Budget products to benefit agents
Increased numbers of corporate and leisure travellers are taking to the skies, particularly in India, China and Indonesia where demographic changes are creating massive domestic and international demand. In an interview with , Jeet Sawhney, MD, Abacus Dis
According to Sawhney, deregulation and the expansion of many low-cost carriers are presenting new opportunities for all. He pointed out that India is the secondfastest growing air market in Asia-Pacific after Indonesia. The Indian online air market is expected to expand by 62 per cent to $6.6 billion by 2015, representing 53 per cent of the
Mobile travel technology in particular is enabling suppliers to reach Tier-II and Tier-III cities for growth
country’s total air market. “The result is a burgeoning distribution grid for travel technology suppliers like Abacus and the travel agents we serve,” he said.
In his opinion, mobile travel technology in particular is enabling suppliers to reach TierII and Tier-III cities for growth. At these locations, branded products, local tour agencies as well as online portals will do exceedingly well. “National tourism organisations have understood the importance of these domestic feeder markets and are spending more on state and provincial marketing,” Sawhney underlined.
He also asserted that multi-national OTAs also are likely to reap benefits in drawing traffic from new markets too, because of Abacus Customer Via.com’s expansion across Asia. According to him, OTA penetration of the total travel market presently is highest in the region in India. “Inbound tour operators are also looking good for 2014, attracting business online from overseas,” he added.
Abacus’ strategy is to deliver world-class technology to India’s major travel technol- ogy brands and to develop second-tier agencies so that they also mature and thrive. “Essentially, we help travel operators attract new customers and scale their business with superior point-of- sale, mid and back-office solutions,” he emphasised.
“In view of the fact that travellers are increasingly turning to solutions such as 3G and wireless broadband for mobile
content, Abacus is the first GDS to introduce mobile solutions for travel agents, with personalised web-based and wireless technology,” Sawhney added.
Commenting on the yield management for customers during tough times, he said, “Reducing costs and making our agent customers more profitable is our primary goal. For example, Abacus WorkSpace includes a low fare search capability that allows users to present the best available fare instantly.” Abacus also has a single PoS (Point of Sale) access to shop and book multiple types of content, such as air insurance and hotels.
Abacus has wide portfolio of budget airlines in Asia/Pacific, many of which have their sights set on the Indian outbound market. Folding in more domestic hotel content is also a priority to maximise cross-selling and upselling potential for agents looking to strengthen their yields and bottom lines.
Jeet Sawhney Managing Director Abacus Distribution Systems (India)