IntegraPay Merchant Facility, where they’ll process the funds on your behalf and then direct credit the booking funds less their fees directly to your bank account. The fees for this are 2.75% of each transaction, there’s no minimum monthly fee which most banks charge. You could compare this to your OMF or your EFTPOS merchant fees and minimum monthly fees and other fees banks charge. You can either use an OMF or the IntegraPay Sub Merchant option.

What does an online payment facility cost?

Online payment facilities have a merchant transaction fee set by each Bank. Card transaction fees apply whether if you accept payment by card whether processed using EFTPOS or online payment facility. Online payment facility is typically less expensive than EFTPOS because you don’t have to rent a terminal.

The cost of establishing an online payment facility varies according to which option you choose. V3 has negotiated preferential deals with most banks based on the number of tourism businesses connected to TXA.

The OMF pricing deals are given on our website – Click here: OMF Offers

What is the transaction fee?

A small fee charged by our gateway to protect you against card fraud and to absolutely securely process the customer’s credit card payment automatically and directly into the operator’s bank account. Customers credit card details are not captured, stored held or ‘passed on’ the way channel managers work (which is highly risky and potentially illegal). This is replaces the cost of email (takes people time) fax and internet transfers with each booking. This cuts down the cost so you only pay for the single transaction.

What is a payment gateway?

A payment gateway is the technology that actually processes and passes the payment securely and seamlessly into your bank account. Payment gateways must be approved and authorised to operate on the basis of very strict security criteria.

What payment methods are secure and what are not secure? And why does it matter?

In travel, there are still many online booking systems and channel managers using one of the following payment methods;

  1. A simple email form where the buyer sends the credit card details in an email directly or via a web form to the operator. Who then has to manually process payment using their EFTPOS as if it were an over the phone booking. This is simple to setup, but is the most dangerous way to handle an online transaction. But it’s still very common.
  2. A supposedly ‘secure’ email form passes the credit card information to a supposedly ‘secure’ server generally hosted by a channel manager. The operator then needs to manually retrieve the card details from the channel manager. Again, the operator then processes the payment as if it were a phone transaction.

The problem is the consumer believes they’re making a secure online payment. They are not aware that their credit card details will be stored and accessed by anyone.

Card details stored on a server, even if only for a short time, can allow hackers to capture numerous credit cards details at once by breaking into one computer.

In both these methods the payment doesn’t occur when the buyer enters the credit card detail, but later when the operator handles it. The buyer must wait a period of time before acceptance and confirmation of the payment.

Can I use my Online Payment Facility for offline/on-site bookings also?

Your Online Payment Facility is used for your online transactions. Because taking offline payments is important and EFTPOS machines can be expensive, we've developed a better way to do this called VPOS (or Virtual POS)

What is VPOS?

VPOS allows you to process card transactions for your offline bookings, pre–authorisations, security deposits and other payments or refunds without the need for a costly, cumbersome physical EFTPOS terminal or account.

All this for a monthly fee of $9.00 ex GST plus 90c ex GST per transaction

VPOS can:

  • Process offline customer credit card payments quickly and easily without an EFTPOS machine or merchant facility
  • Email a receipt to your customers
  • Process payments when you’re away from the office (if you can access the internet)
  • Process your own full or part refund for either online or offline bookings securely to the same credit card (avoid refund scams)
  • View detailed transaction reports for any date range
  • View Settlement reports to help you reconcile payments with your bank statement
  • Search and check payments for online bookings
     
I get most of my online bookings through Wotif/Expedia/Booking.com/Agoda. Are they distributors on your system?

Yes. These are what is termed online travel agents (OTAs) available for you to connect to via TXA. These are typically distributors that take payment and manage the customer. TXA automatically delivers your rates and availability to OTAs and places OTA bookings back into your booking system.