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Suggesting growth in non traditional travel agency services

Abacus experiences uplift in GDS bookings for top hotels

Data released by Abacus International has indicated a 111% increase, year on year Q1 2008 vs Q1 2009, for the top 30 hotels booked through the Abacus GDS system. The majority (66%) of these hotels were located in China, illustrating how important this market continues to fuel growth in the travel industry across Asia Pacific, despite the current economic climate.

Importantly this trend also represents a seed change in the agent’s recognition of the increasing value of less traditional agency services such as hotel rooms, car hire and rail tickets.

Brett Henry, Vice President, Marketing for Abacus International said that “It is both interesting and heartening to see such strong increases in bookings on the Abacus GDS system for so many hotels, especially those in China. Worth noting is the Holiday Inn Binhai with increases in bookings of over 1000%. Meanwhile other China based hotels, Traders Hotel Shenyang and the Shangri La Guangzhou, also recorded growth in bookings of more than 200% in the first quarter of 2009.”

The uplift trend for bookings indicates the growing importance of China as a business and leisure destination for domestic and international travellers. A further influencing factor was thought to be conversations Abacus has been conducting with agents over the last year to highlight the ease with which they can make bookings through the Abacus system for hotels and other value-adding sales.

The provision of such services has been made easier thanks to the introduction of Abacus Car and Abacus Rail which help agents provide full details of price and availability of tickets as well as enabling instant reservations and ticket purchases, all through the Abacus system.

“At Abacus we are absolutely focused on developing solutions which can be considered a ‘win-win’ for the travel supplier and agent alike. The increased sales of non-traditional travel products represented in the data we have released today supports a recent trend of travel agents increasingly moving to become one-stop-shops, building on their flight bookings capability by embracing other areas of potential revenue. This is an extremely positive development for the supplier, the agent and the traveller, not to mention the industry as a whole,” Mr Henry said.

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