Asian travel agency counts on the Web

Computerised reservations system vendor Abacus Distribution Systems will get its multimillion dollar Internet travel information and reservation system online by January.

Computerised reservations system vendor Abacus Distribution Systems will get its multimillion dollar Internet travel information and reservation system online by January.

The system, called Abacus Interactive, already provides an online directory of the services provided by various travel agencies and travel vendors throughout the Asia-Pacific. These include Chan Brothers and UOB Travel Planners in Singapore and Peter Stuyvesant Travel Services in Malaysia.

"We intend to differentiate ourselves from our competitors by having a rich local database of travel products and services," says William Liu, president and CEO of Abacus.

For these participants, Abacus Interactive represents an added opportunity. "We already have a Web site, but we plan to link the two together," says a UOB Travel Planners representative. "It will give us a way to reach other customers."

In the coming months, the company plans to add reservation facilities for hotel accommodation, car rentals, tours, travel insurance and airline bookings. "We will also have travel magazines and chat forums in our Web site," adds Richard Kunz, Abacus vice-president of product marketing and business development.

These will be implemented in phases over the coming months, and the company will work with Visa in the upcoming SET trial in Singapore next year.

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