Healthy competition travels far

In our ‘Women in Business’ feature (February 15), we had outlined the challenges faced by travel agencies and how an organisation like Tarnica Travels has continued to grow.

We had quoted its Director Sania Ashraf as saying that after-sales service was the key to success.

Following the collapse of a few travel agencies in recent times, she said that travellers need to be assured of the financial strength of travel agencies in order that their travel plans do not crash at a later date.

Financial guarantee

“Apart from being a Travel Agents Association New Zealand (TAANZ) bonded and International Air Transport Association (IATA) accredited agent, Tarnica Travels Limited belongs to a family of successful businesses. The name ‘Tarnica’ (symbolic of the solidness of a mountain in Japan) carries with it reliability and assurance. We guarantee that airline tickets and other services booked through us will always be honoured,” she said.

Established in 2006, this agency has been serving a growing number of clients, catering to their varying needs, facilitating businesses and families to travel without hassles and connect with people.

Following her qualifications in Travel & Tourism, Mrs Ashraf worked as an account assistant at a travel agency and later served as a travel broker from her home.

Overwhelming response

“Customer response was overwhelming and the growing demand encouraged me to employ another consultant. Business growth prompted me to establish Tarnica Travel to offer an ever-increasing range of services including airline reservation, special packages, visit visas wherever possible (subject to rules and regulations that may change without notice), hotel accommodation and car hire,” she said.

Travel business works on 24/7 basis as it involves interaction with a number of agencies across the world with varying time zones, she added.

“Customers travelling overseas call us to change their schedule or seek additional services. It is therefore not possible to follow ‘9 am to 5 pm rule.’ We are always available for our customers,” Mrs Ashraf said.

Travel agencies work under conditions of thick competition and thin margins and those with a strong ground will survive, she said.

“Contrary to popular opinion, travellers would not hesitate to pay even $30 more per ticket if they are assured of proper service. Travel agencies should compete on service, not price,” Mrs Ashraf said.

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