Singapore: With travel being a must on the itinerary of a growing and discerning bunch of consumers, newer and more customer friendly ways of tieing up arrangements are constantly being offered.
The latest is an online travel portal launched by Singapore based Sprice.com. It offers a one-stop-shop as a search engine for airfares and hotel rates. Users can search and compare prices for travel products from numerous travel websites simultaneously.
According to available research, the average online travel consumer compares prices from at least three websites before making a purchase decision. The Sprice website simplifies this comparison shopping process by enabling travellers to search multiple travel websites without the need to visit each site individually.
Having already established a presence in Europe in the past few months, they unveiled their service in Asian markets on 24 April. Localized websites are already available via Sprice.com.sg (serving Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong) and now Sprice.co.in (India).
Online travel is one of the fastest-growing consumer applications on the Internet and a generator of billions of advertising dollars every year. Advertising revenue for the online travel industry worldwide is expected to reach $25 bn (Rs 112,500 crore) by 2009, with $9 bn (Rs 40,500 crore) coming from travel search alone.
New generation travel search engines like Sprice satisfy consumers’ desire for freedom of choice, access to market prices and direct access to the inventory of travel suppliers. They also meet the growing need of travel operators for a lower-cost, more efficient marketing channel for their services.
According to Rudi Weissmann, who leads the operation of Sprice in Asia-Pacific. “We have the capacity to search millions of airfares and hotel rates. With so much choice available and with detailed information on taxes and surcharges, travellers can compare and select the best deals whenever they choose.
Benefits for Travellers
* Visitors can search and compare airfares and hotel rates from different travel vendors, including travel agents, airlines, hotels and hotel resellers.
* Unlike most other travel sites in Asia, the website displays fare information along with taxes, surcharges and all-inclusive prices, all on a single screen.
* After finding the most suitable travel offer, the traveller can access the relevant vendor website with a single click to make a booking free of charge.
Benefits for Online Travel Companies
* For airlines, hotels and other online travel vendors, the website offers a cost-effective way to reach out to ready-to-buy travellers.
* Those who wish to purchase air tickets will already know their flight details, dates and price, as well as seat availability in most cases, while those needing hotel accommodation will be aware of room rates and facilities.
* When the traveller is redirected to the vendor website, all that remains is to confirm and pay for the reservation.