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Survey highlights the importance for GDS providers to `Know Asia`

Abacus International has announced the results of its annual customer service survey recently conducted across 12 markets in Asia. More than 1,000 Abacus-connected travel agents from…

Abacus International has announced the results of its annual customer service survey recently conducted across 12 markets in Asia. More than 1,000 Abacus-connected travel agents from China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam participated in the survey, with the findings highlighting the importance of Asia-specific solutions and on-the-ground regional knowledge for Global Distribution Systems (GDS).

Mr Don Birch, President and CEO of Abacus International said that this year the number of respondents who affirmed Abacus’ role in helping travel agents adapt to changes in the travel environment, and its in-depth understanding of local environments grew by 11% and 9% respectively over last year’s survey. These were among the key attributes for the 88% of respondents who identified Abacus as the leading GDS in the Asia-Pacific.

“Based on this survey’s feedback it is apparent that when it comes to travel, a ‘one size fits all’ approach or simply imposing a Western-based GDS model does not work as well for the complex array of countries, currencies and carriers which make up Asia’s travel industry,” Mr Birch said.

“We are grateful to the many travel agents who took the time to provide their valuable feedback on how Abacus’ solutions and services are working for them. Such detailed feedback from our customers is essential for Abacus to deliver on our commitment to help our travel agent partners make the most of the region’s unique growth opportunities,” Mr Birch added.

Commenting on Abacus’ suite of solutions, Mr Birch added that travel agents also acknowledged the competitiveness of fares offered on the Abacus system, and the adequate range of non-air content available to meet agency needs.

Aside from content, the survey also measured Abacus’ quality of service, with 7% more respondents identifying improvements in this area, particularly in the provision of technical solutions which exceeded expectations, and the effectiveness of Abacus’ sales and marketing programmes, both of which saw gains of 10% over 2005’s survey and contributed to an overall satisfaction level of 95% with Abacus’ services and solutions.

Besides focusing on the areas in which Abacus did well, the survey highlighted some areas for further improvement such as technical support and training, and Abacus will be working on these areas in the year ahead through better response time on technical issues, increasing the availability and schedule of courses by offering a blend of training methods to meet our customers’ needs.

“To remain the leading travel facilitator in the Asia Pacific we must be unstinting in our commitment to Asia and the particular requirements of the travel agents who serve this market which is one of the most dynamic and fastest growing in the world.” Mr Birch said.

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