Indian e-tourism firm sets sights on KSA

Intellect Data Systems (IDS) looks to providing travel technology to cater to Hajj pilgrimage market

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By  Brid-Aine Conway Published  June 15, 2008

Intellect Data Systems (IDS) is aiming to conquer the Hajj pilgrimage market with its travel technology systems, according to managing director, Suresh John.

"The next big market that we are looking for is Saudi Arabia. We are operating out of Dammam and out of Jeddah. We hope that in the next few months we will go into Makkah and other markets which are huge markets which traditionally have been not too technologically inclined.

"These markets depend on Hajj tourism - lots of apartments, hundreds and thousands of them. We believe that they could be provided with technology as well as being linked on the web so that Muslims who want to make their annual pilgrimage could actually go out and make electronic bookings - and I don't think that's available now. Today they are all dependent on their traditional travel agents when they go there. But if we network all these apartments together, put them onto a portal, and then get them across to the world wide web, that could be really helpful," he said.

John was speaking at last week's Hotel Show, during which the company also announced the release of the 2.0 version of its Fortune iBooking engine for online and real-time reservations for Middle East markets.

IDS already has a large presence in the MENA markets, with "400 odd" hotels spread across the region, according to John, and he is confident the new system will boost regional growth.

As well as online booking engines, IDS also provides ERP systems to hotels. Many of its services are multi-lingual, eg Arabic and English, so that the same network can be used in the same hotel by different users.

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