Complete Guide -
How to Start Your
Umrah Booking Service
For all Travel Consolidators, B2B Agents,
B2C and Online Travel Agents who want to start
their own Umrah Booking Service, globally.
Complete Guide - How to Start Your Umrah Booking Service
For all Travel Consolidators, B2B Agents, B2C and Online Travel Agents who want to start their own Umrah Booking Service, globally.
What is covered in this guide?
Who can apply for Hajj and Umrah License?
Hajj and Umrah Travel Software provider are of 2 types, which are call as Umrah Operator and External agents.
Umrah Operators (UO): Travel agencies, Travel Management Companies, Tour Operators and DMC operator who are based in Saudi Arabia can obtain the Hajj and Umrah License from Hajj & Umrah Ministry and become Umrah Operators. Every Umrah Operator is assigned a IBAN Number used to validate every booking.
External Agents (EA): Any Travel Consolidator, Wholesaler, Travel agency, tour operator and DMC operator who are outside Saudi Arabia and in any part of the world, can also apply for license for Hajj and Umrah. They need to register with an Umrah Operator (UO) to successfully start booking.
Every External Agent is like a Sub-Agent of an Umrah Operator.
What are the pre-requisites to obtain a Hajj & Umrah License:
For Hajj and Umrah booking there are basically to 2 types of Umrah Operator and External agents. The Ministry of Hajj & Umrah in Saudi Arabia is the sole authority for obtaining the license.
For Umrah Operators:
For External Agents:
How Can Umrah Operators and External Agents make Hajj & Umrah bookings?
The booking process has been made completely online and easy for all agents and travel operators:
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How can you start your own booking service for Hajj and Umrah?
If you are a registered Travel Agency within or outside Saudi Arabia, here are a few steps you need to follow to start your own booking platform for Umrah bookings
What are the services required to provide for Hajj and Umrah Booking?
The ministry has identified certain mandatory services for B2B and B2C Travel Operators to be included in the Hajj & Umrah booking solution.
Primarily, there are two types of agents, B2B (Travel consolidators, Wholesalers and Travel Management Companies) and B2C (Online Travel Agencies)
In the B2B Module:
In the B2C Module:
When a Mutamer / Pilgrim is making the booking himself, there are 3 types of services, which he / she should book before proceeding for Visa Processing:
In the B2C Module 3 Booking Reference Numbers (BRN) are generated for Hotel, Transportation and Ground Services each. All three BRN are mandatory for Visa processing.
What are the types of Integrations needed for Hajj and Umrah Booking Service?
Any Travel Agency, Consolidator, Wholesaler and Online Travel Agent who wants to start with their own booking service for Hajj & Umrah, needs to integrate their Hajj & Umrah Booking Software with the Maqam GDS. (Central Reservation System). All the following types of integrations are available within the Maqam GDS:
Integration with Approved Hotel Suppliers:
Integration with Transportation Suppliers:
For Umrah mutamers / pilgrims have to land in Jeddah and acquire a transport to Umrah, there are lot of places around the holy city of Mecca and Jeddah that tourist do visit. Some people prefer going to Medina and then travel to Mecca for Umrah
Integration with Suppliers of Ground Services:
When any Mutamer / pilgrim arrive for Umrah they are short on time and to ensure the best utility of their time, they are facilitated by ground services like welcome at hotel, guide services ,instant solution for complaints, inquiring about the nearby places etc
To facilitate the ground services, The Ministry has approved the following suppliers: Way To Umrah, Umrah Door "Bab Al- Umrah", Tawaf and Gaboul Ya Hajj
Integration of a Payment Gateway:
All payments against the bookings made by Umrah Operators and External Agents required to be paid to the Ministry of Hajj & Umrah are electronically transferred to the Ministry account. Upon confirmation of the payment, the Ministry provides a BRN against the booking.
For Umrah there are certain important parts of software that are needed and without which a agent or travel agency can’t work. These integrations in the system are necessary as it helps you give best deals to your customer.
Interested in starting your own Umrah Booking Service?
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How Hajj and Umrah booking works?
Step-1 - Sign up: First the agent need to sign-up on the Hajj and Umrah Booking Provider as EA or UO, Setting up agent account is the first parameter to taken care off. The Hajj and Umrah Ministry validates you with an IBAN number which helps you in signing in the account.
Step-2 - Enter search parameters: The agent enters the search parameters for the Mutamers as per their demand where they want to land and how they plan to stay and if they want to visit more places. He will fill the details according for the search parameter.
Step-3 - Select Room(s) / Vehicle(s): Agent will shown the available rooms and hotels on the basis of the search parameters from the feed he has in the system.
For OTAs / B2C platforms 1 more service is added i.e Ground services. They are easy to add on the Portal and necessary to be provided in B2C.
Step-4 Enter the Lead Mutamer Details – This is only for B2B
The details of the lead Mutamer are needed to be entered, basically the person who is the head of the entire tour.
For OTAs Review Cart, Enter the Pax Details and Checkout- only for B2C
The customer can Review his Cart which will show him the services he has opted for and the Customer must entre his PAX Details and check-out which confirms selection of the Services that he has opted.
