Simply imposing a Western-based GDS model does not work: Abacus
01/18/2007|4:51:00 PM|Eyefortravel
Abacus International’s annual customer service survey has highlighted the importance of Asia-specific solutions and on-the-ground regional knowledge for GDS. (1/16/2007)

Don Birch, president and chief executive officer, Abacus International said, “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.”

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.

Birch 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 percent and nine percent respectively over last year’s survey. These were among the key attributes for the 88 percent of respondents who identified Abacus as the leading GDS in the Asia-Pacific, according to the company. He 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 seven percent 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 percent over 2005’s survey and contributed to an overall satisfaction level of 95 percent with Abacus’ services and solutions,” stated the company.

“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.”