Sunday, July 29, 2007

Orbitz Worldwide Adds Small Business Offering to Corporate Travel Portfolio

New Orbitz for Business Site Extends Many Benefits of Orbitz's Managed
Corporate Program to Small Businesses

CHICAGO, July 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Travel just got easier for small
business. Orbitz Worldwide's Corporate Travel Solutions, whose managed
travel products serve more than one million business travelers, today
announced it is further extending the familiar Orbitz for Business managed
booking tool to small businesses everywhere, through the launch of a new
self-managed travel site.

The site allows small businesses and their travelers to access and book
through Orbitz for Business with a simple self-registration process. The
new offering includes many of the same features and benefits of Orbitz's
larger managed programs, including access to corporate travel rates, at no
cost beyond the transaction fees.


"This gives small businesses a sense of having their own managedprogram on Orbitz for Business and furthers our commitment to having anarray of travel products that are a great fit for any size business," saidDean Sivley, COO and general manager, Orbitz Worldwide's Corporate TravelSolutions. "We're now catering not just to small businesses, but to any andevery small business that has travel requirements and wants greatercontrol." The Orbitz for Business self-managed site offers a number ofbusiness-specific resources including:
-- Dedicated site reporting -- Including monthly executive travel summaries documenting all travel categories, allowing customers to manage travel expenditures more efficiently.
-- A unique, dedicated Orbitz for Business site -- created specifically for small businesses and their travelers.
-- Unused E-ticket Tracking
-- Track value and expiration dates of unused tickets every time you log in. Unused e-ticket tracking is seamless, requiring no call to an agent nor transaction fees.
-- Board Room Rates, Flexible Hotel Choices -- Identifies discounted hotels offering business-specific resources and amenities.
-- Free Online Exchanges, Cancellations and Voids
-- No charges or fees for trip bookings that can't be completed. Airline-imposed fees may still apply.
-- Dedicated Customer Service Line
-- Member number provides quick and easy access to a live agent, with customer support available 24/7. Orbitz Worldwide's business travel portfolio now features four distincttravel products to serve everyone from the individual unmanaged traveler tothe large, Fortune 500 corporation. These offerings include:
-- Road Warrior (http://roadwarrior.orbitz.com/)
-- An extension of Orbitz.com, the Road Warrior microsite offers business-specific tools like Wi-Fi finder, restaurant reservations, business hotel reviews and relevant inventory for independent and unmanaged business travelers.
-- Orbitz for Business, Self-managed -- Ideal for small businesses whose travel spend is less than $250K per year, and who are seeking to optimize travel spend through lower transaction fees and negotiated business hotel rates. Gives small businesses a scaled managedprogram, including many features and benefits of the larger Orbitz for Business managed site.
-- Orbitz for Business -- A full-service, online corporate travel agency for companies with many travelers, managed program needs and travel spend in excess of $250K per year. A business travel solution for companies seeking higher adoption rates, online tools customized for a business audience and reporting that delivers insights into travel usage and trends.
-- Travelport for Business -- A flexible, full-service corporate travel agency ideal for companies with larger numbers of travelers and more comprehensive travel requirements, including executives requiring VIP care. Offers maximum control over travel spend, in-depth reporting, advanced policy tools and company-negotiated rates supported in the online booking tool. All Orbitz Worldwide business and leisure customers also enjoy thebenefits of OrbitzTLC (http://www.destinationorbitz.com/tlc). OrbitzTLC isan umbrella of proactive customer care services and technology, includingproactive alerts, which notify travelers and their designated contacts offlight status changes, cancellations and any event that might impacttravel. In addition to alerts, podcasts, hotel reviews and mobile access(http://mobile.orbitz.com/) help the on-the-go business traveler make theirtrip more enjoyable and hassle free. Other benefits include a team orformer air traffic controllers, travel agents and a full time journalistwatching out for travel conditions that might impact customers, from badweather to transit strikes. Orbitz.com has sent more than 80 million alertsto customers since 2003. In addition to the Orbitz for Business self-managed site launch, OrbitzWorldwide's commitment to serving small businesses also included its recentsponsorship of the Small Business Administration's (http://www.sba.gov/)"Small Business Week" in April 2007. "We recognize and appreciate the importance of small business to ourindustry and to our nation's economy as a whole," said Steve Barnhart,president and CEO, Orbitz Worldwide. "We believe we're better serving thissegment of the market, keeping small business travelers a step ahead withofferings like OrbitzTLC." Launched in 2002, Orbitz for Business continues to boast among thehighest corporate adoption rates in the industry at an average of 90percent, as well as a near-perfect client retention rate of 99.4 percent.The brand's success, coupled with an investment to enable an automatedself-registration process and automated reporting, led to the developmentof the self-managed product. About Orbitz Worldwide's Corporate Travel Solutions Orbitz Worldwide's Corporate Travel Solutions includes managed travelproducts Orbitz for Business and Travelport for Business. Orbitz Worldwidecurrently serves over 2,000 corporate customers and more than one millionmanaged business travelers. Orbitz for Business launched in 2002 as one ofthe first full-service business travel programs offered by an onlineagency. Travelport for Business, ideal for programs with more comprehensivetravel requirements, launched in 2005 and deploys innovative technologiesthat integrate the online platform and offline agent services. Bothfull-service corporate travel agencies offer greater control over travelspend and policy, and feature an easy-to-use, configurable travelmanagement solution backed by 24x7 proactive customer care. About Orbitz Worldwide Orbitz Worldwide is a leading global online travel company that usesinnovative technology to enable leisure and business travelers to research,plan and book a broad range of travel products. Orbitz Worldwide owns andoperates a strong portfolio of consumer brands that includes Orbitz(http://www.orbitz.com/), CheapTickets (http://www.cheaptickets.com/),ebookers (http://www.ebookers.com/), HotelClub (http://www.hotelclub.com/),RatesToGo (http://www.ratestogo.com/) and the Away Network(http://www.away.com/) and corporate travel products Orbitz for Business andTravelport for Business.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Students perform in European concert tour