Step -5 – Online Payment
Online Payment by eWallet (using Google Authenticator) For B2B: The agents needs to make the payment electronically, through e-wallet which is connected with the authorized bank account registered with the Ministry.
While agent is doing the payment every transaction is authenticated by the Google authenticator app provided to the agent at the time of registration.
Online Payment by Credit card for B2C/OTAs: The customer needs to make a payment through his credit card only. The only payment option available at present on portal is through Credit Card.
Step-6 - Receive BRN (Booking Reference Number)
On the successful payment the agent will receive a BRN (Booking Reference Number) Which shows the booking for Your itinerary has been done. This BRN will be helpful for the Visa application.
Step-7 - Visa Application: Visa application for the Mutamer are done directly on the Ministry e-Visa system. The OTA platform Allows you to Process your Visa Application through same portal by directly transferring the BRN to the e-visa service. – only for B2C.
Step-8 – Itinerary Download: The agent of the pilgrim can download the booking receipts with the complete itinerary which includes all the requisite details of the journey.
10 things to know about Hajj and Umrah Booking Service:
The government of Saudi Arabia manages logistics of the visitors of Hajj and Umrah.: The entire logistics of the visitors who come for Hajj and Umrah is supervised by the government.
There are 2 types of services providers for Hajj and Umrah I.e is Umrah operators and External Agents.: For travel agents to do Hajj and umrah booking they have to be either in Saudi or they have to collaborate with a umrah travel agent and then do booking outside Saudi.
Agents can use any OTA’s to generate BRN (Booking Reference Number): Booking reference is generated when the booking is done and payment is made so BRN can be generated by any OTA’s approved by the Ministry of Haj & Umrah
BRN (Booking Reference Number) is Most important field used in visa application: The BRN is used in visa application as the reference for all your booking for the trip and is an important number as well. The visa portal will not accept applications without a valid BRN.
The Umrah operators need to open bank account in the ministry authorized bank only: The travel agent who is in Saudi needs to open an account in a government authorized bank to do umrah booking.
The suppliers integrated in the system are authorized by the government and managed By Ministry of Hajj & Umrah: For a B2B or B2C booking system for Hajj and umrah the suppliers are approved by ministry of Hajj and umrah. They have their own GDS system call MAQAM which is to be integrated you’re your Travel ERP system.
Payment gateway is also a necessary part that is to be integrated with the system or the payments are only done through that only. E-wallet is provided by the service provider: The booking should be integrated with a payment gateway as well for the visitors to do the payment for their booking. The system provides Wallet system for the B2B clients and Credit card for B2C system.
For payment Authorization Google Authenticator App is needed: When the agents want to login the government had provide with a unique registration number for the agent and which is authenticated by a Google authenticator to allow the access and authorized the user.
Visa applications are processed through ministry website only: Visa for Umrah are processed by only ministry of Hajj and Umrah they have their own portal for the visa application where you need to fill the details and submit your application.
For external agents a sub account is necessary under main account of the Umrah Company: Any travel agent who wants to started umrah booking outside Saudi has to collaborate with a Umrah operator and the Umrah operator will open a sub bank account in same bank under main account for the agent
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Can Umrah booking be done B2C?
Upon making the Payment he will Receive a BRN (Booking Reference Number), which is the most important information, that will help you in Visa Application.
The user is then redirected to the ministry Visa application portal where the BRN are automatically populated by the OTA platform.
What should you expect from the ERP Technology provider for Hajj & Umrah?
The Booking platform that you use for the Hajj & Umrah Booking is a critical piece of technology that will help you make seamless, fast and secure bookings for Umrah. Here are a few aspects that you should consider while evaluating a Travel ERP provider for your Umrah Booking Service.
This is the most central part of your Umrah booking platform. It will allow you to make bookings across all three categories of services: Hotels, Transportation and Ground Services.
For all Umrah Booking Services, the booking engines are integrated with the Saudi GDS called Maqam, which provides the feed of all the approved suppliers with relevant details.
Now when a system has a good booking engine the system is supported by the suppliers that integrated in the system by the application.
Content management System (CMS)
The Content Management will come in handy where you want have a customer data base and want to engage with them through:
The CMS will help in maintaining the content that you want to have on the system so that you can distribute most important and relevant information to your users and agents.
Business Intelligence Reports
The Technology provider should deliver cutting-edge, modern travel sites designed to enhance your digital footprint and enhance your customer's experience.
Notable efforts of the
Ministry of Hajj and Umrah:
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Start your Own Umrah Travel Booking Service with Connect Umrah
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About Connect Umrah
Connect Umrah is the most advanced Hajj & Umrah Booking Software developed by Qtech Software. Connect Umrah offers seamless booking experience across B2B and B2C for all Umrah Operators and External Agents.
Travel Consolidators, Wholesalers, Online Travel Agencies who are looking for a plug and play solution to start their Hajj & Umrah Booking Service can leverage the technologically superior and advanced booking engines present on Connect Umrah.
Connect Umrah provides the complete Booking Software for Hajj and Umrah Booking with in-built features like Hotel Booking, Transportation Ground Services and Visa Application.
Qtech Software which has been awarded Middle Easts Leading Travel ERP Technology Provider for the last 4 years, is the licensor of Connect Umrah – Hajj & Umrah Booking Software.