Basically, it allows you to interact automatically with the catalog of big Online Travel Agencies so that you can build your own booking engine.
You might be wondering why OTAs would do such a thing ? There are various reasons. Sometimes, it is a way for them to monetize the data they have and they will make users pay to use their APIs. In most cases, they will make it free and it will be profitable for them through their affiliate program.
Travel APIs will be useful for various use cases, from travel bloggers to travel agencies.
If you own a travel website or a blog, you are probably making money using affiliate marketing and promoting travel offers to your readers from various partners against a share of their booking revenue.
Travel APsI will be useful to help you automate the process of finding and showing travel products to your readers.
For example, you can automatically show all the hotels and tours available around a travel spot that you are writing about using precise filters to provide a personalized experience to your readers
If you are a travel agency, you are probably making quotes and selling packages to your customers and it takes you time to create them and tailor them to your clients as you need to gather information from a variety of sources.
Travel API will be handy for you since you can centralize the information from many different providers in one place allowing you to create your marketing materials faster, have a view over all the options available to take a decision and to always get up to date information
As an example, you can easily make a quote by getting the lowest and average prices from a hotel travel API. You can also get various travel pictures to illustrate your package automatically
The first type of API that we are going to cover are for hotels and accommodations. These APIs allow developers to access and integrate the functionality of a hotel and accommodation search engine with other applications such as your websites, dashboards or mobile apps. It will return various hotels and accommodations that you can filter by location, price, amenities, and more.
Let’s dive in the most popular ones
Booking.com API is available for their affiliate partners. The minimum parameter that you will need to provide are:
In order to get the location, you first need to use the autocomplete API route that will allow you to return a list of destinations or hotels according to a keyword that your users will type. Once you get a choice from this, you will need to use its associated ID to make your query to the next API route.
This second route will allow you to search for hotels in the chosen locations after providing the dates and number of guests. Note that if you have provided the ID corresponding to a hotel, it will return the hotel information first, followed by nearby hotels. The informations returned by this route include the following:
At this point, you already have a good amount of information about the hotel that you can use. You can for example add your affiliate ID to the link automatically to monetize your blog or website dynamically.
If you need more information about a specific hotel such as a longer description, more pictures and the room types and descriptions, you will need to use other routes of the booking.com API using the ID of the hotel that you have obtained from the results of the previous API route.
With the Airbnb API you can search and display accommodations available at a given location and with information about specific homes from your own website or application. Airbnb doesn’t provide an affiliate program so you won’t be able to monetize it so it makes it less useful for a travel blog or website. However you can still use it as a service you provide to your reader and it might give some inspiration of where to stay.
As a travel agent you could for example use the Airbnb API to create quotes to customers that want to stay in a Airbnb by looking at average prices on a specific location for a specific period of time
Amadeus Hotel Search API aggregates hotels from many different providers so you might have more options than with the Booking.com API. However, it doesn’t return the direct link to the provider so you cannot use it as an affiliate program. You will also have to pay to use this API
With the flight APIs you can dynamically show flight offers with up to date price and information on your website and allow your readers to directly book from it.
You can also use them in your travel agency to create quotes for your customers faster and from your existing tools.
Kiwi.com's pioneering algorithm enables virtual interlining, a technology that combines flights from more than 800 airlines, including those that don't usually coordinate. With virtual interlining, users can also find trains, buses, ferries and cabs to arrange the perfect trip.
If you want to receive flight data from the Kiwi.com database to track statistics or create your own service or mobile app for flight ticket search, you can use the Kiwi.com API. They also have an affiliate program which mean that you can make money from the flights that you promote.
With the Kiwi.com Flights API, you can search for locations by query, radius, airport code, hashtags and other parameters. They do provide an autocomplete search functionality which means that they will return a valid location input for any keywords that your users might type. Kiwi only have two required inputs:
What is interesting with Kiwi is that they are really flexible with the type of location that you provide. For example you can give a specific airport for departure and a whole country for arrival and Kiwi API will return the best flights it has found.
Kiwi then provides useful filter functionality so that you can only keep flights that have a given number of stops or that leave after or before a specific hour or day.
Skyscanner Travel API is similar to Kiwi API but less flexible / innovative and you will need to ask for an access which might not be too easy to get if your website has low traffic. Read more about Skyscanner API here
Tours & activities APIs will enable your websites and applications to search for and book tours and activities from a variety of providers. They offer you a powerful way to leverage your affiliate program by dynamically adapting the offers you display according to the content of your web page.
For agencies and travel planner, you can use these APIs to create itineraries for your customers with a day to day program
GetYourGuide is the biggest online Tour and Activities provider after Viator and offers a free API to its affiliate partners giving access to its whole catalog of products. You can use the API to search by location name or GPS coordinates as well as the type of activities so that you can personalize what you show to your audience.
As an example you could use it in addition of a flight API to suggest the airport transfers available at the arrival airport that you retrieve from GetYourGuide API.
Tiqets focuses on museums, attractions, theme parks and provides an API that you can use to automate your affiliate marketing.
Manawa focuses on adventure sports (kayak, surf lessons, trek and so on) and provide an API to its affiliate partners.
Using these 3 APIs together is interesting as they are complementary and it will allow you to cover a wide range of products everywhere in the world.
For example, you can standardize the data from these 3 partners on your side and show the tours and activities which have the most reviews first
Restaurant APIs allow you to integrate live restaurant information and prices into your website and application so that your readers can easily book a table. You can also make money thanks to the Fork affiliate program.
If you are an agency or a travel planner, you can also use these APIs to give recommendations faster.
Search restaurants from Tripadvisor database by location name or GPS coordinates. You can also further refine your search with filters such as restaurant type and price category
Travel content APIs provide information on things to do and places of interest around the world. With this API, developers have access to detailed descriptions, reviews, photos, videos, user-generated comments, and ratings for travelers activities.
For a travel blog or website, it can be used to automatically add content to your existing articles such as a list of popular travel spots nearby with their pictures.
For a travel agency, it can be used to send your customers a booklet with things to see at the destination and get them excited about their upcoming trip
TripAdvisor is a travel website that allows, among other things, its users to consult available accommodations in desired destinations and to plan their trips.
The platform also offers the possibility of writing or viewing reviews of different offers it presents, which is one of the main reasons for its popularity. Users post their reviews based on their experiences with the product they have chosen, which allows other users to have a clear idea about the offers they are interested in.
TripAdvisor offers an official API to its partners to you can use to retrieve dynamically:
Subscribing to this API will cost $89.00/month
These two APIs can be used to retrieve travel pictures of specific destinations. For a given query, they will both return free to use pictures that have been uploaded by their users. Some of the pictures are geo-tagged with the location name and the GPS coordinates so you can use these ones to make sure they are about the correct destination.
Unsplash pictures are really well curated so most of the pictures will be really beautiful and they are all free to use on your website. You just need to make sure that you put a link to the Unsplash picture somewhere.
On Flickr, there are many more pictures but they are also less qualitative so you will need to filter out the good ones. Their APIs is also more advanced and allows you to make geo targeted queries
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