A year ago to the day a new ITC provider launched in South Africa. Part of FlightSite (Pty) Ltd, FlightSiteAgent gives entrepreneurial South Africans the opportunity to become a registered travel consultant, at no cost to them and access the benefits of the group’s R1,5-billion airline spend. It projected 3000 agents would sign-up with its web-based platform within three years. It was wrong. Instead this was achieved within its first nine months. This interest prompted the company to develop a range of new products for its agents to access and sell-on at a mark-up. They were announced today in Johannesburg.
Rian Bornman, Founding Director of FlightSiteAgent says, “When we launched in March 2013 we received less than rosy reviews. This was because our e-platform enables anyone – no prior travel experience required – to become a travel provider, something our industry peers were unsure of. They needn’t have worried 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.”
FlightSiteAgent ticks the regulator’s boxes too and is accredited by industry bodies ASATA and IATA*. It’s also backed by Club Travel which is a subsidiary of Thebe Services, one of South Africa’s leading investment management companies with over R5,5 billion in assets under management.
“Together with our partners our long-term goal is to drive inclusive growth in South Africa. We do this by giving proactive entrepreneurs a “business in a box” or, in other words, the tools to start a financially viable travel business, today,” explains Bornman.
This includes access to highly competitive travel fares which agents can sell on to peers, 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 that is based on the very successful Via.com, an Indian-based ITC that has an annual turnover of R3,6-billion. It also announced that bus tickets on major national carriers are available to agents to sell from Q3 2014.
Jerry Mabena, CEO of Thebe Services says, “The ITC industry creates jobs and generates extra income for part-timers. At a time when South Africa is feeling the financial pinch due to petrol, 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.”
For instance 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 really 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.
For more information about FlightSiteAgent visit www.flightsiteagent.co.za.
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