IAAI’s new revenue model i-Top to be launched at ICON-2017 in Kochi
The IATA Agents Association of India (IAAI) will be organising its Annual Convention – ICON 2017 – this September in Kochi at the picturesque Cherai Beach. The theme for the Convention is – “Travel Agents by 2030 – Protocols Redefined”. At the convention, IAAI is all set to launch i-Top (Indian Travel-Agents Own Portal), a new revenue model that would safeguard the interests of its members from all the present challenging market conditions. Elaborating on i-Top, Biji Eapen, president, IAAI said, “Today, in this ‘zero’ commission scenario, i-Top will provide users a guaranteed opportunity to earn substantial commission for the sale of NDC airline tickets and also significant remuneration for other services like cancellation, refund, rerouting, date change etc, for which airlines used to charge penalties without giving a share to travel agents. The direct connectivity to airlines will also result in a substantial reduction in Agent Debit Memos (ADMs), since in an NDC environment, the airline makes the offer directly to travel agents.”
He added that i-Top truly represents the changes that are taking place in the Global Information Technology and it can be integrated with IATA functionalities, BSP billing and payment systems or interlining with the NDC and the XML models.
Explaining on how i-Top will offer flexibility to member agents, Eapen informed, “i-Top shall be integrated with overseas medical insurance companies, forex, rail & bus reservations, tour packages, cruise, car rental and all such facilities. i-Top will also facilitate consolidators, OTAs or even any member agents to sell their own products through i-Top to the network users and the user agents will have the flexibility to display all such related services, compare quality, services, trustworthiness, pricing and remunerative benefits that will help them to promote products without any compromise.”
The agent-friendly i-Top offers flexibility for B2B, B2C and B2D and is openly accessible to IATA agents in the ‘Active Member’ category and, with certain limitations, also to the ‘Trade Partner’ category members (tour operators and non-IATA agents).
IAAI has recently signed an exclusive contract with Verteil Technologies for access and distribution of NDC listed airline products through its direct connect platform, “VDC” (Verteil Direct Connect) which is integrated with i-Top.