13 July 2001
Anytours Enterprises, a Hong Kong travel agent and tour operator, has this month launched an online booking service with an instant confirmation function for flights departing from Hong Kong.
It plans to launch an online hotel booking service later this year, and after that wants to expand the flight booking service to include flights departing from other Asian cities.
Anytours is now negotiating with travel agents and airlines in other Asian countries to help it expand its flight booking service, but this will take at least another year to launch, said Josephine Wong, managing director.
Anytours needs to forge relationships abroad to ensure that it can get special fares, she said. Singapore and Bangkok may be the first cities it sells flights from, she said, adding that fares are very cheap from Bangkok.
At the moment, customers using the flight booking service cannot pay online, although they can e-mail their credit card details which will be processed manually.
Some customers, especially in Asia, remain cautious about giving credit card details online, although this may change
as they start to realise how convenient the service can be, said Veena Dansinghani, Anytours’ marketing supervisor.
Anytours plans to introduce a payment gateway, she said, declining to give a time frame.
She added that Anytours hopes that, eventually, 50 percent of its clients will use the online booking engine.
Anytours, which also sells tour packages and online insurance, currently has an annual turnover of over US$10 million.