The Dubai-based firm, which provides cutting-edge enterprise solutions for tour operators and DMCs worldwide, has finalized an agreement with Go Vacation Sri Lanka – a move that will firmly cement Illusions Onlines’ growing stronghold in the Asian travel market.
The Sri Lanka deal marks the last of three contracts secured with Go Vacation’s operations in Asia. Go Vacation Thailand and Go Vacation Indonesia signed up to the Illusions system earlier this year.
Illusions Onlines’ success in scoring such significant accounts further vindicates why the company was recognised as one of the world’s fastest growing 50 companies in August this year when it picked up the prestigious Fast 50 award – an initiative by The New Europe magazine based on the votes of some of the world’s top directors, CEOs and travel industry notables.
Erkan Tuncaakar, general manager at Go Vacation Sri Lanka, a subsidiary of the second largest tour operator in Germany, The REWE Group, said it “made perfect sense” for all three of Go Vacation’s Asian operations to run the Illusions system.
“There is nothing easier than for us to have the same system as Go Vacation Thailand and Go Vacation Indonesia and to streamline the company once and for all,” he said.
“Also, our tour operator partners in Europe will want to work with the same system or they will find it difficult to work in three different ways.”
Go Vacation Sri Lanka, which was established 10 months ago in recognition of the island nation’s growing tourism industry, provides the full range of passenger handling services and inbound package tour arrangements for international tour operators and their large networks of retail agents. Its head office is in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo.
Illusions has started to implement the DMC’s system that will automate and integrate every aspect of its business including product management, hotel/services contracting, packages and back-to-back series, client profiles and tariff rules, a booking engine, client and supplier documentation, accounts receivables and accounts payables, CRM, logistics and planning modules, as well as Internet booking engines for clients to purchase the entire product range online.
Also included is the XML capability to allow Go Vacation’s client systems to connect to the Illusions system for product pricing, availability and making bookings.
All these functions are integrated into one centralised online system, not only for Go Vacation Sri Lanka, but for Go Vacation Indonesia and Go Vacation Thailand too.
Tuncaakar said the Illusions product would make Go Vacation Sri Lanka a “pioneer” in a travel market devoid of online solutions.
“Go Vacation Sri Lanka, like other DMCs in the country, does not have an automated system at the moment; everything is done manually so we receive a reservation by email and then it is processed by our staff using email and fax,” he said.
“When Illusions is implemented, we will be the only DMC in Sri Lanka to have such a system.”
In addition to driving huge time and cost efficiencies, Tuncaakar said automating the booking process would remove “the human risk factor”.
“It also makes life so much easier for our tour operator partners, providing them with price, availability and reservations confirmed almost instantly, twenty-four seven,” he added.
Providing this type of service to tour operators would secure loyalty, he said “because we will give them no reason to shop around and look for other people to work with”.
Tuncaakar said it was too early to estimate by how much the Illusions system would boost the bottom line because Go Vacation Sri Lanka was a relatively new company. However, he revealed that it would allow the DMC to work with more “non REWE Group tour operators”, hence increasing opportunities to expand the business.
Illusions Online CEO Faisal Memon said signing deals with all three of Go Vacation’s operations in Asia was a real “triumph” and would help the technology company achieve its goal of becoming a “key player” in the vast Asian travel market.
He stressed that one of the key reasons Go Vacation had partnered with Illusions was that unlike other solutions on the market, his product could be rolled out in a relatively short timeframe, yet would still provide the ultimate in automation for its businesses.
“Go Vacation Thailand’s system was implemented in record time – just under three months - and we have nearly finished the set up and staff training process at Go Vacation Indonesia’s three offices. We hope to have Go Vacation Sri Lanka’s system up-and-running by the end of the year,” said Memon.
“There is a lot of technology on the market but for companies who want to build their own tailored systems, the implementation of these solutions takes between one or two years, which in this day and age is far too long.
“Having worked with tour operators and DMCs for more than a decade, we have developed a core product that is pretty much ‘out of the box’ and meets the needs of most, although we still customise our solutions to meet individual requirements. But most importantly we implement our solutions quickly - that’s Illusions’ USP.”
Memon said the customisation of Go Vacation’s system included a seamless interface with Microsoft Navision to have real-time data transfer of all accounting transactions between Illusions and MS Navision, as well as the facility to automatically upload bookings from some of Go Vacation’s top clients.
An added bonus for Go Vacation, he said, was that it would benefit from Illusions Online’s new World Travel eXchange (iWTX).
This allows all Illusions customers, which now includes travel agents, to access and sell one another’s content.
“We have set up a distribution agreement with Illusions clients so they can share product rates, inventory and content and we are the conduit,” explained Memon.
“So our clients all over the world will be able to access and sell Go Vacation’s products and pricing in real time.”
Tuncaakar said: “I will be interested to see how iWTX works; it would be great to get direct access to new partners with an interest in Sri Lanka, all on the same system as us.”
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Illusions is a travel technology company providing unique customized solutions for Tour Operators and DMCs. Responds rapidly to market requirements and uses latest technology to provide with a simple and cost-effective way to book travel.