-- The Travelsavers agency consortium, at its 35th anniversary
convention, rolled out technology designed to help members use the
Internet more effectively in both the leisure and corporate arenas.
launched SiteMaster and SiteMasterPro, solutions for building an
agency Web site, powered by Passport Online. The Pro version
includes plug-ins for links to booking engines selected by member
agencies plus booking engines developed or provided by
Travelsavers. Pro already has a link to Globus.
The next link,
set for first-quarter 2006, will be to Travelsavers proprietary
CruiseXpress consumer booking engine, said Nicole Mazza,
Travelsavers senior vice president of marketing.
designed to be linked to members Web sites or to generate sales for
member agencies when consumers go to the Travelsavers site
directly, is operational in Canada now, with some tour charter
inventory in the mix, as well, and will be available in the U.S. in
October. (CruiseXpressPro, already available, is the travel agent
version of the program.)
is redesigning its extranet for greater ease of use by members and
easier maintenance by the groups IT staff, said Jim Mazza,
corporate-travel side, Travelsavers introduced CorpXpressLite,
which is, as the name suggests, a lighter version of the groups
branded CorpXpress booking and travel policy compliance program
powered by TRXs ResX.
The new product,
also based on ResX, is for agency clients that do not have a
corporate travel policy or buy less than $1 million a year in
manages CorpXpressLite for members, said Betty Tilton, vice
president of corporate sales and marketing.
In other news,
Travelsavers announced that effective in the fourth quarter of this
year, U.S. and Canadian agency members will be able to offer
clients the Visa TravelMoney card and sell a range of foreign
currencies through a partnership with Travelex. The trade group
will follow that rollout with a consumer-direct promotion in the
first quarter of 2006.
director of prepaid products for Visa, described the money card as
a debit card on steroids. Agents will load value onto the cards for
clients, who then can reload their cards four times.
delegates that multiple cards can share the same funds, and that if
one card is lost or stolen, it can be blocked while the other
continues to function.
lost-luggage insurance, emergency travel assistance services and
zero liability when a card is used by an unauthorized
" " "
Travelsavers president and CEO, said Hurricane Katrina affected
about 1% to 1.5% of the groups members (which translates to about
28 to 42 locations).
Travelsavers had found most, though not all, affected members. The
group offered free use of its toll-free booking operation, but that
usage has been next to nil.
Moebes, chief marketing officer, said Travelsavers is poised to
help get members back in business quickly, offering as many free
services as possible. She said Travelsavers will use its technology
for home-based members if some agents find it possible to work in
their homes sooner than they can be in their offices. It aims to
make SiteMaster and Cruise Xpress available quickly, as
hopes to help with restoring damaged offices or building new
offices, depending on member needs and what is
the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to Nadine Godwin
at [email protected].