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Japan Ryokan Association Goes Global

July 1, 2009 By: Travel Agent Central Contributor


The Japan Ryokan Association has partnered with Utell Hotels and Resorts to offer selected member properties throughout Japan international distribution via Utell Connect and NetBooker NG, services powered by Pegasus Solutions.

By teaming up with Utell Connect, the Japan Ryokan Association properties will be connected to the four global distribution systems (GDSs) via the Pegasus Switch over the next few months. Additionally, the ryokans will offer rate and availability information in Pegasus’ Online Distribution Database for distribution to online travel agencies, corporate travel departments and tour operators. The Japan Ryokan Association will also implement Pegasus’ leading Internet booking engine, NetBooker NG, to enable receipt of Internet bookings directly from consumers. This is the first deal of its kind in Japan, where traditionally the ryokans have not been bookable online.

“We’re proud to offer a unique and spiritual accommodation experience in Japan, with our collection of the best ryokans,” said Masao Koseki, executive director of the Japan Ryokan Association. “Utell Connect has provided us with a market-leading distribution solution, enabling us to offer worldwide access to our properties, so the world can experience Japanese hospitality at its best.”

Initially, 200 properties will be using Utell Connect and NetBooker NG with around the same number being added each year throughout the three year contractual period.

The new partnership is expected to bolster sales for the properties. Ric Leutwyler, president of Utell Hotels & Resorts says, “We are delighted to welcome on board the members of the Japan Ryokan Association, who as a result of this agreement, will realize an immediate boost in bookings. However, the real win here is for the demand community, which has gained simple and direct access to a cultural treasure trove of desirable properties.”

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