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Sun 1 Apr 2007 12:00 AM

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Clients slow to use Sharaf’s online payment tool

Sharaftravel has reported a tepid response to the launch of an online payment tool on its web site, www.sharaftravel.com.

Sharaftravel has reported a tepid response to the launch of an online payment tool on its web site,
www.sharaftravel.com

.

"We have just had our web site posted, but our hits are not what one would expect," said V Jayaram, general manager, Sharaftravel.

"Most travel agents - with the exception of the airline outfits - have not been all that successful to date with this (online booking sites)."

Jayaram attributed the lack lustre response to the fact that many customers want "someone to fall back on" if there is any problem with their holiday.

In the meantime, Sharaftravel has unveiled its 2007-2008 Sharafholidays brochure, destinations in which are also bookable on the new site.

Jayaram said destinations that had proved unsuccessful last year had been ditched, while itineraries to locations that had proved popular in 2006 had been expanded.

"We are looking at Australia to double the amount [of business] it had last year," he explained.

In other Sharaf Group news, the company has recently announced the launch of Sharaf Protea Hotels Middle East.

The newly formed company plans to open 20 hotels in the next five years, beginning with the JBR Suites Hotel, scheduled to open towards the end of Q3 this year. The company - formed by the Sharaf Group and Protea Hospitality Corporation of South Africa - plans to open a further three properties in the next eight months, including developments at Discovery Gardens, Deira, and Business Bay.

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