10 November 2014

Travel technology platform wbe.travel expands its reach

The Romanian travel software developer has been in business since 2003, as part of DirectVision, a fast-growing company that provides complete custom IT solutions to companies worldwide.

“We’ve started to build travel software 9 years ago for a large wholesaler in the Balkans, as a custom made booking system, kicking off a couple of Hotels XML integration and ending up having over 40 hotels, tours, transfers, flights, insurance, and car hire services and a tailored back-office”, said George Dumitru, co-founder and CEO of wbe.travel.

The dedicated online booking platform started to experience rapid growth since it’s official launch as a stand-alone travel software product at 2009’s WTM fair travel fair.

Despite not having a strong sales and marketing team at the time, the company managed to sign up immediately with various start-up travel companies – such as Lebanese wholesaler Book the World – who even today is using wbe.travel to make over 2,500 bookings per month.

By now, wbe.travel has implemented almost 50 projects in 23 countries and completed integrations with the largest travel service providers that range up from hotels, villas, and apartments to flights, transfers, tours, Low-Cost Carriers and car hire. It has also opened a branch office in Dubai, UAE.

“Surprisingly, the travel industry hasn’t changed much since 2009. Everybody seems to forget that back then, the “death” of the traditional travel agent was predicted as a sure thing, but most of them still continue to do business as usual even today” admitted Dumitru.

“But of course, the travel business has changed for our clients as the travelers are getting smarter and agents need to offer them more services at better rates, whilst trying to offer them an engaging customer experience. They need to make use of effective technology and scale-up; otherwise, the competition is going to ruin them”.

Due to a large amount of travel industry information, there is a competitive edge in offering consultancy and guidance for clients and Radu Ciubotaru, Business Development Manager for WBE, is keenly aware of that.

“Our clients are usually companies that have been on the market for 4-5 years and most of them already have a booking system that doesn’t perform 100% of their needed tasks. They need a software upgrade, a wider range of products, wider distribution and they need to offer their clients fully automated travel software. They must gain visibility and credibility both offline and online.”

For instance, one of the major wbe.travel customers – Mubasher Holidays from Kuwait– needed a faster and less prone to failure system to help them distribute their hotels, tours, transfers, home vacations, flights, and car hire services at exclusive rates. Automated accounting and multi-offices set-up are also key features the retailer uses to manage their branch offices in Kuwait and Lebanon and maintain full control over their entire business.

As for the future, wbe.travel finds the overseas presence as the drive of great business opportunities in the GCC area, where the software developer is already serving 20 clients and also expanding the focus on the extremely potent Far Eastern market.

“We are putting together a truly international team in Dubai which will understand the psychology of different nationalities” adds George Dumitru. ”We are genuinely trying to understand each client’s needs and suggest a solution which can boost both businesses: theirs and ours.”

„The most rewarding part of our business is when we see that our clients increase their bookings with our technology. There is a real sense of achievement in seeing their evolution as it implies that our work is making a difference.”

wbe.travel enhances overseas presence and doubles client base in MENA: more than 20 travel wholesalers in the region have been using WBE product line and upturned their online sales.

„We have been putting together a truly international team in Dubai which understands the psychology of different nationalities, as we are trying to get each client’s needs and come up with a solution that can boost both businesses: theirs and ours” says CEO George Dumitru.

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