By Chip Cobb
GateHouse News Service

Weston/Wayland -

Local student musicians from Wayland, Weston, Sudbury and Westford joined with others from Wisconsin and Virginia for the Liberty Tour 2007. Organized by the American Music Abroad group, the students returned last week from a two-week, seven-concert tour of Europe.

Over 130 students made the trip, along with their chaperones and directors, including 48 Weston residents, and 12 Waylanders. The trip, led by Weston High School teacher Christopher Memoli, traveled through France, Brussels, Luxembourg, Germany and Austria. Preparations for the tour were extensive.


"Mr. Memoli told us about it at the beginning of the year, and we had to make an audition tape," explained Jaime Jimenez, a Weston High School sophomore. "Once school ended we took a bus down to Lafayette College, where we had what Mr. Memoli called ‘Band Boot Camp’ to prepare."

After two days of "Boot Camp," the tour took off for Europe on June 25. Once in Europe, the group moved quickly, never spending more than three nights in one place.
The goals of the tour were quite simple, according to Jimenez.

"It was all about going into Europe and giving the people in the towns we visited a sense of American music. We played famous marches and pieces they would recognize. At the same time, it gave us a sense of European culture."

The tour made stops in many towns amidst its travels.

"Brugge was probably my favorite," said cellist Jeff Stix, a Weston High School senior. "It was a smaller and more quaint town. You were able to experience the life and the atmosphere more. The cathedral there was amazing and the people were great."

"I’ve actually visited some of the countries we went to before," continued Stix, "It’s a completely different experience, though, going without your parents. There are so many things we did as a group … We had a snowball fight and went tubing on top of a glacier in Germany."

Of the trip’s seven concerts, the last was the resounding favorite.

"We really improved each time, so the last one was great," said Stix. "It was a really happy time because we were really celebrating what we had been working on together for weeks. It was a very celebratory mood."

A lot of work went into the trip, and at times it was quite difficult, according to Magdalena Buczek, a violinist going into her junior year at Wayland High School.

"The outdoor concerts were quite an experience," Buczek said. "I’ve never played a concert outside before, and the wind was blowing and sheet music was flying everywhere, and every time you wanted to turn the page you had to undo the clips and everything."

The trip was well worth the work, and Buczek enjoyed it thoroughly.

"My favorite place was Salzburg," she said, "we saw the birthplace of Mozart, and we did a lot of shopping … We went up into the castle and toured the whole place, so that was cool."

But the trip was about more than just fun and music in Europe. It was a learning and growing experience for the students.

"I went on the previous trip two years ago," said Emily Gazda, a Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School senior. "This time … toward the end I started to want to go home, but I was a lot more independent than I have been in the past … This time I took control of my own money, and my own things, living more independently. I think it should be a sort of college preparatory experience."

