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First Choice Signs Irish Deal with Comtec

The Irish arm of leading vertically-integrated UK tour operator group First Choice has announced a major deal to roll out Comtec`s agency management system TravelCat and leading agency selling system EasySell across its outlets in Ireland.

The agreement with Comtec
- a leading software provider - continues the successful relationship between the companies which began in 1999, and led to the roll-out of EasySell across all the group`s Travel Choice agencies in the UK in 2002.

Under the new agreement all 21 of the tour operator`s Irish retail outlets, branded First Choice
Travel Shops, will adopt EasySell, the industry`s leading multiple tour operator search and booking system.

EasySell dramatically reduces the time agents take to find holidays through simultaneous searches of different operators` reservation systems, based on criteria including price, choice of resort and departure point. Without EasySell, agents have to complete searches for holidays by entering each operator`s viewdata system individually, and re-key all their requirements for every operator they try.

Comtec`s solution, which searches late and full-season holiday availability, will be integrated within First Choice`s point of sale agency system, used by more than 130 users across the 21 First Choice Travel Shops.


In addition, First Choice`s Irish arm has followed its UK parent in announcing it will take Comtec`s TravelCat`s agency management system.

The decision also means bookings made through EasySell will pass to TravelCat, significantly reducing administration times by removing the need for re-keying reservations data between systems.

Andrew Eley, IT manager at First Choice`s Irish operations, said the key factors behind the decision to take Comtec`s solutions were the ease with which EasySell can search multiple operator systems to generate an instant picture of availability, and the flexibility of TravelCat.

“We needed to replace our existing back-office system and improve service levels to customers with a quick front-counter tool and a powerful back-office system. EasySell and TravelCat answer those needs,” he said. “EasySell and TravelCat are products that have contributed to First Choice`s success in the UK. First Choice is delighted with the productivity and management benefits they`ve brought to the company.”

Ian Featherstone, head of IT, First Choice Retail adds: “In line with group strategy, we`ve decided to reduce overall IT costs by cutting down on the number of systems we are using. We have grown over the years through acquisition and this has meant adopting different systems - now all our agents will work with the same technology. Comtec will certainly help us improve productivity and increase efficiency”

Comtec group director, Richard Turner, commented: “This is a significant deal for us. Over the past year, several top forces looking for an integrated search, booking and management solution have decided that embracing both EasySell and TravelCat answers that need. First Choice`s decision to extend the relationship beyond their UK business into Ireland confirms our position as the industry`s leading one-stop technology shop for agents of all sizes.” 

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