GTA and Bedsonline have announced that they will consolidate their retail product portfolio and offering globally to rebrand under Bedsonline. GTA’s former sales and marketing director in the Middle East, Africa, Turkey and India, Rami Mashini has been invited on board as the regional sales director, Retail Travel Agents for the Middle East, Africa and India for Bedsonline.
Bedsonline, retail travel agency brand of parent Hotelbeds Group, is the leading global provider of accommodation and complementary travel ancillary products that exclusively caters to travel agents.
Mashini tells TTN what to expect from this newly announced collaboration: improved functionality, an enlarged portfolio of directly sourced and exclusive hotel content, and increased opportunities to upsell high-yielding complimentary travel services, in addition to accommodation offering.
“Consolidated under the newly refreshed Bedsonline brand, GTA retail customers will now migrate onto Bedsonline’s booking platform. This move combines GTA’s retail product portfolio with Bedsonline to provide a significantly enlarged range of exclusively contracted content, increasing the number of hotels from 55,000 to 170,000 available. Functionalities of GTA’s booking platform will also be incorporated into Bedsonline market-leading offering,” says Mashini, who is heading the migration process.
He tells TTN that the pilot was launched in Bahrain and that the Middle East was one of the first markets where they already started the migration for GTA customers. Last month, Mashini and his team met travel agents in Manama and Dubai to celebrate the collaboration, in November they plan to visit Riyadh, Cape Town and key Indian cities to spread the word.
Mashini explains that the migration will really be quite seamless and to make up for any inconvenience to travel agents, as there are several benefits to take home.
Consider how diverse and competitive the product portfolio has become, says Mashini. Over 170,000 hotels are now globally available, out of which more than 90,000 have been directly sourced, making the content both unique and competitively priced. 24,000 transfer routes and 18,000 activities are in place, plus 140,000 cars available for hire – all sourced by a team of over 1,000 contractors globally.
“The only reason I cannot call ourselves a one-stop shop is that we don’t do airlines yet, but everything else – we have got it covered for you,” he says.
The interface is user-friendly and a best-in-class search engine, designed specifically for the needs of travel agents, allows users to filter and compare results in a flexible and practical way. In fact, 70 per cent of existing customers cite the platform as a top factor in choosing the service. Bedsonline’s parent group is the only distributor to operate its own cloud-based, open source data centre and handles up to 1.5 billion searches per day.
Don’t be fooled by the globally scattered numbers though. Bedsonline prides itself on its local knowledge combined with its global offering - local sales teams in every market are armed with significant local knowledge and industry know-how.
“Seeing is believing. I encourage all our travel agents to log in and see the new platform. It is really user-friendly, clutter-free and frankly, quite addictive. Know that my team and I are always on hand, and we speak the language of our travel agents.”
When put together, Bedsonline offers customers a 360-degree travel partner offering that is customer centric and helps partners compete by offering unrivalled technology, the most competitive commercial terms, swift problem resolution and expert team support.
“We are equally keen to work with big travel agencies and small ones, who will surely benefit from us.
“If you are an offline agency, don’t be afraid of staying that way. We will go online for you. We are the tools, we will come in and save you the hassle of endless research. We have a single website where you will truly find all that you are looking for to sell to your customers,” says Mashini.
In June 2017, Tourico Holidays became part of Hotelbeds Group, followed by GTA also joining the group in October; both companies remain independent brands while they are being integrated into the group.
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