Claudia Bortas, the Head of Marketing of wbe.travel invited Sabin Tarsoaga, CEO of Tale Travel for a quick talk about their company’s evolution, software usage and future plans for their travel business. After one initial trial with in-house tech development and 3 years of using software from an Israeli company, Tale Travel’s business grew to a level where they needed more automation and more selling options, so wbe.travel was for them the obvious choice.
Claudia – wbe.travel: Can you introduce Tale Travel to us and your travel tech experience?
Sabin – Tale Travel: We met in the 2000s and we saw that our most memorable stories or “tales” were the ones related to our trips abroad. We were coming from international banking institutions or the most prestigious travel organizations in our country but we all had a thing in common: our desire to travel. So in 2016 after building up a huge network of agents and experience, we launched Tale Travel. It all started with a local partner for IT Development and 2 years later we migrated to an IT house from Tel Aviv. The second system suited our needs after the initial launch phase, but now we wanted to upgrade both from a feature and a distribution (via XML) standpoint, so after tens of online demos and proposals we ended up signing with your company. We knew about wbe.travel from 10 years ago when you were called Web Booking Expert and we’ve followed your evolution, in parallel with ours, with great interest to the point where we really needed your solutions.
Claudia – wbe.travel: What makes Tale Travel unique in the travel market?
Sabin – Tale Travel: I would say that our main differentiator is that we foresaw the current crisis, unlike our former competitors who operated in the region. While I could go on about for hours about the team’s expertise and our stellar 5-star service in fighting for refunding full amounts to clients that had non-refundable bookings, in reality, the most important differentiator is the fact that we anticipated the catastrophe that the travel sector will go through and we kept all of our XML suppliers up to date with payments. This means that we are now in a unique position where we are very well funded and we can provide tens of XML/API suppliers plus the added safety of a stable and future proof company to anyone who wants to connect via XML/API to us.
Claudia – wbe.travel: What services are you most famous for?
Sabin – Tale Travel: Traditionally we have been an accommodation first wholesaler. We’ve got a 900% increase in business in our 3rd year of operation and this was achieved just by having an extended portfolio of accommodations from the major BedBanks + all the major OTA players (something that very few are able to successfully achieve). Now with us upgrading to wbe.travel we will launch a full suite of new services to further solidify our regional leadership position. Rent a Car, Transfers, Villas and Flights are all going to be rolled out into our new platform.
Claudia – wbe.travel: What are your immediate plans for 2021?
Sabin – Tale Travel: First and foremost we want to present our new platform to key partners on a one by one basis via Zoom calls and get their direct feedback. We want to show off all the new features and set up strategic white labels with our key partners. Of course, all of this until we can organize our major event in Bucharest for our launch party.
Second, we have a very considerable investment budget that will allow us to grow in the Balkan region – our main goal and one of the main reasons we chose the upgrade to wbe.travel’s system was the Contracting and Extranet engine and the connectivity to Chanel Managers. We want to leverage this budget and catch the travel boom with a lot of our own inventory in 2021 and beyond.
Third, we have signed a Premium Plus partnership with wbe.travel which is going to further smooth out our API offering for 2021 and beyond.
Claudia – wbe.travel: As a final thought, how did you see the impact on 2020 and on the future business?
Sabin – Tale Travel: Well, the impact is still being felt and it hasn’t yet finished. I am already seeing new content and payment restrictions from all suppliers across the board. I think that Wholesalers are going to be more careful in the future about overleveraging and giving out free credit. While on the longer term I believe that everything will go back to normal, for at least a few years there will be a scarcity of stable XML wholesalers and travel agents will need to work with a handful of players on a regional level and entrust them with a far larger portion of their business than before. On a 2 to 3 year timescale, Tale Travel will be a wholesaler that will have at least 20-30% of everyone’s business and we now have the full power to achieve this.
Claudia – wbe.travel: Thank you for your time and for the great insights.
Sabin – Tale Travel: It was my pleasure. I look forward to our next talks about travel tech.
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