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Travelport Debuts Leisure Booking EngineDecember 6, 2007 By: Travel Agent Central Contributor Travel Agent
Travelport GDS on Wednesday unveiled Cruise & Tour, a web-based booking engine for travel agents that utilizes Revelex technology. Travelport executives said more leisure agent-focused programs are set for release in 2008. As the name suggests, Cruise & Tour features cruises from 10 lines, such as Carnival, Holland America and Norwegian, along with tour packages from launch partners Gogo Worldwide Vacations and Travel Impressions. Travelport hopes to expand the products that can be booked on the system with an aggressive campaign in 2008.
Cruise & Tour allows Galileo- and Worldspan-connected agents to view and book cruises, tours, shore excursions, pre- and post-cruise hotel stays, transfers and travel insurance, as well as store client profiles and travel preferences. Full content is provided, with access to hotel photos and ship layouts. Search criteria can be as broad as a destination or as targeted as a specific ship. Cruise & Tour also syncs with supplier PNR data, eliminating the need for agents to call for updates on travel information. The tool, which, in the near future Travelport also will make available to agents who do not use Galileo or Wordspan, is the first product launched under the merged companies of Travelport and Worldspan.
"This product is a shopping product, which many of the older legacy products are not," said Kathy Fitzpatrick, managing director of supplier and subscriber organization in the Americas for Travelport GDS. "Worldspan Tour and Galileo Vacations have elements of shopping, but this is a much more broad offering that allows access to much more content and shopping among various suppliers."
"This is really our first example in the marketplace of how we'll leverage best-of-breed technology [from Travelport and Worldspan]," added Keith Nyhouse, director of product management for Travelport GDS.
Other tools are to follow in the first quarter of 2008, including View Trip, which enables clients to view itinerary information, and Cache Control, a system that streamlines the airline shopping experience by gathering various data from multiple carrier web sites. Galileo's UK Rail has been converted and is available as a Travelport product and the company will do the same with Worldspan's Rapid Reprice in early 2008.
These moves all suggest a stronger emphasis on the leisure agent for Travelport in 2008. "We really are very focused on taking our customers' input and giving them what they need," Fitzpatrick said, noting home-based agents as an untapped market. "They really have grown and we'll be targeting home-based agencies in 2008 because [Cruise & Tour] won't require an IATA number for booking." Galileo and Worldspan customers can visit www.travelportcruiseandtour.com, and product information can be found at www.travelportworld.com/product/cruisetour.html. (JM)