"We know this trip somehow affected us but we don’t know quite how yet," Buczek explained. "We might know how in a couple days or a couple months. There are small things now – we did laundry by ourselves, we were responsible for our passports – becoming more responsible. But for the big picture, I think we’ll find out in the future how it changed us. But not just yet."

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

AirTran Airways Offers Cool Summer Travel Tips For Busy Holiday Travel Period

ORLANDO, Fla., June 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- AirTran Airways, Inc.,
a subsidiary of AirTran Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: AAI), continues to
accommodate record numbers of travelers as we enter one of the busiest
holiday travel periods of the summer, and would like to offer these
guidelines to improve the experience for our loyal customers.

" Peak summer months, especially the busy July 4th holiday, generateplenty of vacations and good times, and plenty of travelers, too," said BobFornaro, AirTran Airways' president and chief operating officer. "Ourconvenient online booking and check-in at http://www.airtran.com/ as wellas our 8,800 friendly Crew Members, certainly help ease the process, buttaking advantage of these tips and reminders can alleviate the stress oftravel even more." AirTran Airways passengers can check-in online forflights up to 24 hours prior to departure at http://www.airtran.com/ wherethey can select seat assignments, print boarding passes, and view receiptsall from the comfort of home. With large crowds anticipated, travelers are greatly encouraged toarrive at the airport at least two hours before scheduled flight departuresto allow for possible slowdowns caused by heavy traffic, busy airportparking lots, and waits at ticket counters and/or security checkpoints.Atlanta passengers can also check online at http://www.atlanta-airport.com/for parking availability and estimated security wait times forHartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Remember the Transportation Security Administration's 3-1-1 Rule forcarrying liquids, gels, and aerosols through security checkpoints: 3.4ounce (or smaller) bottles must be placed in 1 quart-sized, clear, plasticzip-top bag, with a limit of 1 bag per passenger. Larger quantities may beplaced in checked baggage. TSA also reminds travelers to 'dress for success,' by removingouterwear and placing those items into security bins along with shoes,coins, and other metal objects. Passengers who abide by these rules willreduce potential delays and save valuable time at security checkpoints. For more information on permitted or prohibited items, visit theTransportation Security Administration's (TSA) Website athttp://www.tsa.gov/. AirTran Airways, a Fortune 1000 company, offers passengers more than700 affordable, daily flights to 56 destinations throughout the UnitedStates. The airline is the second-largest carrier at its hub,Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and one of America'slargest low-fare airlines. With more than 8,800 friendly Crew Members andfree online booking on http://www.airtran.com/ AirTran Airways makes travelboth pleasant and convenient. The airline flies America's youngestall-Boeing fleet, composed of the fuel-efficient Boeing 737-700 and 717-200aircraft. AirTran Airways was also the first to install XM Satellite Radioon a commercial aircraft and the only airline with Business Class seatingon every flight. For more information, visit http://www.airtran.com/.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

TRX to Auto-Ticket RESX Reservations Through CORREX

Providing RESX Users with Touchless Reservations to Lower the Total Cost of Travel

ATLANTA, PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- TRX, Inc. , a global technology company that develops and hosts software applications to process data records and automate manual processes, today announced a new bundled service opportunity for participating clients to automatically ticket flight reservations completed through its RESX(R) corporate online booking engine using its industry-leading CORREX(R) reservation processing solution.

RESX is a leading online booking tool allowing corporate travelers to create policy-compliant and on-budget travel reservations via a hosted Web interface. CORREX is a travel reservation processing platform that automates quality control, file finishing, ticketing, and other mid-office activities formerly handled manually by travel agents.


By integrating the two applications, TRX will help its agency distributors and corporate accounts to streamline reservation processing, avoid missed ticketing deadlines, and eliminate the possibility of fare increases that often occur during the lag time between online reservation and actual ticketing. All RESX accredited agencies will have the ability to initiate auto-ticketing regardless of whether or not they are an existing CORREX client.

"By adding auto-ticketing functionality to RESX for a modest incremental transaction fee, we help add value to our distributors' services, while enhancing the end-user experience," said RESX Technologies President, Shane Hammond. "The response from our clients and their corporate accounts regarding the RESX and CORREX integration has been very strong."
Commented MTI Travel Management & Meeting Planning Services CEO, Morris Sherman, "RESX auto-ticketing is a great enhancement! We anticipate that bringing together online booking and automatic ticketing will have a positive impact on our business as we eliminate manual ticketing processes, allowing us to put even more focus on servicing our customers."

