#1 Independent Seller of WooCommerce Plugins
Switch language

< Back to all articles

WooCommerce for travel agencies

Although there are millions of eCommerce businesses operating worldwide today, there are business models that seem difficult to replicate online. Reproducing a classic type of sale where a customer buys a product and it is delivered to an address is one thing; another is to create models that are more advanced and require specific functionalites.

The booking of services or products are product types that are linked to a number of parameters, including the duration of the booking, the services associated, and the people participating.

Do vendors with this business model, such as travel agencies, tour operators or hotels, necessarily need to turn to professionals to build their websites? Or is it possible to create a WordPress website with a free CMS like WooCommerce?

In this article we will see what features are needed to create a booking website with WooCommerce and how to do it in no time using a simple plugin.

All accompanied by a step-by-step guide to setting up your online tour and travel booking agency. Let’s start by looking at the benefits that WooCommerce offers.

Why choose WooCommerce for your travel agency?

WooCommerce is currently the most widely used eCommerce solution online, with millions of active installations. It is therefore reasonable to ask what is the reason behind all this success.

This reason celal right in numerous advantages for travel agencies.

Economic tool

WooCommerce and WordPress are open source and free tools. This means that the only costs to create your online store are related to hosting, the theme and the plugin, which we will see later.

This is a huge advantage over solutions that achieve a similar result, but with monthly costs and commissions on each type of booking. The issue of commissions is a sensitive one for professionals who usually have to rely on services such as Booking or Airbnb, where the seller can lose up to 15% of each transaction.

That’s why choosing a free but highly functional tool like WooCommerce can make all the difference in terms of revenue, providing more freedom and flexibility in pricing to get closer to your customers.

Easy to use

WooCommerce is an extremely easy-to-use tool that requires no technical knowledge whatsoever to create and manage your site. Most vendors, including tour and travel business owners and tour operators, rarely have deep programming skills, and so, in the past they were forced to rely on developers to create and manage the website.

Today, thanks to CMSs like WordPress/WooCommerce, this is no longer the case – you are just a few clicks away from creating your online travel agency.

If you are looking for a guide on how to use WooCommerce from scratch, we will not see this process in detail, since we have already published an article on how to create an eCommerce store with WooCommerce. In that case, we recommend that you read it to understand the first steps, and then continue with this guide.


The WooCommerce plugin is a highly flexible tool, with the ability to customize its functions through other plugins (as we will see later), but also its visual appearance through pre-configured themes. You can choose the graphics of your site with a single click. It is not uncommon that style of the shop can be one of the most intimidating aspects for new sellers, as it often requires the intervention of a technical specialist. Hopefully, WordPress/WooCommerce allows you to easily change the design by choosing from the thousands of themes available. In the course of this article, we will also suggest one in particular to help you decide.

Once you have created the basic site, you can start thinking about the advanced features you need for your tour/booking website.

Hotel and travel management with WooCommerce

When creating and managing your booking site, what are the basic features of WooCommerce?

Let’s start with the CMS, WordPress, which allows you to create various types of sites (especially blogs). WordPress is used by hundreds of millions of websites worldwide.

Over time, a plugin was developed to create eCommerce through this CMS, WooCommerce. Although it may seem complicated, many hosting services offer pre-configured WordPress sites where you can enable WooCommerce with just one click.

An eCommerce built with WooCommerce has most of the general functionality for online sales at its core, such as:

  • Product page creation – Originally dedicated to traditional products, this feature is also used for rooms, hotels, tours, rental services and all types of products handled by a travel agency, complete with image gallery, description, title, and price.
  • Payment gateways – WooCommerce, through the use of certain extensions, allows the use of the most popular online payment gateways, giving your customers the ability to pay instantly and book their tour/booking experience.
  • Automated emails – WooCommerce communicates via email with sellers and customers when the latter make a reservation, so they are always informed and know how to proceed with the trip.

There will also be some extra features for your type of business, such as product shipping, but the important thing is that the general foundation is there. At this point, we just need to add the ability to turn classic products into booking services.

To do this, we need to integrate a calendar that allows you to choose from the available dates, we need to provide the ability to specify the number of users, and we need to create dynamic pricing based on the customer’s choices. All of this can be done with a simple plugin.

NDA: Since WordPress is an ideal blogging solution, associating a blog with your travel agency business can make a huge difference in search engines, translating into more visits and potential sales.

The ideal WooCommerce theme for travel agencies

Before using the plugin, however, it is important when creating a website to set up a style that is appropriate for the type of business you are going to create, so as not to create a sense of confusion when the customer reaches the portal.

As we mentioned earlier, one of the strengths of WooCommerce is the large number of themes you can choose from for your website. These are preset, highly customizable templates that you can install in a matter of seconds. We recommend the WordPress/WooCommerce theme Proteo, which is perfect for the travel industry:

Proteo theme for a booking website

We will also use Proteo for our guide later on. Once you’ve chosen your theme, let’s look for the perfect solution to sell tours.

WooCommerce plugins for travel agencies.

To figure out which plugin we should use, it is important to find one that includes all the features we will need in our business. Speaking of booking services, the plugin must allow the creation of products that include:

  • Search engine for flights, hotels, vacation packages, car rentals, activities and experiences.
  • Advanced filters to customize the search (price, date, destination, type of experience).
  • Detailed display of options with photos, descriptions, reviews, and maps.
  • Easy and secure booking system with multiple payment methods.

