An Interview with Kamini Cohly, President of Hariworld Travel
From a modest beginning in Toronto, Canada, in 1968, Hariworld has become one of North America’s most influential and respected consolidators. In 1982, Prem Cohly opened Hariworld Travel’s first office in the heart of New York City’s Rockefeller Center. Kamini Cohly, his wife and Hariworld’s current President, joined the company in 1987. The two now operate Hariworld from their New York City offices. Hariworld offers fares to Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, India, Mexico, Middle East, New Zealand and South-Central-Latin America.
TRO: Please give some background information on Hariworld’s history.
KC: For over 40 years Hariworld has been catering to the travel community of North America, offering more seats on more Airlines to more destinations at more competitive fares. From a modest beginning in Toronto, Canada, in 1968, Hariworld has become one of the country’s most influential and respected Consolidators. While our growth has been dramatic we have not sacrificed the personal, dedicated, professional attention to detail that has been the trademark of Hariworld since our inception.
TRO: How has Hariworld handled the many changes in the industry since its founding?
KC: Hariworld has kept current with changes and trends in the industry with technology upgrades including our automated online booking engine. We have added new products which include hotels, trip insurance, and cruises. Hariworld has secured Joint Venture agreements with Star Alliance and Sky Team partners to increase our Contracted and Commissionable fares offering. We have also partnered with several host agencies to offer their members access to unbeatable fares and a booking tool – the online booking engine mentioned earlier.
TRO: Given your longstanding presence in the industry, you have worked with many travel agents. Please explain these relationships.
KC: For Hariworld, it’s all about making business easier for the travel agent. We work closely with our agents; we have a support network and maintain an active presence in the industry by way of participation at trade shows and constant communication with our travel partners. Our management team has more than 130 years of combined experience and we’ve gained a reputation for integrity, excellent service and support even under the challenging conditions we have all faced together through the years.
TRO: Do you have any advice for agents who wish to collaborate with Hariworld?
KC: We work hard to develop our relationships with our members. We provide them with the opportunity to create loyal clients by offering substantial savings on air and hotels worldwide. We have created a one-stop shopping website that is extremely user friendly and our customer support agents are extremely skillful and knowledgeable travel professionals. There is money in selling air, and we urge all our members to take advantage of it!
TRO: How can your experience in the industry benefit agents?
KC: We constantly work to stay updated on the changing trends in the Industry, and are able to meet all the new challenges successfully. This makes it possible for our sub-agents to adapt and fulfill the travel needs of their clients. Our experienced staff, recruited from all corners of the industry, is sensitive to their needs and dedicated to helping agents find the best deals for their clients. The relationships with our partner carriers allow us to have access to the lowest fares and last minute deals offering significant savings to their clients.
TRO: How can agents become involved with Hariworld?
KC: Our membership is free to bona fide travel professionals. They can register at www.hariworld.com for access to our web-based booking engine and fares. They can also work with our call center or email us their requests.
TRO: Consolidators have received some bad press over the past few years.
KC: Yes, this is true. Many of the less reputable ones are no longer in business. The United States Airline Consolidator Association (USACA) was developed to identify bone fide Consolidators. Consolidators are invited to join and required to meet high standards.
TRO: What would you say to anyone who may have reservations about using a consolidator?
KC: Using a consolidator provides your client with a better value and provides the travel agent with the ability to earn higher commissions and enhance customer loyalty. Consolidators have the ability to negotiate last-minute ticket deals. Hariworld is a member of the United States Air Consolidator Association (USACA). Net fares allow the travel agents to mark the ticket up according to their markets. Discounted published fares allow the agents to get up to 60% off the published rate available. This affords travel agents the ability to offer lower airfares at significant savings to their clients.
TRO: Do you offer any training or tools to help travel professionals become experts on selling Hariworld’s products?
KC: We offer weekly Webinars for agents. They learn about Hariworld and how to utilize our state-of-the-art, user friendly, online booking engine to find the lowest fares available and how to add their markup to every ticket. We also educate them on how to utilize our contracted fares to make more money.
TRO: Of the many destinations you offer, have you found that any are more popular than others? If so, which ones and why?
KC: Africa, Europe and India seem to be “Hot” destinations. We think the media and advertising have played a significant role in promoting them.
TRO: How will Hariworld be affected by an FAA shutdown?
KC: Hariworld is keeping track of all tickets issued during the shut down of the FAA. When the issues have been resolved and instructions are established we will adhere to them.
TRO: When it is time for you to take a vacation, where do you like to go?
KC: I would like to take a Mediterranean Cruise, visit Italy and Australia
TRO: Any destinations on your “bucket list”?
KC: I’d just like to travel with my family around the world.
TRO: Is there anything new on the horizon for Hariworld?
KC: We are enhancing our air search and booking technology with more powerful algorithms to mix and match inventory to include plus/minus dates. There will also be some new products added to our booking engine, including the addition of more hotel properties.
TRO: Anything you would like to add?
KC: We still think the Travel Agents have a huge role in selling travel – a channel that will never disappear.