CHICAGO -- TEN-IO said its proposed Internet-based "alternative travel distribution system," called TEN-OS, would tap multiple databases, including suppliers' own inventory, "bringing together multiple reservation systems into one Travel Distribution Environment."

The company scheduled a meeting with suppliers next month in Orlando, Fla., to explore the possible business model for TEN-OS, a system open to agents.

TEN-IO, based in Campbell, Calif., owns the Travel & Entertainment Network on-line Web site (www.tenonline.com), hosts Web sites for various travel companies and organizations, and markets an Internet booking engine named Level TEN.

John Ramos, the company's president, said Hewlett-Packard and WorldCom representatives would attend next month's meeting as potential partners in offering TEN-OS (operating system) to agents and suppliers as a turnkey package. Ramos said, "The global distribution systems supply hardware, communications lines and communications infrastructure. To be an alternate system we needed to partner with a hardware company and a telecommunications company."

Ramos declined to characterize TEN-OS as a potential bypass of the CRSs because he does not want to rule out the possibility of working with one or more of them, perhaps to access airline inventory. TEN-OS pricing, including what agents might pay to use it, is one of the things that must be determined, assuming suppliers are interested in the system.

Ramos declined to outline possible pricing schemes but said that for suppliers, "We think we can offer a lower cost of distribution [than CRSs]. We are not sure if we will implement TEN-OS. We are not going to implement a whole system if no one is going to use it."

Whether the TEN-OS comes to fruition or not, TEN-IO will continue to market its Level TEN Internet booking product.

TEN-IO has three versions of the system now -- for the accommodations, cruise and motorcoach sectors -- and plans to release versions for air, car rental and events, including music, theater and sports early next year.

Booking capabilities for agents, as well as a new hotel customer, are expected to be announced by the meeting, Ramos said. The meeting will be held at 5 p.m. on Sept. 11 during the American Travel Market in Orlando, where TEN-IO is sponsoring the Technology Pavilion and Internet Cafe.

To request an invitation to the Internet Travel Distribution Forum, contact TEN-IO at (408) 879-2677 or e-mail [email protected].

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