Here is a roundup of selected news announcements on the technology
Sabre said its consumer-direct Web sites, easySabre and
Travelocity.com, got off to a roaring start this year, with $40.5
million in gross sales for January, nearly triple the sales of
January 1998.Worldspan said Westin Hotels and Resorts and Manhattan East
Suite Hotels upgraded their participation to Hotel Source, the most
advanced hotel booking product offered by the Atlanta-based CRS
Hotel Source, which provides Worldspan agents with a direct link
to hotels' international reservations systems, now has 64 hotel
chain participants, and Hotel Source bookings account for more than
90% of Worldspan's total hotel transactions, the CRS said.The St. Petersburg-Clearwater (Fla.) Area Convention &
Visitors Bureau claims to be one of the first bureaus in the U.S.
to designate a staff member for marketing tourism through the use
of emerging technologies.
Scott Schult, who previously worked for Marriott and has
consulted on database marketing systems for the Evansville, (Ind.),
Convention & Visitors Bureau, was named technology marketing
director. "We are not just talking about someone to manage our Web
site. Scott will incorporate the Internet and a host of other
emerging technologies into our destination marketing," said Carol
Ketterhagen, the CVB's executive director.Uniglobe Travel Online Inc. (UTO) in Vancouver, British
Columbia, said it will begin on-line advertising through the Yahoo!
network of properties and Microsoft sites. The Yahoo! advertising
relationship includes running UTO banner advertisements on
cruise-related pages in the travel section of the Yahoo! directory,
bringing Web shoppers to www.uniglobe.com, according to Michael
Dauberman, senior vice president of operations for UTO.
UTO hopes to further develop its marketing relationship with
Yahoo!, Dauberman said. In addition, UTO will begin running banner
advertisements on cruise-related pages of Microsoft sites,
including MSN Expedia.
In October, Uniglobe signed a joint marketing agreement with MSN
Expedia. "Millions of consumers are accessing Yahoo! and Microsoft
on-line services on a monthly basis, so we expect dramatic growth
in our site visits and bookings," said Dauberman. UTO is in
discussions with other high-traffic Web sites, said Dauberman.
WizCom International in Parsippany, N.J., said it completed an
interface between its Wizdom global distribution system gateway and
the Micros-Fidelio central reservation system operated by Micros
Systems in Beltsville, Md. The interface will enable Micros to
offer its customers a greater variety of CRS connections types and
provide hotel chains with easier access to WizCom's seamless
connectivity and automatic rate and availability features, WizCom
said. WizCom also announced an alliance with Denver-based
Intermezzo Systems to integrate hotel property management systems
with its central reservations system.The Hotel Reservations Network in Dallas upgraded
its Web sites at www.hoteldiscount.com and www.180096hotel.com. The company said it added a
faster processor, which it said enables browsers to navigate the
site four times as quickly as previously and receive virtually
instant booking confirmations.
Also new: An on-line customer-service feature that gives users
the capacity to review, change or cancel their reservations 24
hours a day and the ability to check hotel availability not only by
check-in date but also by selecting a specific property.The House of Blues Hotel in Chicago said it offers in-room
Internet access through its television sets. The hotel plans to
introduce high-speed connections for guests who want to use their
own computers in their rooms to get onto the Internet.Pegasus Systems adopted the new logo pictured here as part of a
new "branding and corporate identity strategy" that included
renaming some of its units. As reported, the Hotel Clearing Corp.,
a hotel commission processing service, is now called Pegasus
Commission Processing, and This Hotel Industry Switch Co. is now
called Pegasus Electronic Distribution. Pegasus said the new logo's
red arrow arching upward through the "e" symbolizes the hotel
reservations and commissions being processed through its systems as
as the company's "upward growth."