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How to Make a Travel Website? How an Online Travel Based Search Engine Works?

Updated on September 1, 2012

Online Travel Engine

There are many times we see online travel websites like, and ask ourselves how these travel based company making money? How to make an online travel website? How do an online travel search engine works? The reason why we want to know the answer to this question is to know whether or not we can make a travel based portal and start making money like other online travel companies. There are many online portals offering Flights, Hotels, Holidays, etc. and making huge amount of money. Can we become a travel agent and make huge money? How these travel agents are making money?

In 2009 Expedia’s first quarter profit was $635.7 Million. How these portals making money with just an online travel search engine? Is it easy to make a travel based website?

You can too have a travel based website by becoming an affiliate of any travel portal. There are two ways of making a travel based website.

First: By becoming an affiliate of a travel website.

Second: Making your own travel website and get keep the whole profit with you. That means you don’t have to share the profit with anyone.

Many travel websites provide an online travel engine for free. You can use it as your own and get commission up to 10%. This is the first method.

Second method is little difficult. You have to invest lot of money for making huge amount of money. If you have money or you are an existing travel agent and want to make your own travel based website, then second option is better for you.

The first thing you have to do is to buy the domain and the hosting. This is the initial step and you have to do that in either you want to become an affiliate or you want to have your own website. After that design your website and make it live. I know the website would be without search engine and you can’t make online searches for flights, hotels or holidays.

To make a website you need one Global Distribution System (GDS) from where you can get the latest fares. There are many GDS available in the market, like Amadeus (, Worldspan (, Sabre (, Galileo (, etc. Once you have an agreement to use any of the GDS, then you can start making your travel based search engine. After this you have to decide the technology on which you would like to make your travel based search engine. It could be PHP, JAVA, .Net or any other technology you would like to prefer. You can use open source languages like PHP or Java, if your budget is low. Now with the help of a good programmer you can tart making travel based search engine as per your needs.

The GDS takes requests and sends the response in XML format, as it’s relatively fast and easy to use. All the request/response you send/receive from GDS is in XML format. The response we get from the GDS is shown on the website by cutting the tags from the XML. Yes, to make your own search engine you need one good programmer and one web designer. There are few companies who build travel based search engines, you can take their help as well. They can provide you travel based search engine as per your requirement at affordable prices.


Submit a Comment

  • cityalice profile image

    cityalice 5 years ago

    Thanks for the list of Global Distribution Systems. This sounds like a great idea.

  • Kylie-Jane profile image

    Kylie-Jane 5 years ago from North QLD, Australia

    My understanding is that to get a proper GDS system with a company such as Amadeus or Gallileo, a peron would have to be a licensed travel agency, here in Australia anyway. If you have travel consultancy experience, you can join a company like Mobile Travel Agents where you pay a start up fee and then an ongoing fee and you basically work for a full on travel agency but from home, you have access to all the travel partners they are affiliated with and you get paid a percentage of your earnings, but you have to get your own clientele.. If you are not a licensed travel agent or travel consultant, the next best thing is to join up with affiliate programs and have a wordpress website/blog. Some affiliate companies you could try are,, and There are heaps to choose from, as long as you choose at least one affiliate from a company that each provides airfares, accommodation, travel insurance, car hire, cruises (, and tours/activities, you could have quite a nice travel site and still make nearly as much money as a liceenced travel agent would now a days. I've been in the travel industry for 20yrs and have done so much research into affiliate programs. Of course, another avenue is rather than selling travel itself, there is the option of selling travel memberships to elite travel clubs that offer travel at wholesale prices and you get paid quite handsomely, that is what I have done and loving it. Anyway, hope some of this information is helpful.

  • Dawnrichard profile image

    Dawnrichard 5 years ago

    Voted up for the awesome hub. Thanks for sharing.


  • cpannek profile image

    cpannek 5 years ago

    I am in the concept phase of starting a travel website and need more information on how the affiliate partnership works. I have a basic understanding of the xml transfer of data from the booking engine/GDS, but how does the payment (ecommerce) portion of this work when working with as an affiliate?

    Any information would be a great help. Thanks

  • ssidd profile image

    ssidd 5 years ago from New Delhi, India

    Hi centp002,

    Thank you for the comment. Do let me know if i can help you in anything.


  • centp002 profile image

    centp002 5 years ago

    I am now interested in getting my own travel website. The article is very useful and intriguing.

    Thank you. Voted up!