TravPax 5 fuels new business model
TravPax customers were given a peep preview of the company’s newest product, TravPax Project 5, that is due to launch across the region in mid-2017.
More than 80 of the company’s customers and suppliers attended the TravPax Academy 6 event, in Pattaya over the weekend when TravPax CEO Laurent Maytal officially announced the roll out the new system.
TravPax offers travel companies a complete booking and dynamic travel packaging platform that links them to the inventory of more than 60 global travel suppliers.
Established six years ago the company has grown to become the largest travel IT company in Southeast Asia based on IT staff on its payroll.
Its operational base is in Bangkok where a team of developers have just competed the Beta edition of TravPax 5.
“We have 73 IT staff who have been working on TravPax 5, which will transform our business model from that of a travel IT company to that of a land content GDS,” he told guests attending the event.
Built from scratch and including data collection and feedback from agents, TravPax 5 has a development bill in the region of USD2 million.
“90% of all our profits has gone into R&D, Maytal said, TravPax 5 a new concept with an all-new mobile platform, fast, stable, state-of-the-art tech that supports DMCs and outbound travel firms and just about everyone in travel.”
The company claims a customer base of close to 80 companies that pay a monthly fee to run the in-cloud booking system and travel packaging platform.
The list includes companies in the US, Europe, the Middle East, but the bulk of travel firms using TravPax are in Asia, where the company sees the biggest potential for growth.
They can tap an inventory of online packages and travel services offered by 60 wholesalers and suppliers as well as three major global distribution systems (Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport).
Speed and stability were the two topics the CEO hammered home in his 30-minute presentation that relied heavily on a real-time demo of TravPax 5.
It was impressively fast to watch. In less than a second the system displayed 1,200 hotel rates and availability in Paris, “faster than Agoda,” the CEO claimed. “We can process 20,000 requests in 0.8 seconds flat.”
“We have invested heavily in new cache technology that allows our customers to access the cheapest possible options for their clients in less than a second.”
Another key feature for customers is the ability to set up a network of sub-agents who then have immediate access to create their own website that taps the inventory of their principal. It extends the sales footprint of the TravPax customer allowing them to appoint and supply their sub-agents with an inventory of travel products globally.
TravPax currently offers airline, hotel, attractions, land travel packages, transfers and transport services on a single platform.
But the all-new TravPax 5 fills the product gaps delivering a full range of travel products including insurance, visas, attraction, sports and show bookings car rental, train and fleet management through GPS.
A travel company can identify when a guest has been picked up by limousine and the PNR is updated when the transfer has been completed in real-time.
As TravPax 5 rolls out in 2017, the company’s business model will evolve adding a new revenue stream based on segment booking fees.
Currently it relies entirely on monthly fees from 80 member companies, but as the company migrates from the role of an IT company to that of a land GDS, revenue from segment booking fees will increase.
The migration to distribution fees begins in the Philippines where the company has opened an office with six staff and a country manager recruited from Amadeus.
The priority is to recruit 400 small agents who will use TravPax 5 and pay USD1 per booking segment.
“Collectively small agents have huge buying power, but it is difficult to secure supplier-by-supplier agreements… with our system they have access to the inventory of 60 suppliers and three airline GDS and leading low-cost airlines.”
The Philippines is the test-bed. If the experiment works then it will be replicated in Hong Kong and other markets in Asia with a recruiting target of 3,000 travel agents by 2018.
If that sounds on the low side, TravPax’s CEO points out there are systems that say they have up to 60,000 agents, but he argues that booking data shows 60% are “sleeping agents.”
“Having a network of 3,000 active agents in Asia is huge, the potential is enormous based on segments fees.”
He noted that a single PNR could have 10 segment bookings.
TravPax taps the inventory of 60 suppliers, but day-to-day the system’s biggest clients are using a maximum of 22 suppliers.
“We are covering the world twice offer, in fact 10 suppliers would cover the travel market’s global inventory adequately.”
Commenting on challenges he identifies language.
“In China where we have an office, the system is in Chinese but the content sourced from suppliers worldwide is in English. It has to change… the content has to be translated into many different languages in Asia to tap the full potential online bookings.”