Focusing its business solely on agents is a signifier of Excite’s confidence in the survival of consultants, with the company’s general manager Joe Karbo stressing that “there is a future for agents” in Australia.
Speaking to e-Travel Blackboard exclusively, Mr Karbo said while there are hurdles in the industry, every market is being dealt with various scenarios and expects agents to always play a role in the Australian travellers booking plans.
“We believe there is a future for agents, we consider them a part of the family and give them an alternative option,” Mr Karbo said.
“We see sizeable bookings from Australians – some that add up to $10,000 particularly from families and I think that’s where the difference is in the Australian market.
“They also prefer to book four – five star hotels and also the strong AUD and weak Euro continue to play a big factor that keeps the market stable and we’ve seen a lot of new trading.”
Experiencing a 198 percent growth in bookings over the past 18 months, Mr Karbo pinned the company’s success to its dedication to travel agents as well as its move to embrace online.
He said the combination of traditional with the benefit of technological development from consumer sites made Excite a spot for agents looking for a faster option with more choice.
Celebrating its ten year anniversary this year, the company is in the midst of unveiling major technological developments that will help agents during the booking and research process.
Among the online advancement includes a possible GDS alignment as well as next week’s official launch of Activities, a “comprehensive site seeing module” with over 5,000 activities in 330 cities to explore online in real time.
Mr Karbo said the new site was designed to make Excite the “one stop shop” for accommodation, transfer and sightseeing.
This year the company has also been nominated for three AFTA Awards including two in the supplier categories.
Mr Karbo said the nominations were a “monumental achievement” for an Australian company that started with two people and now employs over 80 staff.
“We believe we have superior product out there... we believe we are the most innovative and that we have to work harder to earn the business when others have an open road for business.”
For more information on Excite’s new Activities module, click back onto e-Travel Blackboard next week.
Friday, 22 June 2012
There’s a future for Aus agents: Excite
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J