Global travel technology specialist Traveltek has debuted in the Middle East.
The UK-based firm, which has become recognised worldwide for its advanced dynamic packaging solutions, has established an office in Dubai as it looks to help the region’s travel trade sell more effectively and drive efficiencies.
The company, which is headquartered in Scotland and also has offices in England, the US and Australia, has a proven track record developing technology platforms for some of the biggest names in travel.
Its roster of clients includes global travel brands Virgin Holidays, Flight Centre and dnata, as well as its sister companies, Imagine Cruises and Global Travel Group.
In the Middle East, Traveltek is focusing on what the region’s travel industry needs most – dynamic packaging capabilities that enable travel agents to hand-pick products and services to create complex itineraries, all on one platform in the currency and language they choose and using their own branding.
Through Traveltek’s API, agencies are provided live access to a global database of more than 300 industry suppliers encompassing air, accommodation, transfers, ancillaries such as car rental, insurance, tours and attractions tickets. Companies can also package their own stock, third-party stock, or a mixture of the two.
What also makes Traveltek unique in the Middle East is its cruise packaging solutions.
Agents can access consolidated cruise content from 190 of the world’s leading lines and dynamically package them with pre- and post-cruise travel itineraries. This technology, which has seen Traveltek win the coveted ‘World Leading Dynamic Packaging Solutions Provider’ at the World Travel Awards in 2014, 2015 and 2016, is what sets the company apart from other travel technology providers operating in the region, according to Peter Whittle, Global Sales Director, Traveltek.
“By enabling agents and tour operators to sell, create and manage their travel portfolio using one secure web-based solution, we are quite simply helping them drive efficiencies and boost sales,” he said.
“With our technology, using multiple systems for different business functions is no longer necessary. Travel professionals can search and book suppliers and package them on one platform – no other system provides the same tight and seamless integration of services.”
Whittle added: “When you factor in our Cruise Super Itineraries (CSI) solution, which enables agents to use their expertise to select every component of a custom cruise itinerary and sell them as one single package, we are well positioned to help the Middle East travel trade tap into the huge swell in demand for cruising.”
Traveltek has appointed two highly-experienced travel technology professionals to lead its Gulf expansion strategy.
Vinod Singh comes on board as regional manager, Middle East and India and Vivek Katheriya joins the team as regional sales manager, India and Middle East and North Africa. Both recruits bring vast Middle East travel technology experience to their roles, having worked for reputable industry players including Amadeus and QuadLabs Technologies.
Between them, Singh and Katheriya are targeting the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman, all markets where travel agents, tour operators and wholesalers in are in need of sophisticated travel technology to help them meet market demand.
Traveltek’s timing is spot on given GCC outbound traveller spend its expected to top $94 billion by 2020, up from $65 billion in 2015, according to the ‘Shaping the future of travel in the Gulf Cooperation Council’ report published by Frost & Sullivan and Insights Middle East.
The average spend in GCC countries for inter-regional travel was as high as $4,980 in 2015 almost doubling to $9,920 for international travel, the report added. This includes expenditure on airfares, hotel rooms, ground transport, travel supplies and car rentals.
The research paper’s market breakdown of travel bookings in 2015 revealed 20 per cent were made through traditional bricks-and-mortar travel agents, 25 per cent via Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and 33 per cent via online travel service providers.
“If they harness technology correctly, travel companies across all channels can make the most of the Gulf’s outbound travel boom,” said Whittle.
Traveltek provides multi-channel sales options – B2B, B2C, call centre, mobile, etc – and can display packages in multiple currencies and languages. Options to localise solutions for the Middle East market, including Arabic-language content, will be available to travel companies that partner with the firm.
A back-office system that produces bookings reports and client documentation; a CRM that manages clients and enquiries; and a tour operating platform that controls pricing and distributes contracts are also part of Traveltek’s portfolio.
“Traveltek offers a full end-to-end solution for multiple products and sales channels,” said Singh.
Katheriya added: “In addition, the technology facilitates secure online transactions, which is crucial in a region where online travel companies are yet to realise their potential. Factor in the ability to conduct customised search journeys and documentation for B2B and B2C websites and Traveltek has an important role to play in bringing new levels of sophistication and trust to the Middle East’s online travel arena.”
Singh said Traveltek’s pricing was “competitive”, but did not reveal specifics because the company does not take a one-size-fits-all approach.
“Our solutions are customised to meet specific client needs and models,” he added.
Traveltek’s debut in the Middle East is part of a wider global expansion plan.
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
Published monthly by Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group, the region’s foremost trade publisher, TTN is aimed at professionals in the industry, from travel agents to airline and hotel personnel.
TTN provides in-depth and extensive coverage of relevant issues in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in other parts of the world. Travel related news, analysis, and new appointments together with information on up-coming exhibitions, marketing and promotional campaigns are presented in an innovative and striking colour tabloid.
Every issue also contains a collation of international and regional news and topical features of interest to readers.