The leading travel technology specialist, which is rapidly expanding its customer base across Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and in Europe has penned an agreement with Destination Management Firm (DMC) SELECT-SEYCHELLES, providing the luxury inbound travel specialistwith the most cutting-edge solution available in the Indian Ocean travel market.
Under deal terms, SELECT-SEYCHELLES, a B2B operator that excelsin providing a high-quality service to discerning travellers, will adopt ‘Illusions OnDemand’ technology in a bid to help the company realise its expansion plans, achieve greater global visibility and further enhance the level of professional services it offers.
“We are looking to take our business to the next level and this is why we have selected Illusions as our travel technology partner,” explained SELECT-SEYCHELLES managing director and industry stalwart, Freddy Karkaria.
“We needed a company that would match and merge with our savior-faire, quality and vision, enabling us to leverage our unique attributes as a DMC to generate more revenue; not necessarily through a greater volume of passengers, but rather by optimising costs and delivering better yields per passenger.
“A lot of people talk about survival today; that’s a low level aspiration, but that is the equivalent of success in the current economic climate. However, if we achieve survival today, it will pave the way for success in the future once the global economy picks up and the way we will do that is by delivering a top notch service by harnessing the most cutting-edge technology solution on the market - one that provides online dynamic bookings in real time.”
Karkaria stressed that this system would not be installed to replace employees, but to “bring the best out of them and make them more productive and responsive”.
“We will be the first DMC in the Indian Ocean to implement such a system and to automate our business in such a way and once we do this, it will be difficult to match what we offer.”
SELECT-SEYCHELLES signed up to the latest V13 (Version 13) of Illusions OnDemand’s Enterprise solution in July. Karkaria said this off-the-shelf product was far superior to any other system on offer and unlike other solutions, which normally took years to roll out, it would go live in November, with Illusions providing all the necessary training and support within that lightening-speed time frame.
Illusions OnDemand’s Enterprise solution will automate, integrate and centralise almost every aspect of SELECT-SEYCHELLES’
Also included is the XML capability to allow SELECT-SEYCHELLES’
Karkaria said: “One of the most tedious and time-consuming aspects of our business is contracting and this solution will more than halve our workload in this respect. It will also mitigate and limit human error. Implementing Illusions is about simplicity and speed in terms of business functions, leaving the staff at SELECT-SEYCHELLES to focus on what they do best – providing our customers with a high-quality service.”
Tour operators and wholesalers in Italy and South Africa currently generate the highest volume of business for SELECT-SEYCHELLES while Russia, the CIS, the GCC, Germany and Switzerland produce higher-yields per passenger and North and South America are emerging markets.
Karkaria said another key aim for the business was to enhance its visibility globally and Illusions would help SELECT-SEYCHELLES achieve this goal via its unique concept known as Illusions World Travel eXchange (iWTX) system.
The brainchild of Illusions Online founder and CEO, Faisal Memon, iWTXallows the now expansive international network of IOD customers – market-leading tour operators, DMCs and travel agents located across five continents - to access and sell one another’s content.
“This is a distribution agreement with all Illusions clients that enables them to share content and contacts and we are the conduit,” explained Memon.
“As a result of this deal with SELECT-SEYCHELLES, our clients all over the world will be able to access and sell the DMC’s products and pricing in real time,” he continued.
“This is a major coup for both Illusions and our customers given that the Seychelles has traditionally been an ‘offline product’ that is hard to come by and we will be the first to provide direct online access to such a quality proposition in this sought-after destination.”
Excited by the prospect of opening up the SELECT-SEYCHELLES product to a completely new database of elite travel firms worldwide, Karkaria predicted that his business would grow by at least 35% within the next year from a revenue stand point.
“If Illusions is everything we hope it will be – and so far I am impressed by what I have seen – this will be a conservative estimate in terms of the positive impact the system will have on our business,” he said. “By increasing our speed to market through such innovation we hope to become almost omnipresent;
Karkaria said he also planned to embark on a B2C strategy by mid-2013, “and this is where IOL comes in, by developing our website, booking engine and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)”.
“Within a year I want our company to be top of the page when ‘Googling’
Memon said signing the SELECT-SEYCHELLES deal presented a “huge responsibility”
“The solution we are offering SELECT-SEYCHELLES is quite simply, a cut above the rest, with all business functions integrated into one centralised online system offering a fast and efficient web-based product that cannot be found anywhere else on the market,” he said.
“SELECT-SEYCHELLES will be the first DMC in the region to offer rates and availability in real time, offer XML interfacing to all of its clients, connect to a database of world-class travel partners through the Illusions iWTX system, and much more.”
Memon added that because Illusions OnDemand’s solutions sat on a cloud, SELECT-SEYCHELLES doesn’t have to invest in expensive hardware, operating system and database software and IT resources to install, maintain and run the Illusions system with Illusions managing all aspects of the day-to-day running of the system.
“SELECT-SEYCHELLES will also benefit from our constant investment in our product as we continue to improve and upgrade our solutions,” he continued.
“Unlike other travel technology providers, who make the sale and then disappear, we remain in close contact with our clients, providing them with training and support and because our fees are transaction based, we succeed if they succeed.”
Karkaria added: “When we met with Illusions we just clicked; there was chemistry. We share the same vision and aspirations. Illusion is not just a software provider; it’s a partner and a friend.”