Sabre has made its Virtually There online itinerary and travel-shopping tool available in Swedish as part of its drive to develop or customise products specifically for the Scandinavian market.
Dawnne Unger, Sabre managing director - the Nordic regionThe product gives travellers access to all their travel details, as well as real-time information about flight status, departure gates and weather. It also provides destination information such as maps, restaurants and sightseeing recommendations.
can be used by any traveller who has booked through a Sabre ConnectedSM travel agency, or through an online travel site that is powered by the global distribution system (GDS). Travel agencies, both online and offline, can ask Sabre automatically to send their customers an email that contains a personal booking code and a link to the Virtually There website (www.virtuallythere.com). Travellers then use the personal code to access all their travel arrangements and destination information.
Dawnne Unger, the company’s managing director for the Nordic region, said the system saved travel agents from having to dispatch paper itineraries by post, fax or courier.
“Combined with an electronic ticket, Virtually There ensures that the entire fulfillment process can be completed electronically, from start to finish. This has significant benefits for the travel agent in terms of cost and process efficiency”, she said.
Unger said the product had been developed as part of Sabre’s role as a marketing and technology partner for its travel agency customers.
“Tools like this are a wonderful way for travel agencies to add value to the service they offer, and to differentiate their service in a market where they are competing for business not only against each other but also, increasingly, against the travel providers themselves”.
The information contained in a Virtually There itinerary can be downloaded into personal organisers or other mobile communication devices. Travellers can also request SMS text messages on their mobile phones if their flights are delayed, or if their departure terminals change at short notice.
Translation of Virtually There into Swedish is the latest move in a series of Sabre initiatives designed to localise the GDS’s approach to the Swedish market. Recently the company has extended its local rail content and introduced bookable ground transport between Swedish airports and the cities they serve.
“We have doubled our bookings share in Scandinavia over the past two years, and these initiatives are designed to further extend our reach across a market which has been dominated by a single GDS for far too long”, Unger said.
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