The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic disturbed the travel industry. Before, the industry used to rank in billions in revenues, and now that things are starting to come back to normal and travelers are pouring in, the industry is slowly recovering and regaining traction.
Travel is in our nature; people love to travel, see the world, and discover new things. However, setting up a budget for the trip, calculating the costs, finding accommodation, and checking the availability of places to stay around the world requires a decent amount of time, effort, and resources.
Enter travel fare aggregators. These websites gather and provide relevant, accurate, and up-to-date data to help travelers plan and execute enjoyable traveling adventures. Therefore, scraping data from travel aggregators becomes vital to your traveling efforts.
However, these websites won’t take kindly to your scraping efforts and will use anti-scraping mechanisms to prevent content extraction. That’s where scraper APIs come into the picture.
In a data-driven digital business landscape, data is critical to every business niche, sector, and specialty, especially to tourism and travel companies.
Data helps determine whether a trip has a low or high chance of success. That’s why travel agencies rely on web scraping techniques to harvest data to fuel their data pipelines.
Here are a few ways travel companies use web scraping:
- Search engine construction – travel agencies use tourism and travel data to build specialized search engines that make travel information more available and accessible to travelers worldwide. Trivago and Kayak are the best examples. These meta-data search engines help travelers discover tourism-related information about travel destinations, vacations, rentable places, etc.;
- Enhanced customer support and service – there’s no guest-centric customer service without user data. Web scraping allows travel agents to tap into guest interests, spending patterns, reviews, and preferences to determine the most competitive transit rates, provide accommodation recommendations, promote travel locations, and more;
- Price monitoring – price monitoring is an excellent way to modify your rates according to the latest market and industry trends. Web scraping gives travel agencies access to pricing data worldwide without the risk of revenue or customer loss. The brands get the data they need for price optimization to stay ahead of the competition.
- Collection of industry-specific insights – passengers and travelers request travel and tourism data daily, including information on hotel availability, rental availability, location-specific discounts, aviation details, rates, ticket prices, etc.
Data plays a vital role in the travel and tourism industry. Travel aggregators must work around the clock to discover, gather, process, and analyze vast amounts of industry-specific information to fuel decision-making processes. Web scraping is the most effective way of obtaining accurate information for travel brands.
Though scraping is the best way of gathering top-class information for travel brands, these companies face various challenges when scraping data. Let’s take a better look at the most typical issues companies face when attempting to extract travel data.
Running into outdated, inaccurate, and irrelevant information is one of the biggest challenges travel agencies face while extracting data. Data quickly becomes obsolete, and what was applicable yesterday isn’t relevant today. Finding data sources that keep their content up-to-date is yet another obstacle that travel companies must overcome on their web scraping quest.
Web scraping and data extraction require conducting repetitive tasks, over and over again, to acquire meaningful and accurate travel data. These processes involve returning to the same target websites and extracting their content regularly.
Most target websites will flag such behavior as spam or suspicious and use restriction and anti-scraping mechanisms to ban the shady IP that continues scraping and extracting their data.
In addition to IP bans, target websites use anti-scraping protection measures like CAPTCHAs to separate scraping bots from genuine users. If a bot can’t bypass CAPTCHAs, it won’t be able to access, extract, and collect the target data.
Data extraction is expensive because it requires data harvesting, processing, analysis, and storage. On a large scale, you’ll need trained and skilled professionals to handle and manage all scraping-related tasks.
If a brand can’t afford scraping specialists, it must appoint some employees to execute such a vital task. That will require some education and training, including investing in adequate scraping software tools.
When you add this expense to the costs of maintaining scraping systems and data storage, you get more than your budget can handle.
Modern-day websites utilize complex web page structure elements and layouts that change frequently. Scrapers can’t cope with such frequent changes and will crash or become overwhelmed by a changing website structure.
Geo-restrictions are the most common challenge travel agencies face when fetching travel data across aggregators’ websites. Some websites restrict access to their content across specific regions. When users from restricted areas try to access the content, the geo-restriction anti-scraping method will prevent them from scraping and extracting data unless they can bypass the restriction.
Web scraping is a data harvesting technique of collecting huge chunks of data from multiple target websites using specialized tools called scraping bots and web scraper APIs. A web scraper API is a high-end web scraping and data extraction tool for seamlessly targeting data sources and collecting their information.
This intuitive tool detects anti-scraping mechanisms, finds a way around them, and can adapt to frequently changing website structures. More importantly, it supports proxy servers that allow a scraper API to bypass geo-restrictions, IP bans, CAPTCHAs, and almost every other anti-scraping method.
In addition, scraper APIs support the automation of repetitive tasks, thus helping you save time, effort, and resources during large-scale scraping operations, and can be trained to target only up-to-date travel data.
Accurate, relevant, and up-to-date travel data is vital for ensuring the tourism and travel sector thrives.
Web scraping is the most effective way for travel companies to collect the information they need to fuel their operations, ensure maximum uptime, and provide their customers with valuable travel intel.
A web scraper API is an irreplaceable data harvesting tool that empowers travel brands to gather intelligence for accomplishing their business goals.