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One of the clearest arguments in favour of developing digital ecosystems in preference to seeking to extend the functionality and scale of a single website comes in the instance of online booking systems.

As the brief and by no means conclusive online search for booking platform APIs (left) shows, this field is a hotly contested and rapidly evolving marketplace.

This has implications for nature tourism providers even if they choose not to engage with the detail of this space but rather settle simply for an off the shelf package as comes standard with many Content Management System retail oriented themes.

This is because of the user expectations people bring with them in this space.

Being able to book for a tour or accommodation on a 24/7 basis no matter what your location and get an instant response in terms of current capacity/availability such as to allow you to then walk straight into your purchased setting should you choose to do so is simply a level of functionality that users now expect to have available to them.

Relying on a transitional/traditional system with even a degree of ongoing dependence on personal contact connections for bookings that are prone to being hard to access in peak periods or after hours presents the likely response of "why?"

Given the complexities of engaging with this space in terms of both functional services provided and also background user detail security and data handling / hackability issues, a high degree of flexibility and responsiveness needs to attach to any choices made in this space. This makes the service ideally suited to being set up as a specialised sub domain compartment in a destination's digital platform.

This means not only that any changes made in this space can be bulkheaded off from impacts on other digital assets, but also that the booking platform itself can be easily accessed from a variety of independent other parts of the digital ecosystem.