ONLINE travel bookings soared 30 per cent in the second quarter of 2009 as more travel agents use the Internet to reach out to new clients, with Abacus International expecting its online segment volume (bookings through the Abacus system coming through online sources) to increase 10 per cent this year.
The majority of these online players are traditional travel agents who have invested in the online platform to complement their brick-and-mortar bookings, with Abacus vice-president channel management Patrick Lai saying the Zuji's of the region remain only a handful of players.
The 30 per cent growth in Q2 2009 was on top of a 13 per cent growth in Q1 2009 - the only channel that remained stable and, indeed, was the star performer in the volatile market of the past 12 months.
More agents are urged to invest in the online space. Small and medium-sized agencies need not think the investment is beyond their reach, assures Abacus vice-president marketing Brett Henry, who points out that technology costs are now cheaper while solutions to create an online shopfront are easy and quick to set up.
Online bookings are expected to be fastest growing in South Korea, Malaysia, China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand.
"Agency business owners who got into it two to three years ago are now reaping the benefits," Henry said.
Source : TTG
[tags : malaysiahotelnews hotels malaysia resorts news travel tourism travel tourism news]