Passport Online, a supplier of Internet tools for the leisure travel industry, said June was a record month for its new NexCite accounts. NexCite is a website solution for travel agents and agencies.
Though the new customers were spread evenly among brick-and-mortar and home-based agencies, there was one common theme: In a survey conducted with those agencies who signed on in June, nine out of 10 were switching to Passport Online from a competing website program.
"These agencies cited the need for more in-depth supplier content and the desire for flexibility and customization options offered in our website program," said Greg Kott, president and CEO of Passport Online Inc.
Over the past decade, Kott noted, many agencies have "put up a website, which might just be a basic page or a few pages of content, and just let it sit. They have not updated or enhanced their sites."
But with today's consumer increasingly turning to the Web for all manner of product searches, it seems agents are deciding to upgrade their Web presence, he added.
For home-based agent Laila Matarwe of Five Star World Travel, a Vacation.com agency, NexCite is her first website. "I felt that having a website was the most cost-efficient way to reach people. I have a Facebook page and a Twitter account, but you still need a place with all the content." Her new Web address is www.fivestartvl.vacationport.net.
Passport Online also offers email design and delivery services that integrate with the VacationPort and NexCite systems.