A group of Irish travel agencies has placed the largest single order to date for Internet-based travel booking tools from Sabre Holdings. The Travelsavers Ltd (Irl) consortium, a group of independent travel agents, has ordered 17 of Sabreå‘s Meridia.Res Internet booking engines, enabling each of its members to offer their customers the ability to book travel online.
Any travel agency, regardless of its global distribution system (GDS) affiliation, can use the Sabre.Res suite of Internet booking engines. The Travelsavers consortium members use a variety of GDSs.
“There is a growing realisation among agencies in Ireland that the ability to offer an online booking facility is not only essential for customer service and retention, but that it is also potentially lucrative,” said Alicia Gardner
, vice president of marketing, Sabre.
“At a time when travel agencies are under increasing financial pressure, it`s important that they exploit every opportunity, and every available channel, to realise additional sales.”
Gardner says travel agents throughout Europe are showing increased interest in tools to help them exploit the online travel market. The company gets several dozen enquiries each month from agencies in this region.
“It`s noticeable that the number of enquiries has rocketed over the past 18 months or so,” she said.
“I believe the rapidly changing business environment has woken agencies up to the fact that they need to diversify their revenue streams and offer customers the ability to buy travel in whichever channel they feel most comfortable.”
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