Hamish Kaumaya, director of sales and marketing at Sunset Faraway Holidays, a long-haul specialist that partnered with Dubai-based Illusions more than nine years ago, said the travel technology firm’s V13 was a “critical”
“It’s difficult to quantify how beneficial V13 will be as we have just set it up, but the potential is huge,” he said.
“But one of the key aspects for us is speed to market with our rates, whether it’s our wholesale, homeworker or online division. In this day and age, people want a quote for hotels there and then; customers don’t want to wait and the trade can’t afford to.”
Kaumaya said that as a result of implementing V13, the 25 homeworkers that Sunset had set up as its new retail arm since March no longer needed to waste time contacting the firm’s call centre, but could access rates immediately, boosting sales for the company and the individual.
“This division has already generated £1.5 million and is on track to increase to £5 million by the end of the year and £15 million within two years,” he revealed, acknowledging the “essential”
He also noted how V13 would revolutionise the tour operator’s online business – www.luxuryholidaysdirect.com, which until now had involved manual processes as far as updating rates and fulfilling bookings was concerned.
“We have an 80% drop off because we don’t offer an online quoting system but with V13, we will provide quotes, including discounts, within seconds, which is fantastic,” Kaumaya added.
“Not only that, but the multi-service booking engine will provide the ability to book hotels and transfers in just one click; at the moment it takes 25 clicks.”
V13 also integrates with Amadeus for flight pricing so users can quote the entire package.
“Moving forward the system will allow us to quote and book multi-centre stays – there is no other system in the world that does that,” Kaumaya revealed.
Faisal Memon, the founder and CEO of Illusions, which this year celebrates its 15th anniversary, said V13 was by far the “most advanced online booking engine on the market for inbound and outbound tour operators”.
Some of the key features of the new solution include: a price predictor to find the best deals according to hotel star ratings; a Price Calendar Matrix providing a 7x7 calendar around the dates of search to find the best deals; a Rating/Chain Price Matrix allowing users to filter searches based on star ratings; Smartphone Compatibility;
“V13 has been under development and constant improvement by the product development team for over a year,” added Memon.
He stressed that the functionality, speed and efficiency of V13, combined with its ease of use, meant Illusions was characteristically “ahead of time” with this cutting-edge solution.
“Not only that, but we roll out our solutions quickly, which is imperative in today’s world where time waits for no one, particularly in the fiercely competitive travel industry environment where end users, whether travel agents or consumers, want information, prices, availability and the functionality to book online, immediately and in real time,” Memon added.
“The travel trade can count on Illusions to provide all of this and more – we are one step ahead of the game and always will be.”
Kaumaya said upgrading to V13 meant the “building blocks”were now in place to grow Sunset Faraway Holidays over the next10 to 15 years.
“With the iWTX, Illusions is not just providing us with technology to run our business but also making hotels, transfers and sightseeing products all over the world from their global customer-base network, available to our internal reservation users, travel agents and consumers – over and above our contracted products which are already loaded in Illusions,” he said.
“Using the right technology company is essential if you are to become a pioneer in the travel world and Illusions, guided by its founder and CEO, Faisal Memon, delivers as it continues to take its product to the next level,
“Illusions powers our entire business; switch off the system and you are effectively switching off our business.”