Today, as only 10% of bus, ferry, and rail tickets are booked digitally, the ground transportation sector remains the weak link in a travel ecosystem, where airline, hotel, and destination experiences can be easily planned, booked and serviced online. Unlike airlines and hotels, the majority of ground transport operators in the group’s key LATAM & APAC markets haven’t been able to easily access technology, meaning they still run using pen and paper or Excel spreadsheets, which is slowing the growth of e-commerce in the sector.
Today, Bookaway Group unveils its strategy to change this situation, paving the way for seamless ground travel experiences, by empowering local ground transport operators with easy-to-deploy Transport Management Systems (TMS) in its core APAC and LATAM markets. The ultimate aim is to make booking ground transportation as easy as booking a hotel or a flight.
A Transportation Management System is equivalent to a Passenger Service System used by an airline or Property Management Systems common to hotels. It is the beating heart of any bus or ferry operator, managing the availability of an operator’s seat inventory, releasing it for sale, and setting prices based on booking requests arriving through digital and offline sales channels. It also organizes operational aspects like maintenance, routes, GPS tracking, staff schedules, financial reporting, and analytics. Adding a TMS is the fastest way for operators to move ticket sales online and grow sales.
The Bookaway Group today unveils its acquisition of Sisorg, a prominent Latin America Software-as-a-Service TMS, which was completed in July 2021. With 20 years of experience, Sisorg boasts one of the world’s most specialized TMS R&D teams. The Group will apply its scale and resources to boost the adoption of Sisorg across LATAM, including markets like Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Paraguay, empowering analog operators with the systems they need to begin retailing online.
The Group also introduces seatOS, a new TMS, developed in-house and dedicated to the local needs of operators in APAC. The system has been built from the ground up as a Software-as-a-Service proposition, designed for the specific needs of operators in APAC, including local compliance and financial requirements.
With a team of more than 25 developers working on its TMS products, the group is the only ground transport marketplace offering local TMS solutions in different regions of the world, enabling operators to sell online.
Noam Toister, CEO & Co-Founder, Bookaway Group explains, “We want to bring every bus, ferry, and train seat online to create an efficient marketplace with a modern digital experience for travelers. But we can’t do that if an operator is using pen and paper. That’s why we’re giving operators in Asia and Latin America a simple TMS they can easily adopt to begin selling online, with Bookaway Group or any other marketplace.”
Toister added: “With our transportation management systems (TMS) we are harnessing technology, not only to help local operators go online but also to improve their productivity and grow their business. Our TMS solutions help in ensuring timely delivery of their transportation services, adding routes more quickly and providing a better ground transportation experience for travelers. We believe TMS adoption is necessary to achieve our goal of making it easy for everyone to travel a country using its local ground and sea transportation services."
The Sisorg acquisition brings more than 100 operator customers in LATAM and seatOS is already being piloted by local operators in the Philippines and Thailand. Although as Toister explains, “The core of our strategy still remains helping travelers to book easily, we’re also building TMSs because it removes a huge barrier to seamless ground transport experiences. If we see a barrier like this we'll find a way to remove it. Our secret sauce is our ability to quickly and successfully adapt to each market's needs.
Bookaway Group is paving the way for seamless ground travel experiences by digitizing the industry, region by region, having raised more than $80M in VC funding to date. Operating through four consumer-facing brands; Plataforma 10 in Latin America, 12Go in Asia Pacific, GetByBus in eastern Europe as well as its global play, bookway.com, the company is the world’s largest aggregator of ground transport, helping more than 7,000 operators to retail more than 1.5m travel options.