Sabre, the travel technology company, recently held a major event for the travel trade in Sri Lanka, with the aim of showcasing the company’s solutions and advancing the country’s online travel sector.
More than 240 members of Sri Lanka’s travel industry joined the event at the Movenpick Hotel in Colombo, where Sabre introduced “WebStart” – a white label internet booking engine which allows travel agencies to take their operations online.
This is in response to the rapid expansion of Sri Lanka’s online sector; in 2016 more than 300,000 new internet subscriptions were recorded in the country, increasing nationwide online penetration 30%. The total number of internet users in Sri Lanka now exceeds six million.
“Sri Lanka is a high growth market for mobile and internet adoption, so online shopping presents a major new opportunity for businesses here. Meanwhile national GDP growth and an expanding middle class with more propensity to travel is fuelling a strong outbound tourism market,” said Jeet Sawhney, Sabre Travel Network’s regional director for South Asia.
“Agents using WebStart can service their customers more efficiently through a simple online booking process that combines access to the best available air fares and more than 300,000 hotel properties worldwide – amongst hundreds of other non-air options – with dynamic packaging and extensive cross-selling opportunities,” commented Sanjika Perera, Sabre Travel Network’s country manager for Sri Lanka.
“Through a local payment gateway provided by Sampath Bank, travellers can book multiple travel services in one single transaction.”
The Sri Lankan agents were also shown Sabre’s TripCase mobile travel itinerary management app, which is designed to allow agents to stay in touch with their clients during their trip, and new data analytics tools incorporated into the WebStart solution.
“We’re effectively giving travel agents the complete package to market and sell travel more effectively: the right platforms – online, the broadest mix of global travel content, but also the market and consumer insights needed to tailor their offering according to the traveller,” Perera concluded.