Happy Travel and Tours Corporation, a DMC operating since 1984 in Manila's Chinatown, has gone online with the launch of www.bookmoko.com (Filipino for 'book me) in December 2012.
Bookmoko.com is an online B2B platform with buy-and-sell automation via XML/API, as well as Neptune and ARM login options, described Happy Travel general manager Stephen Sia Tan.
The site's real-time booking engine features hotels with best available rates, transfers and sightseeing tours. Inventory is sourced from a network of 70 OTAs, as well as through direct contracts.
Bookmoko.com also has the ability to power other agencies with a white-label solution.
Currently, payments to Bookmoko.com can be made via bank transfer, while credit card transactions are being sorted out.
Bookmoko.com has opened new areas of business for Happy Travel, particularly in the outbound segment for hotel bookings worldwide and Asian packages.
Tan views the online channel as a supplement to his DMC business. "We see the contribution in this area to be significant after (the site) is up and running over the next 12 months," Tan said. "It involves learning new commercial ideas, implementing a distribution strategy (with a payment set-up on the back-end) and bringing in new staff."
He added that companies with an online presence were also viewed as more advanced and credible. However, he still deals with local travel consultants "the old-fashioned way".
Target Happy Travel used to target East Asian and South-east Asian markets, especially Malaysia. However, within just a few months of being online, Bookmoko.com has secured a diverse range of clients from countries like Turkey, Lebanon, Israel and Singapore.
Tan aims to expand distribution to brick-and-mortars and OTAs in Asia, and build its white label services locally and overseas.