Local tech company, Go4IT Africa, has developed an accessible solution for South African SME guesthouses to access a GDS platform and plug into mass agent distribution channels around the world.
Johannesburg-based Go4IT Africa, previously known as GetLocal Solutions, has recently rebranded to a company name more fitting to its expanded global operations and technology developments.
Travel News caught up with ceo, James Elstob, to find out about the creation of the company’s new travel industry ecommerce platform.
James said a large travel agency was now his anchor client. “They approached us with a list of 7 000+ South African SME guesthouses which they had vetted and were promoting as accommodation for their corporate clients. As all properties were small establishments, their consultants were booking these properties offline by calling or emailing them to check availability and make reservations. They asked for our help in automating this process to speed up their consultants’ workflow,” said James.
Using a Go4IT Africa’s Central Reservation System (CRS) app, which can be accessed on a mobile phone, SME guesthouse owners can now manage online availability of their properties. This availability then flows through the Inventory Management System, displaying on Amadeus, which allows all that agency’s travel consultants around the country to book these small guesthouses through their GDS, for the first time. Additionally, these small guesthouses will also be able to sell their inventory through booking.com, Expedia, Agoda, Airbnb, Google Travel and Hostelworld through the free channel manager that comes with the platform.
James said through this GDS connection, all travel agents plugged into Amadeus around the world could now book these previously offline small South African accommodation providers.
“The best part is that it is entirely free for the guesthouses to load their availability, which means that South African SME establishments, which previously had no budget for travel agent distribution channels, are now connected globally. Guesthouses only have to pay across commission when bookings are confirmed by an agent or OTA.”
He said, to assist the guesthouses further, Go4IT Africa was also offering to build them their individual websites to showcase their properties and take direct bookings online for the first time. “There is a small cost for us to build and manage a website for a guesthouse but the establishment gains all the SEO advantage of its marketing efforts as our sites do not include any iframes or redirect buttons.”
Travel News previously reported that Go4IT Africa had opened offices in New York as ‘Go4IT USA’. James said that business was now up and running, promoting and selling the company’s new core IT solutions to US travel companies.