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TAAI Connect empowers

April 5, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) has collaborated with Dubai based IT provider and travel aggregator TP Connect to launch ‘TAAI Connect’, a digital platform to empower its members.  Announcement on IATA NDC Dual Level3 compliant internet booking engine available complimentary to its 2500 plus members was made at 64th TAAI Convention in Srinagar last week.

Sunil Kumar, President, TAAI, said on the occasion: “Our principles are no more airlines or hotels but intermediary middlemen. Online travel agencies are our competitors and hence going online to sell our products has become essential. TAAI Connect is a  digital empowerment program where any agent, even in the remote area of the country and who has limited financial ability to adopt technology, will be connected and be able to offer the level of service that a customer expects today.”

The digital platform comes with the option for members to attach their own portal to the system and utilise integrated ticketing, GDS, payment gateway, mobile applications, corporate booking tool, and upload own products on the B2B as well as B2C compliant platform.  Internet penetration in India is growing rapidly and is expected to reach 635 million by 2021, up from current 460 million.

Sunil Kumar, President, Travel Agents Association of India(TAAI)

Rajendran Vellapalath, CEO, TP Connect, said: “Research shows that more than 50 percent reservations are done on mobile applications. This partnership will create a wealth of new opportunities for India’s travel agents. Digital platform will provide them an edge over competitors not just locally but on a global scale. All integration cost now and in future, will be borne by us.”

TP Connect will also provide technical support. A nominal transaction fee per passenger will be charged for bookings. TP Connect currently works with 7400 travel agencies across the world in digitally enabling them.

The platform provides travel agencies access to rich content as well as ancillary options. The technology will help traveller preferences to be recognized when shopping via a travel agency online, which may not currently be available to individual agents owing to technology limitations.

TAAI MOU signing with TP Connect

Mr Kumar said: “It will help understand one’s customers and their preferences to retain loyalty. TAAI Connect will help TAAI in approaching and negotiating for a product with any worldwide vendor as a single big entity. It will create global opportunities for travel agencies and equip them to compete on a global scale. India will have more inbound, outbound travellers.” TAAI Connect is expected to be up and running in a month’s time. It’s voluntary and open to all members of TAAI.

Mr Kumar said: “The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) share Government of India’s vision of transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. We believe that this initiative will empower travel agencies and help drive creativity to provide cost, convenience and choice to a customer online for a smooth transaction.”

Written by Anand & Madhura Katti

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