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Solea Vacances: “The new BtoB software is going to revolutionize our way of working”

Interview with Guy Zekri, Solea's Executive Director

Solea Vacances is releasing a new 2015/2016 brochure with an enlarged accommodation offer on Mauritius. The tour-operator is also preparing to launch a new BtoB software developed with Amadeus/Gestour. Focus on the company’s new developments with its Executive Director, Guy Zekri.

Rédigé par Pierre Coronas translated by Joséphine Foucher le Mercredi 26 Août 2015

Solea Vacances is developing its accommodations offer in Mauritius- Screenshot
Solea Vacances is developing its accommodations offer in Mauritius- Screenshot - Solea Vacances has recently released its new 2015/2016 brochure. Any new developments to announce?

Guy Zekri: “The main novelty of this brochure is that we’re opening up in Mauritius.

Until now, we only sold Sun Resorts hotels. From now on, our accommodation offer on the island has expanded.

We added several hotels to our catalogue: Shangri-La's Touessrok Resort & Spa 5* luxury, One&Only Saint Géran 5* luxury, Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita 5* luxury, Anahita Resort Villas 5*, The Residence Mauritius 5*, Maritim Resort & Spa 5*, Riu Coral and Créole 4*, the Véranda Grand Baie 3*, Sands Mauritius Resort & Spa 4* and 3 boutique hotels : 20°Sud4*, Tamarina 4* and Lakaz Chamarel 4*.

We also integrated apartments and villas, specifically in partnership with Evaco.

These solutions can be suitable for those with tighter budgets or for travelers who already visited Mauritius and who are looking for a different experience than a hotel stay.

The villas are located in the North of the island. They offer various services to their occupants such as cleaning, or private access to a beach to which we can transport them.

We are now everywhere in Mauritius and can be regarded as true specialists on the destination.” - The brochure is also offering an extension possibility to Rodrigues…

G.Z.: “Yes, we have three hotels referenced there: Cotton Bay, Bakwa Lodge and Tekoma.

Rodrigues is an island that somewhat reminds of Mauritius 50 years ago. It is home to a large bird sanctuary and enables visitors to live a different experience.

It is another approach from Mauritius because Rodrigues’ inhabitant are 100% creoles.”

Guy Zekri is the Executive Director of Solea Vacances - Photo : Linkedin
Guy Zekri is the Executive Director of Solea Vacances - Photo : Linkedin - You are soon going to launch a new professional operating software developed with Amadeus/Gestour TO. What are its characteristics?

G.Z.: “It is the culmination of a project initiated 18 months ago. It will be launched officially mid-October 2015.

After a full study of our needs, we created a new back-office that works in XFT. It integrates, among others, a powerful and very comprehensive air transport engine that allows to create dynamic packages via Amadeus.

Travel agents can find the best airline rates with the possibility of juggling around the departure dates. And once the flights are selected, the software creates the PNR automatically.

This tool is going to revolutionize our way of working. It will enable our partner travel agents to be more responsive on air transport.

The professional software also offers a quote-making tool that integrates data sheets on hotels with photos and eventual cancellation conditions along with rates. The agents who use it have the possibility of adding the logo of their agency and administrative fees without the client seeing it.” - How will partner travel agents be able to use this new tool?

G.Z.: “We’re going to connect directly with Selectour Afat, Havas Voyages, Leclerc Voyages, Carrefour Voyages and Look Voyages on their respective Intranet. Meaning that agents will not even need to log into our professional website.

Training workshops are also being organized. Our sales representatives are going to conduct demonstrations inside agencies and we are most probably going to establish e-learning material.” - This new solution should enable you to increase your productivity…

G.Z.: “This is the objective. There was a true demand for the evolution of our BtoB system.

I hope that, from now on, all simple reservations will be made online. This will enable us to free up our reservations platform for more complicated products that have high added-value.” - Are you satisfied with the listing conditions of the different networks for which you’re working?

G.Z.: “It is all a question of negotiation. Obviously, everybody is always looking to pay the least commission possible.

But I can say that we are globally satisfied with our listing conditions. I prefer working with 4 or 5 networks in great conditions rather than absolutely wanting to collaborate with everybody.” - Are you optimistic for 2015?

G.Z.: “I’m rather optimistic, we have a good rhythm. Mauritius is in great shape. Along with the Seychelles that now have 3 direct flights. However, it is more complicated on the Maldives where we’re feeling a market disaffection.

Zanzibar is doing quite well since we’re now recording 1,500 clients per year. Furthermore, the flight offer is expanding with the arrival of Qatar Airways.

However, I lament the recommendation ambiguities from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tanzania that, in my opinion, are stalling the destination.”

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