Typically, once a corporate traveler makes a travel reservation, the agency of record places the reservation in a queue for further processing and ticketing at a later time. With the new RESX to CORREX integration, the applications will auto-ticket all flights immediately, sending travelers an e-invoice and itinerary in near real time, which also serves to eliminate or reduce phone traffic to travel agents.

Said Hammond, "For small to mid-level agencies without mid-office coverage, RESX's auto-ticketing functionality allows them to function as a 24x7 travel management company. In addition to helping decrease costs, RESX auto-ticketing enables distributors to increase their services and compete more aggressively."
TRX is launching a pilot of the RESX auto-ticketing functionality this week and plans to extend the offering across its client base within 90 days.

TRX recently announced its CORREX Gen6 initiative -- a multi-phased evolution of the CORREX travel reservation processing platform that will incorporate agency and corporate interfaces and take advantage of Web 2.0 innovation. The RESX auto-ticketing integration will leverage the Web 2.0 and Web Services capabilities of both RESX and CORREX.

TRX will feature RESX and the recently unveiled CORREX Gen6 project, along with TRX Travel Analytics and the TRAVELTRAX solution, at the National Business Travel Association (NBTA) convention and tradeshow (Booth #1843) in Boston, Massachusetts next week.

About TRX
TRX is a global technology company. We develop and host software applications that process data records and automate manual processes, enabling our clients to optimize performance and control costs. We are a leading provider to the travel industry and are expanding into financial services and healthcare. We deliver our technology applications in an on-demand environment to travel agencies, corporations, travel suppliers, government agencies, credit card associations, credit card issuing banks, and third-party administrators. TRX is headquartered in Atlanta with operations and associates in North America, Europe, and Asia. For more information, please visit http://www.trx.com.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Hard Red Spring Wheat Promoted at the South Asian Buyers Conference

Bali, Indonesia--Hard red spring (HRS) has bright future in South Asian region says North Dakota Wheat Commission (NDWC) Administrator Neal Fisher.
Fisher presented the HRS outlook at the conference.

The quality attributes of hard red spring wheat were showcased to more than 200 milling and wheat food processing executives, procurement managers, quality control specialists and technicians at the U.S. Wheat Associates South Asian Buyers Conference last week in Bali, Indonesia.

The sixth biennial conference gave buyers in the region an early look at the new U.S. crop, educates about the value and functional benefits of U.S. wheat and fosters stronger relationships with the U.S. industry.


"We've seen some very good gains for hard red spring wheat sales in all the countries represented in the South Asian region in recent years because of efforts like this," says Fisher.

Fisher has been a regular participant at the conference and again presented the supply and demand situation for hard red spring wheat and the outlook for the 2007 crop season.

"Combined purchases from the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore recently completed 2006-07 marketing variety equaling nearly as much as our largest customer Japan, hitting 55 million bushels," Fisher says.

"The future is bright with growing interest in U.S. hard red spring as an improver wheat in the region," he says.
Hard red spring wheat is used extensively in South Asia for both bread and noodle products.

The South Asian market purchased roughly 22 percent of the total U.S. hard red spring wheat exports in the 2006-07 marketing year.
Rising quality standards and competition, combined with industry consolidation, have increased buyer demands for technical, quality and market information.

Freight Prices Don't Deter Buyers
Fisher says there was great interest in the upcoming HRS crop, despite the high export and freight prices facing buyers this year.

"Concerns about price seemed to be overshadowed by their demand for U.S. quality HRS," Fisher says.

"Most buyers seemed willing to assume the higher costs to get the functionality and performance they know they are getting from U.S. wheat, especially the hard red spring wheat that is their primary import class."

Fisher believes buyers are more concerned about the record ocean freight rates of $65-$75 per ton, double the rates of a few years ago.
The first two days of the conference, July 11-12, focused on technical milling and baking topics relevant to all six U.S. wheat classes, and information supporting wheat procurement was the focus of July 13-14.

U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) works to enhance export market development for American wheat producers.
USW is supported by checkoff funds from 20 state wheat commissions including North Dakota.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Bali High Season Vol.2

FEATURE - Tourists flock to Bali despite new travel warnings
Wed Jul 18, 2007 6:33 AM IST

JIMBARAN, Indonesia (Reuters) -- Bali, the lush Indonesian island famous for its sun-kissed beaches, is drawing tourists in droves, and travel warnings that Islamic militants might strike again has done little to dampen the spirit.

