Abacus International, Asia Pacific’s leading provider of travel solutions and services, today announced a new collaboration with PayPal, a world leading online payment provider, to equip travel companies with the solutions needed to stay ahead in the fast-changing online travel industry. Abacus will integrate PayPal as a payment option in their ready-to-go online booking engines, Abacus WebStart and Abacus WebConnect. These integrated solutions will enable more than 20,000 travel agencies located across Asia Pacific to have an online presence and transaction capability in one easy step.
The online travel market in the Asia Pacific is projected to see double-digit growth through 2012, remaining the fastest-growing travel region globally through 2013, when it is expected to reach US$357 billion*. According to the recent PayPal Online and Mobile Shopping Insights study, travel was the number one category for online purchases accounting for S$263 million in Singapore**.
Abacus WebStart is a full-featured, ready-to-go online booking engine specifically built for travel agencies to get their brand online quickly, at near zero cost. Abacus WebConnect is a tool kit that enables travel suppliers to build and deliver a robust booking engine that lets their customers shop and book their travel online anytime, anywhere. PayPal’s integration with these online solutions provides travel companies the ability to make travel transactions from day one, especially to the large pool of existing PayPal customers, encompassing more than 113 million active users across 190 markets globally.
Robert Bailey, President and CEO of Abacus International said, “Consumers today are making more travel bookings online and travel agencies want to gain a competitive advantage in addressing this trend. By integrating PayPal into Abacus WebStart and Abacus WebConnect, travel agencies can now look forward to an effective platform to start an online business with the added benefit of being transaction-ready. In addition, a strong global brand like PayPal is a real boon to travel agencies as it instills a certain level of confidence and trust to global travellers who may be initially wary of purchasing travel packages or flight tickets from unknown travel agency websites."
"With e-commerce and the online travel market growing rapidly in Asia, PayPal is committed to enabling easier, more flexible and more secure payments to help travel agencies expand their business online and be paid for travel bookings by millions of consumers worldwide. By working with Abacus, travel agencies will be able to boost their online sales by offering a simpler, more convenient shopping experience to book and pay for their online travel,” said Faraz Ahmed, Head PayPal Southeast Asia and India.
Singapore travel agency, Maple Travel was the first to innovatively use Abacus WebStart and PayPal in July to enable direct bookings for TransAsia Airways flight tickets via Facebook. This functionality allows Facebook users in Singapore to book and pay for their flights to Taiwan on TransAsia Airways through a “book on Facebook” tab within Facebook on TransAsia Airways’ Singapore fan page, removing the need to navigate to TransAsia Airways’ website.
Tan Meng Aun, Director, Maple Travel Pte Ltd said, “Facebook was the first of several new and unique channels that we have earmarked as high-potential growth segments for the regional travel industry. Having successfully leveraged on the technologically advanced Abacus WebStart engine and its seamless integration with PayPal’s online payment solution, Maple Travel is now laying the groundwork to pave the way for future up-and-coming online travel innovations.”
* PhoCusWright’s Asia Pacific Online Travel Overview Fifth Edition
**PayPal Online and Mobile Shopping Insights survey in 2012
Source = Abacus International