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TAAI Connects with NDC4

July 25, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Travel Agents Association of India(TAAI) announced its enhanced TAAI Connect AOP program at its Knowledge Conclave in Mumbai on Friday. Alongside NDC 4 platform that digitally empowers members to be on par with IATA, the association is offering a Joint Bank Guarantee for non-BSP products. Western Region Conclave covering Maharashtra, Gujarat, Pune and Goa chapters had 200 members participating through daylong knowledge sessions at ITC Maratha Hotel.

Sunil Kumar R, President, TAAI, said: “We are currently in IATA’s second phase where electronic tickets have replaced paper tickets. The next ticketless travel phase is soon anticipated by next year with NDC One Order. It’s not possible for every member to pay a fee of $4960 for utilising NDC alone. Hence, TAAI would like to empower it’s members in keeping pace with fast evolving  technology. TAAI Connect is now NDC4 certified and puts members on par with IATA and will enable them to be online with tailor-made travel offers providing more choices to end-customers.”

The AOP is an extension of TAAI Connect program that was launched in March 2018. Technology provider TPConnects has now upgraded the association digital platform to IATA’s latest NDC4 and  provides members with their own websites, mobile applications, corporate booking tool and B2B platform with internet booking engine and payment gateway.

Bhavesh Oza, Director, Blue star Travel Services, said: “OTA (Online Travel Agency)business has increased from 30 percent of total travel business to 41 percent in three years and mobile business has doubled in five years. But having an own digital platform is an expensive and cumbersome affair. Our website started in 2010 crashed and we had to re-do it. It’s ultimately a profitable proposition- for our travel partner strength has increased from 500 to 25000 in nine years. All this with less manpower and with error free solution.”

MakeMyTrip, India’s leading OTA spends 8 percent of its revenue on technology. DELOITTE, Expedia and other leaders also spend a sizeable budget on technology.

TAAI Connect enables travel agencies to have access to rich content as well as ancillary options. Travellers will be able to have their preferences recognised when shopping via a travel agency’s or online travel site in the same way that they are available on an airline’s website – a service that may not be directly available to agents today owing to technology limitations.

Rajendran Vellapalath, CEO of TPConnects, said: “It’s a mature platform with digital advantage that provides access to corporate, sub-agency as well as customer booking opportunity and opens to a wealth of new opportunities for India’s travel agents, not just locally but on a global scale. GDS will be obsolete in some time and TAAI connect will be the only intermediary between agents and service providers.” He added that 40 airlines have already integrated with TAAI Connect and 11 are in the pipeline. 46 non-air suppliers like Expedia, Agoda and Rental cars are on board too, with 12 others in the negotiation stage. 27 payment gateways are integrated that include Wire card and Pay Fort and 9 more are in the pipeline.

Rodney D’Cruz, Asst. Director, IATA-Passenger & Cargo Services -India, Nepal & Bhutan, said: “India has 3651 IATA agents and 110 airlines in BSP. 283 new agents have registered in the last financial year, as against 148 who have given-up membership. New Gen ISS under 812 Resolution has four pillar startegy that ensures safer selling and 3 standards of Accreditation that include Go Lite, Go Standard and Go Global. New Go Lite membership that needs no financial security, where a member can use his credit card or IATA’S Easy pay option, is growing quickly in India with already 327 enrolments.”

Mr Kumar said: “There are two levels for joining TAAI Connect. The agent has to first enrol as a  member which is provided complimentary and secondly join AOP at a nominal fee of INR 2000($29) and provide financial guarantee. The AOP will include joint bank guarantee for non-air products as well and the coverage will be proportionate to the deposit made by the member.” Yes Bank is ready to provide the common payment gateway through its virtual card for all TAAI connect members.

TAAI is organising Knowledge Conclaves across  five Indian regions to educate members on latest trends and opportunities in travel business. Having already finished in New Delhi and Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Indore will be the next destinations for the same.

Written by Anand & Madhura Katti

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