The plugin we chose is Booking & Appointment for WooCommerce, which includes all these features and more.

YITH Booking & Appointment for WooCommerce

With the YITH Booking & Appointment for WooCommerce plugin, you can create a perfect portal for a travel agency, even better in combination with the Proteo theme. To prove it, the plugin offers such a combination in the template of its live demo (where you can try its functionality with your own hands). By combining them, it is possible to achieve a similar result:

eCommerce built with Proteo theme

As you can see, whether you are a travel agency, tour operator or hotel service, the plugin allows you to make the site exactly the way you want it, with a search bar, the ability to filter the results and display the different services in an attractive and immediate way.

Let’s look directly at the different steps to create this type of site.

How to configure the YITH plugin for your travel agency.

Once you have created the base of your site, purchased the hosting service and installed the theme, WooCommerce and plugin, we can actually see what this plugin offers us.

Typically, there will be two parts to your store dashboard: the product creation page and the section dedicated just to the plugin.

Creating a booking type product

Let’s start with the first one: to create a booking type product, the process is no different than creating a traditional product. So you add a product and go in and add a name, description, images, and so on.

What the plugin does is add a product type to the ones already available in WooCommerce (such as simple, grouped, variable, etc.) called “bookable product”.

Creating a booking type product

Clicking on this option will add a series of tabs where you can customize the plugin:

  • Settings
  • People
  • Cost
  • Availability
  • Services
  • Sync

Let’s look at some of them. In the Settings tab, you can go and define the general behavior of the product, starting with the duration of the reservation:

Booking duration settings

The first option allows you to define the value of the booking units. That is, whether the customer will book minutes, hours, days, or months for this particular product. This is important depending on the type of service you are offering:

  • A hotel room or car is rented for a few days.
  • A massage, hiking, or snorkeling service may use units of hours or minutes.

And so on.

You can also set the default start date in the form shown to the customer:

Start date settings

This is mainly to simplify the browsing process for the customer and increase the chances of a successful purchase.

In addition, you can define booking limits, specifically how many slots are available in a given unit (for example, if you have 10 bikes available for a time slot, then you will set 10 in their WooCommerce product pages) and more.

Finally, you can include a Google Maps map, which is especially useful for a travel agency:

Google Maps maps

There are other tabs, like People:

Choose plugin behavior based on the number of people

This, as we have already mentioned, is a key feature that allows clients to define the number of people who will use a given service, complete with the ability to add types of people (the most classic, adults and children).

On the next tab you will find the cost settings.

Definition of service costs

Here you will be able to decide on the cost per unit (always in relation to what you have chosen above, such as minutes, hours, days and months) and whether to offer last minute promotions.

Of course, you will also need to define the availability of a given service, which you can do in the dedicated tab:

Settings related to service availability

Once you have decided on all the options, the product will look like this in your store:

Frontend product for customers

As you can see, the customer will be able to enter the start date, the time (if it applies to your service), the duration, the number of people who will attend and buy the service. The calendar is simple and intuitive to use:

Calendar created by the plugin

This is the process for creating all booking type products on your site. All that remains is to get to know the control panel to get a full view of how the plugin works.

Plugin dashboard

To access this section, go to your WordPress side menu and click on YITH > Booking & Appointment. This section is divided into several tabs where you can manage the entire behavior of the plugin on your site.

The first tab, “Dashboard” is divided into two:

  • All Bookings
  • Bookings Calendar

The first is a collection of all the reservations made by your clients, including their current status (whether paid, awaiting payment, and so on):

All bookings inside the plugin

As you can see, the system allows you to filter the reservations, search for the ones you are most interested in and edit them as you wish.

The same reservations are displayed in the second section, but in calendar format, to help you better frame them:

Bookings inside the calendar

In addition, clicking on the number of the day will show you all the details of the reservations for that day, based on the time of day (if applicable):

Bookings daily calendar

There are numerous other features, but these can be explored by reading the plugin’s documentation. Once you have created the product and seen where to find the reservations it will generate, all you need to do to complete our guide (and thus have a ready-to-use shop) is to insert the search form.

That is, the bar where customers can search for your products. This plugin allows you to create as many forms as you like, which will generate a short code that you can use on any page of your website.

Booking search form

Once added on a page, the results are similar to this:

Horizontal search form


Traditional search form

Because of its nature, the plugin allows you to experiment to get as many results as you want on your site.


Before having practical solutions as we have today, creating a website from scratch dedicated to a travel agency or booking service, required the investment of large sums of money. The same was for portals with specific and advanced features.

Today, thanks to WooCommerce, any professional is just a click away from creating an advanced, powerful and easy-to-use eCommerce with minimal effort.

Throughout this article we have seen how to create a business model based on bookings. The Booking & Appointment plugin is so flexible that it adapts to all types of such businesses: travel agencies, hotels, rental services, tour operators, hairdressers, housing marketplaces, etc.

The future of your business is online and you are just a few clicks away from creating your tour and travel business and give your customers a great user experience.

Suggested readings

Join our newsletter to get all news directly in your e-mail!