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SOTA simplifies the online challenge for agents and hotels

SOTA (Standard Online Tourism Architecture), which is free, allows agents to have a single view of their entire business. The latest SOTA XD (eXecutive Desktop) platform integrates travel operators worldwide. Its easy-to-use interface means that B2B and B2C travel service providers, even those without a website, can start tapping the global online tourism market.

SOTA XD runs a secure payment system and works on all popular internet browsers.

"What we do is take the complexity of technology out of the travel equation so that agents, tour operators and hoteliers can concentrate on running their business," said Mr Rohizam Md Yusoff, CEO of Creative Advances Technology, which created SOTA in Malaysia, a recognised technology innovation hub.

SOTA is also an integral part of ASEAN Tourism Association’s new B2C website, SOTA will soon announce a major partnership with a leading travel trade entity in China.

Vincent Kok, Chief Operating Officer for SOTA, said: "SOTA is effectively free to use. We are using a pre-paid module in which the travel agents need only pay USD100. This is earned back almost immediately as the transactions start. SOTA then charges USD1, per successful customer transaction. In essence, the SOTA platform is free."

Mr Kok said that SOTA provides agents with a host of travel products that they can search, plan and purchase. These include contract rates, promotions and inventory allotments from over 25,000 hotels around the world.

"Agents no longer have to remember multiple passwords and different URLs to access different suppliers and vendors," said Mr Kok. "SOTA XD is online 24/7 and available from anywhere in the world through an internet connection. Travel operators can keep fully up to date with transactions as they happen."

Latest industry statistics show that the value of online travel transactions is about USD200 billion per year. SOTA XD will formally launch at the SOTA International Conference at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in May 2010.

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a supporter of the SOTA initiative. It is promoting the SOTA platform to its members and through its global PATA Chapter network.