It’s a fair eXchange as SOTA launches online marketplace for travel trade
Kuala Lumpur, March 24, 2011 – A new B2B online marketplace for the travel trade is set to boost business opportunities across the industry. SOTA eXchange, launched today (24 March) by specialist solutions provider Creative Advances Technology, creates new distribution channels for travel agents, attractions, hotels and other tourism industry players.
SOTA eXchange is the latest enhancement in the company’s web-based business solution SOTA XD (Executive Desktop). This is an online dashboard that offers a 24/7 total management capability embracing a CRM system, business enquiries, invoicing and payments. Products and packages are visible online via the company’s own sota.travel website as well as a host of partner websites and social media networks.
More than 1200 travel and tourism companies in 31 markets worldwide are already using SOTA XD to create increased awareness and to generate more direct sales.
“SOTA eXchange is the definitive one-stop-shop for the travel trade. It increases visibility and market penetration for travel packages and allows agents to conduct transactions securely using PayPal and other secure payment channels,” explains Chief Operating Officer Vincent Kok.
“The SOTA eXchange programme includes a margin calculator formula that enables trade buyers to assess, at a glance, potential profit gains from selling packages, hotel rooms and other products acquired online. It is designed to add value to every travel agent’s portfolio.”
The new online marketplace has won backing from Nurfaisal Mohamed, Managing Director (Singapore) at StayinRoom.com, a fast-expanding online travel business with roots in Australia. “We sell to other agents and to consumers and I believe that SOTA eXchange will boost our inventory in certain markets,” he said.
“We joined the SOTA online revolution because, initially, we wanted to increase market penetration in Malaysia. SOTA eXchange will also help us to generate more business in other short and long haul markets,” added Mr Nurfaisal. “We’ve seen a noticeable increase in demand since last November and that’s because consumer confidence is returning. Now we must meet this market demand and SOTA is helping us to build our business.
“We are now converting one in three business leads generated via SOTA. It’s impressive, it’s easy to use and, importantly, there is no inventory cost because we sell on demand. We are more than doubling our staff in Singapore this year to handle these additional online enquiries,” he said.
SOTA eXchange features and benefits include:
ease of use
- instant access to inventory enables fast response time for agents dealing with customer enquiries
- flag indicators’ indicate fast selling packages
- icons indicate agent’s own packages, repackaged/resell packages at a glance
- opportunities for expansion through new distribution channels
- ability to offer broader range of products to more destinations
- no inventory costs
- agents gain direct access to global sellers
March 24, 2011