Almost five years after 202 people were killed in the bombing of a Bali nightclub, tourists are back enjoying the island's nightlife and soaking up the sun on Bali's palm-fringed beaches.


"That was a sad event but Bali is too beautiful to resist. The place is bouncing back," said 23-year-old Australian Josh Donnelly as he walked past the now razed Sari Club, which was blown up in the 2002 bombing.

After the attack, Bali suffered a dramatic slump in tourism and locals such as taxi driver Gede Widiada found they could barely make ends meet.

"I have been selling my wife's jewellery in the past four years to run my family. But my income now is much better," said the taxi driver as he waited for tourists outside a resort.

Like Widiada, many shops, restaurants, and hotels on this island are finally seeing their fortunes revived.

Dubbed the "Island of Gods" for its myriad Hindu temples and religious rituals, Bali suffered another blow in 2005 when suicide bombers blew themselves up at three restaurants, killing 20 people.

The attacks in 2002 and 2005, aimed at Western targets, killed a total of 92 Australians.
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade issued an upgraded travel advisory on July 8, warning Australians that terrorists were actively planning attacks, including on Bali.

But despite these warnings, Australians who make up more than 15 percent of the total foreign tourist arrivals in Bali, are flocking to one of their favourite destinations.

"I am not afraid of coming back to Bali. You could die in a road accident tomorrow," said Donnelly.
Indonesian police say the security situation in the country at the moment is favourable.
Tourism in Bali, a predominantly Hindu region in Muslim Indonesia, provides a livelihood for 70 percent of the three million people living on this island of surfing beaches.

Shops selling batik clothing, carvings and silverware near the famous Kuta beach reported increased sales since this year, although they have still not reach pre-2002 levels.

"We have probably reached just 60 or 70 percent of that level. Two years ago, it was just 30-40 percent," said Tina, an assistant at a shop selling paintings to tourists.
Middle-aged women providing foot and shoulder massages on Kuta beach still hurl abuses at the bombers.

BALI RECOVERY
Bagus Sudibya, an advisor at the Bali Tourism Board, said the industry and the government had jointly spent nearly $10 million since last year to revive tourism to the island.

The island saw a 34 percent jump in foreign tourist arrivals in the first five months of 2007 compared to the same period last year. Tourism figures show the average hotel occupancy in Bali so far in July was between 70 and 90 percent, compared with 50-70 percent in July 2006.

"It's the holiday season now and it's nice to see there that our rooms are fully occupied," said Made Kardana, resort assistant manager at Intercontinental Bali Resort.

While Jakarta has been aggressively promoting the island by holding major governmental meetings, hotels have been providing attractive packages to private business conference organisers.
"Business delegates are visiting the region and seeing it for themselves," Sudibya said.
Bali will also host the high profile Kyoto Protocol meeting in December, which will give a boost to arrivals this year.

Last month Indonesian police arrested two alleged top Jemaah Islamiyah leaders. Among them was Abu Dujana, who admitted to heading a military wing of the network and is suspected by police of being involved in the first Bali bomb among other attacks.

"There is stepped-up security everywhere in Bali and the arrest of militants will also add to the region's confidence," Sudibya added.
Guards still frisk customers at doors of pubs and cars at the gates of hotels and resorts, but the mood is upbeat.

"The spirit of Bali never dies," said a discotheque manager Putu Budiasa as tourists bopped to hip-hop music.

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Thursday, July 5, 2007

Booking asian hotels

How travel search engines are creating loyalty through usefulness
Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Sales and Marketing in Travel Asia Pacific 2007 Special

The recent past has proved to be quite an eventful period for Asia Pacific travel search engine Bezurk.com.
If on one hand, Bezurk.com launched a new Flight Search product that searches multiple airline and travel agencies, on the other the company also signed a spate of deals including ones with Pan Pacific Hotels and Resorts, Carlson Hotels, New Zealand’s independent news publication Scoop.co.nz and Qatar Airways.

Bezurk’s distribution network has enjoyed considerable growth in the past six months, according to its Founder and Chief Marketing Officer Craig Hewett. He attributed such progress to its distribution partners Yahoo South East Asia, Lonely Planet, Changi Airport and News Limited in Australia and growing affiliate partners.
“We are in a fortunate position as we have extended our footprint across South East Asia and Australia thus exposing our search engine to a varied and growing online travel market. Our flights engine is proving very popular, especially since we launched our new display matrix – which allows consumers to quickly compare across airlines and across booking websites,” said Hewett.


