Abacus launches National Distribution Company in Pakistan

Travel News Asia 2 March 2005

Abacus International today launched a wholly owned national distribution company in Pakistan, and forecast that Pakistan travel and tourism would experience unprecedented growth in 2005.

The new company, Abacus Distribution Systems Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd, was officially launched in Karachi today. Don Birch, Abacus President and CEO, said restructuring its operations underlined Abacus commitment to the Pakistan travel industry and would enable the company to better serve its travel agency partners, travel suppliers and customers.

Pakistan is an exciting growth market for travel, and were looking forward to helping the Pakistan travel industry make the most of the opportunities ahead, Mr Birch said. Along with China and India, Pakistan is expected to be one of the fastest-growing travel and tourism markets in the region over the next decade, contributing to 5 per cent of GDP and accounting for more than 4 per cent of employment, Mr Birch said.

I believe that 2005 will be the best year ever for travel and tourism in Pakistan. But as with other fast-growing markets, it will be important that the travel industry has the technology and infrastructure to manage that growth, and this is where Abacus has a role to play, Mr Birch said.

The World Travel and Tourism Council expects travel and tourism demand in Pakistan to grow 6.9 per cent between 2004 and 2014.

Abacus has been established in Pakistan since 1997 and to date, has offices across 8 cities in Faisalabad, Islamabad, Karachi, Kharian, Lahore, Multan, Peshawar and Sialkot. In October 2004, Abacus Distribution Systems Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd took over the operation of all Abacus users in Pakistan from Abacus former distributor.

On 23 October 2004, Abacus signed a joint venture distribution agreement with Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). Under the agreement, PIA content would be distributed through the Abacus system exclusively. Since October last year, Abacus has established a Head Office in Karachi. Concurrently, Abacus Distribution Systems Pakistan has successfully migrated more than 650 travel agencies on the PIA system to the Abacus family.

Kenneth Low, Abacus Vice-President for South Asia region, will oversee the operation of Abacus Distribution Systems Pakistan. Shazina Masud, Deputy General Manager, Abacus Distribution Systems Pakistan based in Karachi will report to Kenneth.

Kenneth has a wealth of regional experience in information technology, sales and marketing, and is delighted to be playing a central role in increasing Abacus presence in Pakistan and strengthening relationships with our travel agencies and suppliers, Mr Birch said.

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