TRAVELPORT'S NEW WEB-BASED BOOKING ENGINE Cruise & Tour is just one of many enhancements focused on the leisure market that the technology company plans to unveil in the coming months.
Travelport, which also owns the Galileo GDS, acquired Worldspan a year ago. Cruise & Tour is the first product launched under the merged companies. Only Galileo and Worldspan users can access the tool currently, though Travelport will soon make it available to non-subscribers as well.
"This is really our first example in the marketplace of how we'll leverage best-of-breed technology [from Travelport and Worldspan]," said Keith Nyhouse, Travelport's director of product management.
While corporate travel will continue to make up a good portion of Travelport's business, the company is renewing its focus on the leisure market. "It's a transforming year for us," says Kathy Fitzpatrick, managing director of supplier and subscriber organization in the Americas for Travelport, noting that the home-based market is an untapped resource. "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."
Cruise & Tour features product from 10 cruise lines, such as Carnival, Holland America and Norwegian, with tour content stemming from launch partners Gogo Worldwide Vacations and Travel Impressions. Travelport will expand the tour inventory with an aggressive recruiting campaign in 2008.
Agents can 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 particular ship. Cruise & Tour also synchs with supplier PNR data, eliminating the need for agents to call for updates on travel information.
Other new Travelport programs are to follow in the first quarter of 2008, including View Trip, a tool for consumers to view itinerary information, and Cache Control, a system that streamlines the airline shopping experience by gathering information from the web sites of multiple carriers. Galileo's U.K. Rail has been converted and is available as a Travelport product; the company will do the same with Worldspan's Rapid Reprice in early 2008.