SOTA eXchange, a new online marketplace for the travel trade, was launched today (24
March) by specialist solutions provider, Creative Advances Technology. The exchange aims to create new distribution channels for travel agents, attractions, hotels and other tourism industry players, and becomes the latest enhancement in the company’s web-based business solution SOTA XD (Executive Desktop). The dashboard includes a CRM system, business enquiries, invoicing and payment systems. Products and packages are visible online via the company’s own sota.travel website as well as a host of partner websites and social media networks.
More than 1,200 travel and tourism companies in 31 markets worldwide are currently using SOTA XD.
“SOTA eXchange is the definitive one-stop-shop for the travel trade. It increases visibility and market penetration for travel packages and allows agents to conduct transactions safely using PayPal and other secure payment channels,” explained the company’s Chief Operating Officer, Vincent Kok.
“The SOTA eXchange programme includes a margin calculator formula that enables trade buyers to assess, at a glance, potential profit gains from selling packages, hotel rooms and other products acquired online. It is designed to add value to every travel agent’s portfolio.”
The new online marketplace has won backing from Nurfaisal Mohamed, Managing Director (Singapore) at StayinRoom.com. “We sell to other agents and to consumers and I believe that SOTA eXchange will boost our inventory in certain markets,” he said. “We joined the SOTA online revolution because, initially, we wanted to increase market penetration in Malaysia. SOTA eXchange will also help us to generate more business in other short and long haul markets,” added Nurfaisal.
“We’ve seen a noticeable increase in demand since last November and that’s because consumer confidence is returning. Now we must meet this market demand and SOTA is helping us to build our business. We are now converting one in three business leads generated via SOTA. It’s impressive, it’s easy to use and, importantly, there is no inventory cost because we sell on demand. We are more than doubling our staff in Singapore this year to handle these
additional online enquiries,” he said.
SOTA eXchange features include instant access to inventory enables fast response time for agents dealing with customer enquiries, as well as ‘flag indicators’ to indicate fast selling packages. Icons on the system indicate agents’ own packages, repackaged/resell packages.