This October, 2012 sees a deal between Illusions Online with a Seychelles DMC (Destination Management Company) as a first. Illusions Online says that they have marked yet another mega milestone by signing its first deal in the Seychelles.
Freddy Karkaria is one of the Seychelles DMCs making headway, because the travel trade is today saying that he is the Travel Company Director who remains hands on and whose only past time is planning on ways of moving his company forward with continued improvements in the service he offers to visitors to Seychelles.
The leading travel technology specialist, which is rapidly expanding its customer base across Asia, the Indian subcontinent, and in Europe, has penned an agreement with Destination Management Company (DMC) SELECT-SEYCHELLES, providing the luxury inbound travel specialist with the most cutting-edge solution available in the Indian Ocean travel market.
Under deal terms, SELECT-SEYCHELLES, a B2B operator that excels in providing a high-quality service to discerning travelers, will adopt “Illusions OnDemand” technology in a bid to help the company realize its expansion plans, achieve greater global visibility and further enhance the level of professional services it offers.
“We are looking to take our business to the next level and this is why we have selected Illusions as our travel technology partner,” explained SELECT-SEYCHELLES Managing Director and industry stalwart, Freddy Karkaria.
“We needed a company that would match and merge with our savoir-faire, quality and vision, enabling us to leverage our unique attributes as a DMC and inbound tour operator to generate more revenue; not necessarily through a greater volume of passengers, but rather by optimizing costs and delivering better yields per passenger.
“A lot of people talk about survival today; once upon a time a low-level aspiration, but that is today the equivalent of success in the current global economic climate. However, if we achieve survival today in the very competitive travel and tourism industry, it will pave the way for success and prosperity in the future once the global economy picks up, and the way we will do that is by delivering a top-notch service by harnessing the power of one of the most cutting-edge technology solutions on the market - one that provides online dynamic bookings in real time.”
Karkaria stressed that this system would not be installed to replace employees, but to “bring the best out of them and make them more productive and responsive.”
“We will be the first DMC in the Indian Ocean to implement such a system and to automate our business in such a way, and once we do this, it will be difficult to match what we offer.”
SELECT-SEYCHELLES signed up to the latest V13 (Version 13) of Illusions OnDemand Enterprise solution in July. Karkaria said this off-the-shelf product was far superior to any other system on offer and unlike other solutions, which normally took years to roll out, it would go live in January 2013, with Illusions providing all the necessary training and support within that lightning-speed time frame.
Illusions OnDemand Enterprise solution will automate, integrate, and centralize almost every aspect of SELECT-SEYCHELLES’ operations and will include product management, hotel/services contracting, client profiles and tariff rules, a booking engine, client and supplier documentation, accounts receivables and accounts payables, logistics and planning modules, as well as Internet booking engines for clients to purchase the DMC’s entire product range online.
Also included is the XML capability to allow SELECT-SEYCHELLES’ client systems to connect to the Illusions system for product pricing, availability, and making bookings.
Karkaria said: “One of the most tedious and time-consuming aspect of our business is contracting, and this solution will more than halve our workload in this respect. It will also mitigate and limit human error. Implementing Illusions is about simplicity and speed in terms of business functions, leaving the staff at SELECT-SEYCHELLES to focus on what they do best – providing our customers and partners with a high-quality service to meet the needs of today’s very demanding travel buying culture.”
Tour operators and wholesalers in Italy and South Africa currently generate the highest volume of business for SELECT-SEYCHELLES while Russia, the CIS, the GCC, Germany, Switzerland, and France produce higher revenue and yields per passenger. “Given the daily airlift on offer by Gulf carriers such as Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Etihad, markets such as Asia, North and South America offer solid potential that we will tap into as we go forward,” said Freddy Karkaria.
Karkaria said another key aim for the business was to enhance its visibility globally and Illusions would also help SELECT-SEYCHELLES achieve this goal via its unique concept known as Illusions World Travel eXchange (iWTX) system.
The brainchild of Illusions Online founder and CEO, Faisal Memon, said, “iWTX allows the now expansive international network of Illusions OnDemand customers – market-leading tour operators, DMCs and travel agents located across five continents - to access and sell one another’s content.”
“This is a distribution agreement with all Illusions clients that enables them to share content and contacts, and we are the conduit,” explained Memon. “As a result of this deal with SELECT-SEYCHELLES, our clients all over the world will be able to access and sell the DMC’s products and pricing in real time,” he continued.
“This is a major coup for both Illusions and our customers given that the Seychelles has traditionally been an ‘offline product’ that is hard to come by, and we will be the first to provide direct online access to such a quality proposition in this much sought-after destination.”
Excited by the prospect of opening up the SELECT-SEYCHELLES product to a completely new database of elite travel firms worldwide, Karkaria predicted that his business would grow by at least 35% within the next year from a revenue standpoint.
“If Illusions is everything we hope it will be – and so far I am impressed by what I have seen – this will be a conservative estimate in terms of the positive impact the system will have on our business,” he said, “By increasing our speed to market through such innovation, we hope to become almost ever-present; becoming an elite brand and the first choice for all discerning clients and customers looking for a Seychelles holiday experience.”
Memon said signing the SELECT-SEYCHELLES deal presented a “huge responsibility” for Illusions in that it would mark the first time an Indian Ocean-based DMC had adopted such pioneering online technology.
“The solution we are offering SELECT-SEYCHELLES is quite simply, a cut above the rest, with all business functions integrated into one centralized online system offering a fast and efficient web-based product that cannot be found anywhere else on the market,” he said.
“SELECT-SEYCHELLES will be the first DMC in the region to offer rates and availability in real time, offer XML interfacing to all of its clients, connect to a database of world-class travel partners through the Illusions iWTX system, and much more.”
Memon added that because Illusions OnDemand solutions sits in the Cloud, SELECT-SEYCHELLES doesn’t have to invest in expensive hardware, operating system and database software and IT resources to install, maintain, and run the Illusions system with Illusions managing all aspects of the day-to-day running of the system.
“SELECT-SEYCHELLES will also benefit from our constant investment in our product as we continue to improve and upgrade our solutions,” he continued.
“Unlike other travel technology providers, who make the sale and then disappear, we remain in close contact with our clients, providing them with training and support, and because our fees are transaction based, we succeed if they succeed.”
Karkaria added: “When we met with Illusions we just clicked; there was chemistry. We share the same vision and aspirations. Illusion is not just a software provider; it’s a partner and a friend.”
Elsia Grandcourt, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, has congratulated Freddy Karkaria on this great and excellent technological innovation. “This is no doubt a great step forward for SELECT-SEYCHELLES, but one that will also bring great benefit and exposure to the Seychelles destination now that the Internet is the big way in which most of the travelers are relying on when booking that next holiday or new destination. I sincerely wish you the very best in this new venture, and we will follow the progress closely. Once again congratulations, well done, and all the best,” Elsia Grandcourt said.
On his part Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, said that it is a welcomed addition to the services they are offering as a tourism destination. “Tourism remains the pillar of our country’s economy, but as a country so dependent on tourism, we need to remain aware that the world about us is changing and one of the laws of nature is that you either adapt or perish. There is nothing static about tourism: it is dynamic, it is volatile, and it is even quite fickle in nature, and perhaps because of this, I am confident that this move by Freddy Karkaria and SELECT-SEYCHELLES will help us continue to evolve to cater to the sophisticated needs of the modern traveler, and provide an invaluable service to their tourism partners and guests,” Minister St.Ange said.