Wellington, September 3 (JY&A Media)LAWFUEL – Niue Island is making history by installing its very first-ever real-time booking and distribution system as part of developing their main economic industry—tourism. Christchurch-based SAFI Technologies Ltd. won the contract with funding made available from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), undertook an extensive international search and chose Wellington, New Zealand-based Seekom Ltd., developers of an innovative, tailor-made real-time booking distribution system.
‘We were delighted when we found that the best product came from a New Zealand company,’ says Tim Johnson, managing director of SAFI. Mr Johnson says that Seekom’s system won the day as it could handle accommodation, rental vehicles, tours and activities and could provide instant confirmation booking capability not only to the public, but also to the trade.
‘Because Niue has a small product base, it was critical to have a system that could distribute real time availability to international sales channels on a shared, rather than allotment, basis,’ he says. ‘Seekom can provide this.’
‘By bringing our technology up to date, we can level the playing field and compete successfully with first-world countries. We will now be able to give our visitors and business partners the convenience and certainty of real time availability and instant confirmation. Our local tourism operators are very enthusiastic and excited about the system as it will help them improve operating efficiency to boost bookings and increase bottom-line results,’ says Ida Talagi-Hekesi, Director, Niue Tourism.
Seeko’s booking system and GDS has been installed for Niue Tourist Office, according to managing director Simon Casey.
‘While we’re accustomed to developing systems for companies and chains, we’re very enthusiastic about this new agreement with Tourism Niue, which will see us creating one for an entire nation,’ says Mr Casey.
Behind the technology
Mr Casey says that Seekom’s advantage is its ability to connect tourism suppliers and sales channels in real time. When a booking is made by a customer, both the operator and customer know about it instantly. ‘We know that the conversion rate of enquiries to bookings is much higher where the operator can provide instant confirmation. Our GDS enables even the smallest operator to provide real-time inventory to an unlimited number of sales channels because it is not allotment-driven but provides availability on a shared, first-come, first-served basis.’
In the traditional fixed-allocation system, even on the internet, the supplier deals with sales channels and customers separately and does not have an instant handle on what has been booked.
The traditional system causes massive dilemmas for tourism suppliers. They have to wonder about how much inventory to give to a sales channel. They are unsure of what they can sell directly. They also need to log in to a reseller’s website to check on progress or provide updates.
The technical aspects
Seekom calls its booking and GDS system iBex (Internet Booking Exchange). It is run on a central database in an open system environment. It has an XML based interface that uses internationally recognized Open Travel Alliance messaging.
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Seekom was established in 2002 by IT and travel industry professionals with a vision of providing low-cost, functionally rich booking solutions to tourism operators. From its beginnings in accommodation systems, it rapidly expanded to become the leading supplier of rental car booking systems in New Zealand and now offers online booking, management and distribution solutions for wholesalers. Seekom’s website is at www.seekom.com.
About SAFI Technologies
SAFI Technologies (www.safitech.com) is a Christchurch, New Zealand-based company which specializes in IT-related consultancy and services, specifically relating to software development and web based services. SAFI has considerable experience working in the Pacific Islands and has also recently acquired a US-based company to extend its US operations.
Niue Tourist Office
Niue Tourist Office’s website is at www.niueisland.com.
Notes to editors
iBex is a registered trademark of Seekom Ltd. All other trade marks are the properties of their respective owners and are only used in a descriptive fashion without any intention to infringe.
Jack Yan, CEO
Jack Yan & Associates
T 64 4 387-3213, F 64 4 387-3213
E [email protected]
Simon Casey, Managing Director
T 64 4 386-3588
E [email protected]
Tim Johnson, Managing Director
T 64 3 960-2371, F 64 3 960-2953
E [email protected]