Case Study – Caradonna

  • Vacation packages
  • caradonna
Vice President, Caradonna Adventures

“We have so many options from suppliers-so many specials, booking bonuses, discount codes, etc and we were getting to a point where our sales were overwhelming prior to Softrip. We haven't yet found a scenario that we can't make work. From the promotions and the product build to the flexibility of being able to break out the cost in the price and the tax and the price to the promotion, we have been able to come up with a solution for just about any type of promotion that suppliers offer. Once the product sells, everything revolves around that and that’s the basis of these systems. Softrip’s flexibility to manage the product is the number one benefit to our business for our customers.”

Cammie Akins

Vice President Caradonna Adventures

Caradonna Dives Deeper into Accounting, Product and Reporting Processes with Softrip


Company Overview:

  • Caradonna Adventures was established in 1985 as Caradonna Caribbean Tours, operating scuba dive travel holidays throughout the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America. Caradonna has always been the leader in the scuba dive and adventure travel industry providing expertise and professional services to the North American dive market. As the leading dive and adventure travel wholesaler in the U.S., Caradonna also has strong relationships with numerous tourist boards and airlines worldwide (Delta, United, etc).
  • Caradonna has preferred pricing with more airlines, accommodations, dive operators, tour operators and liveaboard yachts than any other dive travel company. Caradonna currently offers over 300 hotels and 50 liveaboards in over 40 destinations spanning the globe, including not only the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America, but also the wider Pacific, Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea and many other exotic destinations.
  • Caradonna’s goal is to provide travelers wishing to explore, discover, and experience our marine world with sustainable and rewarding travel experiences that will ensure that these experiences will be available for future generations. An environmentally conscious company, Caradonna focuses strongly on sustainable dive tourism and social responsibility in bringing the world’s best diving vacations to its customers.
  • Caradonna has over 20 employees and serves approximately 10,000 customers annually.
  • Caradonna has been a Softrip customer since 2009.

The Challenges:

  • 1980’s company processes were manual. Reservations were handled through the Documents department where they sent out paper invoices to customers, sent the vouchers once paid in full, used an electric typewriter and carbon papers. They then mailed checks. Caradonna experienced attempts at automation with 9 different vendors before implementing Softrip but were unable to find a solution that could support all processes.
  • While efficient in some areas, Caradonna outgrew its current system as it couldn’t satisfy their needs to manage all back-end business processes efficiently. It also didn’t connect with their accounting and reporting was “difficult.”
  • “Prior to Softrip, we really struggled with product build and accounting.”
  • The current system couldn’t handle the package options available to customers, “We would be getting to a point where our product build was overwhelming with the number of specials that our suppliers were giving us.”
  • Caradonna needed an updated website that could support the flexibility of product their suppliers could provide.
  • Caradonna also required a vendor that could help them deal in foreign currency while providing an on-line booking engine that offered fully integrated accounting services.
  • If growth was going to happen, an on-line booking engine and the ability to connect with air travel sites was required. Prior to Softrip, there was no ability to reconcile with the airlines.
  • The ability to support various supplier product options was also necessary to offer the best customer experience and to allow customers the flexibility to customize their vacations.
  • “Our old system was not connected to ARC and we had to manually type every person’s individual flight reservation manually reconciling ARC reports which was time consuming and inefficient. We also had to post every single ticket to every single reservation.”

The Solution:

  • After trying 9 different systems and evaluating other vendors, Caradonna selected Softrip as their vendor to improve their proceses gaining the ability to automate all areas of their business processes.
  • Softrip implementation engineers worked with Caradonna to customize the system to the uniqueness of their business and several different product offerings.
  • Caradonna required all dive travel websites to be live (Delta, United, etc.) and needed to migrate reservations.
  • Sofrtip engrineers worked with Caradonna to migrate the required data and to configure a system to accommodate all unique requirements.
  • Caraodonna utlitizes all systems within Softrip but has experienced siginifcant benefits from Softirp’s CMS(website design), Accounting, CRM and Product systems.

The Result:

  • Softrip was the 10th system and has remained Caradonna’s vendor for 10 years. “Partnering with Softrip has overall been very positive.”
  • Unique customizations were provided for Caradonna’s unique Scuba and Dive offerings allowing customers to enjoy flexibility and customization of their vacations encouraging repeat customers.
  • Softrip screens “were so easy to navigate and input rates given by our travel vendors.”
  • Increased flexibility of product offerings through Softrip has led to increased sales.
  • Softrip “simplified all back-end business processes. Having all company history in the CRM has also saved us so much time.”
  • Softrip’s complete offering allowed Caradonna to eliminate the use of a separate Quickbooks accounting system delivering a fully integrated system to handle every aspect of the reservation process and eliminating tedious double entry accounting.
  • “Connecting to the ARC’s and reconciling ARC reports is so much easier.”
  • Having one complete offering has helped to simplify all processes and save time in all areas of the business, “Everything is in Softrip, in one system, which it was not before.”

Caradonna Testimonials

“Softrip has simplified all of our back-end processes. From an automation standpoint, the Accounting system has been biggest time saver and greatest increase in efficiency. It’s where every customer payment is posted and we’re now processing online with Sofrtip. Customers can also make their own payments on-line through the secure server anytime. Agents can go in, open a reservation and see the status. Our agents can go into the payables. If the supplier calls looking for payment, I don’t have to wait for accounting anymore. Everything is there, everything is noted. Wire transfer copies, copies of confirmation-everything is very centralized and a significant time saver for anyone touching the reservation.”

“Reporting is night and day from anything we’ve ever had before. We’re able to slice and dice by brand, travel date, creation date and so much more than we could ever do before. There are so many options versus prior to Softrip where everything was manually sorted with excel spreadsheets-it’s such a time saver.”

“After automating with Softrip, everything is on-line. The customers’ ability to shop on-line, to make choices, to play with the product to fine tune what they want has helped to increase sales. Customers are also able to customize their vacations allowing them the flexibility to choose what they want. “