07 Apr Tech-savvy FlightSiteAgent creates over 3000 travel agents
It’s been a year since FlightSiteAgent, an innovative travel platform, hit the South African market. FlightSiteAgent forms part of Thebe Tourism Group subsidiary, Club Travel, and gives entrepreneurial South Africans the opportunity to become registered travel consultants at no cost to them.
At the launch of FlighsiteAgent, it was projected that 3000 agents would sign-up with the web-based platform within three years, but this target was achieved within the first nine months.
“When we launched in March 2013 we received less than rosy reviews. This was because our e-platform enables anyone to become a travel provider, even without any prior travel experience,” says Rian Bornman, founding director of FlightSiteAgent. “There was no reason for concern as our agents are well supported, receive regular training and the platform is water-tight when it comes to 3D secure online payments and fraud detection.”
The long-term goal is to drive inclusive growth in South Africa. “We do this by giving proactive entrepreneurs a ‘business in a box’, in other words, the tools to start a financially viable travel business,” explains Bornman.
This includes access to highly competitive travel fares which agents can sell on to peers, colleagues, family or friends at a capped mark-up under their own brand; 24/7 ticketing support; a dedicated account manager to assist with client queries as well as an efficient web-based platform. FlightSiteAgent is also accredited by national and international industry bodies.
The model removes all barriers to entry into the travel industry because no Galileo or Amadeus experience or training is necessary to use the FlightSiteAgent web-based platform. FlightSiteAgent’s success depends on how many entrepreneurs it helps to become successful travel business owners. As the turnover generated through the network of travel agents grows, FlightSiteAgent will be able to negotiate better rebates with the airlines that rely on the platform for getting customers. FlightsiteAgent also announced that bus tickets on major national carriers are available to agents to sell from the third quarter of 2014.
“At a time when South Africa is feeling the financial pinch due to fuel, food and interest rate hikes, and our unemployment rate hovers around 25%, providing income opportunities is very compelling, not to mention good for our economy,” says Jerry Mabena, CEO of Thebe Services.
An agent can earn up to R50 000 a month by selling 5 international tickets per day. “They can work full-time, part-time, at night or on weekends. How much they want to sell is up to them; we are just the product provider,” says Bornman.
To become a registered agent, there are no sign-up fees, monthly payments, contracts or deposits. South Africans with a passion for travel just need an internet connection, email address and mobile phone. While FlightSiteAgent’s headquarters are in Tygervalley, Cape Town, its network of affiliated agents can work anywhere in South Africa.
Originally posted here.