Hewett also spoke about target audience, how hotel deliverables have contributed towards flights engine, plans ahead etc. Excerpts from an interview with EyeforTravel.com’s Ritesh Gupta.

Early last year, you acknowledged that the team had under-estimated the complexity of building a comprehensive hotel search engine. How do you assess the progress made by Bezurk.com in the last year or so?

Building a really poor hotel search engine is easy, but to build an engine which extracts all the hotel data and pricing for the same hotel as its referenced across multiple booking websites, is extremely difficult.
The biggest challenge which we faced was matching the same hotel across multiple websites, as there is no universal hotel identifier across hotel booking websites for the same hotel e.g. Every hotel website which we search has their own property/hotel id for lets say “Holiday Inn Singapore”. Add to this the fact that some of these sites are selling different room types with booking restrictions and some on a request basis.
One of the key consumer benefits which we deliver is that if a consumer is interested in comparing the Holiday Inn Singapore across different websites they can easily compare price, booking conditions, room type and instant confirmation across multiple websites who sell the hotel.

Could you share info on hotel search engine and how hotel deliverables have contributed towards flights engine?

These two products are vastly different with varying sophistication across suppliers – the only similarity is the way in which we have approached both product categories – which is ensuring that we deliver rich data – designed to empower a user’s purchase decision.

How would you describe your target audience?

Its common knowledge that one size does not fit all across Asia. We are mindful of the booking nuances of our target markets both in terms of consumers as well as the online travel companies who operate in these markets. Our Bezurk platform is highly configurable and scalable for the Asia Pacific region, so that we can effectively tailor Bezurk for different audience.
During our event last year, a search engine senior executive, speaking about Asia said language issues are not the predominate factor. Rather local economies, their maturation and intricacies really determine market entry.

How has the comfort level with online booking and payment increased in this region from travel meta-search engine perspective?

Travel meta search is about delivering travel content which assists a consumer during their research period thus helping them make a purchase decision. We know that a portion of Bezurk users who reside in less developed online markets will compare travel options using our search and sort filters and then complete their reservation with the travel supplier offline which overcomes any issues with online payment concerns.

If all travel meta search engines harp about keeping their home pages clear and simple, then what differentiates the experience? Is it depth of the search or speed? Basically, how do you think consumers are going to strengthen a bond with a particular meta-search engine?

Going back to my earlier comment about how easy it is to build a really poor meta search experience there are some considerable barriers to building one which strengthens a bond with consumers.
I agree with you that the depth of the search needs to be extensive and delivered quickly and intuitively. In 2008, you will see considerable innovation in UI designs using AJAX which will allow users to quickly compare extensive travel data in a simple and rewarding manner.

You had also referred to planned customer centric innovations which will be designed to create loyalty through usefulness. Could you elaborate on this?

Our recent matrix UI design for flights is a perfect example where Bezurk is creating loyalty through usefulness by displaying disparate fare data in format which is easier for users to quickly and intuitively compare best fare options across multiple websites.

Travel meta-search engines in the US have been acquiring social networking sites. How do you view this trend?

Meta search is all about delivering convenience and rich user experience to users and social generated content if integrated correctly can add to this experience. So in principle is a smart idea.

Talking from trade perspective, how are suppliers benefiting from you whether its suppliers are shown in a real time environment and benefiting from a smooth integration into their own web site all the way to the point of purchase or getting access to your statistics etc?

A lot has to do with the tools and functionality which qualifies a customer before a supplier incurs a cost. We provide a great deal of valuable product information on Bezurk for both hotels and flights which can easily be sorted and filtered using our Rich UI – so that a user is presented with only relevant choice before they click into partner website
Bezurk has made considerable inroads with key portal distribution partners across the South East Asia and Australia regions so we now offer exposure to highly targeted customers using, News Limited Lonely Planet and Yahoo SE. Our Distribution economics are a lot more efficient than should our suppliers try and deal direct with these portals.
Bezurk’s Craig Hewett is scheduled to present during the forthcoming Sales and Marketing in Travel Asia Pacific 2007 to be held in Sydney on 18-19 July.
More information can be obtained at: http://www.eyefortravel.com/apac2007/agenda.shtml

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