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Monday, 28 July, 2008, 10 : 00 AM [IST] delays global expansion plans

To enter Italy, UK, Australia and Middle East by October this year, a B2B travel portal introduced in February this year has delayed plans for its global expansion. Currently operational in India and USA, the company now aims to start operations in Italy, UK, Australia and Middle East by October this year. Initially, the company planned to have a global presence by June this year, as reported by TravelBiz Monitor on March 25, 2008. Explaining the cause of delay, Vikas Kannan, Head – Marketing, Global, said, “The delay was mainly due to technical problems and we now target at starting operations in UK, Australia, Italy and Middle East by October this year. The deals with consolidators of these countries are already finalised.” After entering the listed countries, the portal is also considering expansion to China, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand by next year. With an investment of Rs 2.5 crore (approximate), aims to touch a turnover of Rs 400 crore by March 2009.  

The portal which is a part of US-based travel technology company, since its launch in February, had over 10,000 agents and six consolidators from India. In USA, it has registered more than 40,000 travel agents and 15 consolidators from the global market. “We are aiming to register about five consolidators and 10,000 travel agents from each of the new markets where we are expanding,” said Kannan.

Commenting on the service fee concept, Kannan informed that the portal has been working on the service model since inception. “We have been charging consolidators Rs 30 to 50 for each transaction depending on its volume. For agents, we don’t charge anything. We are just a moderator bringing down the services offered by the consolidators worldwide on a single platform for 10,000 Indian agents,” adds Kannan. The portal provides control panel to each consolidator member wherein it (consolidator) can mark up or mark down their own commission levels for each airline and pass on the reaming to the agents. The portal is a part of USA-based.
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