Illusions Online, voted “Middle East’s Leading Travel Technology Provider 2010” by World Travel Awards, has secured a significant deal with one of Asia’s largest Destination Management Companies, Go Vacation Thailand.
The Dubai-based firm, which provides enterprise solutions for tour operators and DMCs worldwide, will deliver an end-to-end centralised technology solution for the operator, in a move that will put Illusions firmly on the Asian map.
Once implemented, the technology will be rolled out to Go Vacation’s subsidiaries in Indonesia and Sri Lanka in 2012.
Christoph Mueller, managing director of Go Vacation Thailand, which is part of the third largest tour operator in Germany, The REWE Group, said the DMC had made a “substantial investment” in the Illusions product because it was the most suitable, effective and reliable technology solution on the market.
“We had a look at a few different products and Illusions was the one in which we had the most confidence,” explained Mueller.
“We have a sister company from the group, which is also a very large DMC based in the US called New World Travel and it has been using Illusions successfully for the past year-and-a-half so it makes sense for us to use it too.”
Go Vacation boasts offices in all major tourist destinations in Thailand. It serves around 200,000 clients annually and has DMC operations in other parts of Asia.
“The first step is to implement the complete Illusions 120 user licence system in Thailand and then by May next year, we are looking to roll this out to the offices in Indonesia and Sri Lanka where further users will be added to the system,” said Mueller.
Illusions has already delivered the Go Vacation system that will automate and integrate every aspect of its business including product management, hotel/services contracting, packages and back-to-back series, client profiles and tariff rules, a booking engine, client and supplier documentation, accounts receivables and accounts payables, CRM, logistics and planning modules, as well as Internet booking engines for clients to purchase the entire product range online.
Also included is the XML capability to allow Go Vacation’s client systems to connect to the Illusions system for product pricing, availability and making bookings.
All these functions are integrated into one online system.
The solution will replace the five separate systems currently in use, according to Illusions Online CEO Faisal Memon, who said the Go Vacation account was a “big deal” for the travel technology firm and was won on the back of “excellent feedback” from its sister firm New World Travel.
“The New World system has been up and running for more than 18 months and they are very happy with it – the staff there think it’s great and back it 100 percent so that was half the battle won when negotiating with Go Vacation,” he said.
Memon said another key reason Go Vacation had partnered with his firm was that unlike other solutions on the market, the Illusions product would go live in a relatively short timeframe, before the beginning of the firm’s peak winter season.
“There is a lot of technology on the market but for companies who want to build their own systems, the implementation of these solutions takes forever – you are looking at one or two years to try to make it work,” he explained.
“In today’s world, that timeframe is far too long. Tour operators need a system implemented quickly and at Illusions that’s our USP.
“Having worked with tour operators and DMCs for more than a decade, we have developed a core product that is pretty much ‘out of the box’ and meets the needs of most.
“Of course, we customise this according to individual requirements, but we are talking about having Go Vacation’s system up and running in less than three months, which given the size of the business is a huge task.”
Memon said the customisation included a seamless interface with Microsoft Navision to have real-time data transfer of all accounting transactions between Illusions and MS Navision, as well as the facility to automatically upload bookings from some of Go Vacation’s top clients.
Another added bonus for Go Vacation, he said, was that it would benefit from Illusions Online’s new World Travel eXchange (iWTX) system.
This allows all Illusions customers, which now includes travel agents, to access and sell one another’s content.
“We have set up a distribution agreement with Illusions clients so they can share product rates, inventory and content and we are the conduit,” explained Memon.
“So our clients all over the world will be able to access and sell Go Vacation’s products and pricing in real time.”
Go Vacation’s system is now being implemented and staff are undergoing full training by Illusions specialists so they can start setting up the solution.