Citing the growing demand for such content across the region, Abacus’ vice president of marketing, Brett Henry (pictured below) said, “Raja Kamar is a key player in the hotel wholesale industry in Indonesia, which is the first market in which Abacus RoomDeal has been launched.
One of villas in Bali
“With one of the widest networks in terms of major hotel wholesaler content, they were the natural choice in creating Abacus RoomDeal.”
RKI is the company behind the newly-rebranded site of rajakamar.com, an online hotel play offering hotels in Indonesia for domestic travellers. It is backed by the three major travel families of Indonesia – Panorama, Smailing and Dwidaya.
As an investor in Abacus RoomDeal, RKI will be powering the product with its content, technology and customer service. Scott Blume, CEO of RKI, said that this partnership was indicative of “Indonesians’ interest to not only invest domestically but also within the region”.
According to Henry, what makes Abacus RoomDeal different is that “agents receive access to the best nett rates provided by hotel wholesalers, allowing them to determine their own mark-ups, giving them more flexibility and control in the rates they provide to their customers.
“We have carefully selected the best local market wholesalers and now expose these rates to agents to help them drive better value for their customers as well as better profits for their agencies.
“Abacus RoomDeal also features full PNR integration with cancellation and refund capabilities and can be fully incorporated with mid-back office systems, making it simpler for agents to service their customers efficiently.
“All Abacus RoomDeal bookings can be accessed via Abacus VirtuallyThere and Tripcase, allowing travellers to manage their trips seamlessly in a single itinerary while on the go.”
Asked how this product would compare with Travelport’s Rooms And More, he said, “With Abacus RoomDeal, agents can expect better content, better rates, better UI/UX and more opportunities for mark-up margins.”
He said this product would supplement Abacus Hotel which will do over two million room nights this year. “While Abacus Hotel is a published, largely post paid solution targeted primarily at corporate travellers that gives agents more flexibility, Abacus RoomDeal targets mainly leisure and unmanaged corporate travellers.”
While he declined to disclose figures on hotel revenues as a component of overall business, Henry said that hotels were a “material component” and was growing at double digit rates year over year.
GDSs have traditionally struggled with the hotel side of the business, being a predominantly air-led model. But with the market changing, each GDS is making a pitch for the hotel market.
Asked if he had seen more instances of people booking hotel first and then finding a flight (low cost or otherwise) around that, Henry said, “We haven't seen this trend at all in the corporate space and only subtly in the leisure space. The air lead model remains dominant.
“We already have a large hotel business and consider getting hotel right a priority. The addition of a hotel wholesale product is a response to our agency customers need to have non-air products that help them drive higher revenue and profits while offering their leisure and unmanaged business customers the best products at the best price.”
Blume said that for RKI, this was a natural evolution of its B2B and B2C business. “With 88,000 screens out there and even if 25% of them use it to make one booking each, it’s good business.”
He said the product had been well accepted by agents in Indonesia. “They want PNR integration. They are sick of booking and waiting for commissions to come in, and it costs them money to bank the cheques. This solves that problem.”