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374

ABC Connection launches Internet Tools & Solutions for Hotels and Venues

ABC Connection has launched Internet Tools and Solutions for Hotels and Venues, its brand new customer interface which enables access to a suite of online marketing tools to help them grow their businesses. This is an upgrade of Property Editor and brings with it a host of new features and functionality. Every customer has its own password-protected Internet Tools and Solutions site to: § Load, edit and manage descriptive and visual content § Access and respond to Business Alerts § Access and utilise the marketing tools available The intuitive new site provides numerous benefits for hotels and non-accommodation customers who are looking to increase their online visibility and marketing reach, with access to a range of tools including Promotion Generator and E-Mail Marketeer. The interface enables customers to build and personalise the functionality that has most relevance to their needs. Click here to view the new Tools and Solutions interface For more information on how to grow your accommodation and meetings business as a customer of ABC Connection, please call +44 (0)845 644 3895 or email sales@abcconnection.com www. ABC Connection.venue-guides.net www. ABC Connection.hotel-guides.net



373

Request for Meetings reports 234% surge in activity; enquiries to hotels and venues set to quadruple

Increased activity for the first six weeks of 2010 has seen the volume of Request for Meetings enquiries to hotels and venues surge by 234%.These early signs lead us to be cautiously optimistic about business growth, said Linda Paterson, Head of Distribution for ABC Connection, online publisher for the hospitality industry. Renewed focus on the meetings sector especially by Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is ramping up interest among meetings bookers for an end-to-end system to manage their venue search, enquiry, negotiation and client proposal process, continued Paterson. The company is seeing an unprecedented demand for its hosted Request for Meetings (RfM) system from hotel booking agents and travel management companies looking for a technology solution to streamline processes, save costs and improve customer service. Request for Meetings integrates with ABC Connections extensive content database and is deployed and maintained as a custom-branded solution at no cost to its RfM partners. New features of Request for Meetings are: Global Search, RfM Scratchpad and Online Proposal. Global Search is very flexible and has been introduced to support agents with international clients or those looking for an international destination. RfM Scratchpad increases productivity by capturing a complete and accurate brief at the outset with no need to re-key information. Online Proposal automatically creates professional proposals for the client to view online and compare facilities and prices at-a-glance, eliminating the need for printing and making it easier and quicker for clients to make an informed choice. For more information please visit http://www.requestformeetings.com ENDS Media Contact: Alison Pickering, Head of Communications and Brand, ABC Connection alison@abcconnection.com T: +44 (0)7787 504 331



372

Pegasus Solutions and ABC Connection announce distribution agreement; Deal will integrate high quality hotel information and images with rates and availability

(London, February 10, 2010) Pegasus Solutions, the leading provider of technology and services to hotels and travel distributors, and ABC Connection, the leading online publisher of information and rich content for the hospitality community, today announced they have entered into an agreement to improve the quality and consistency of online content. Under the agreement, ABC Connection will provide direct feeds of descriptive text and detailed facility information for business and leisure accommodation in a format that integrates with rates and availability for individual properties available through the Pegasus distribution system, the largest collection of electronically bookable hotels in the world. The scope of the relationship includes collaboration to simplify processes and improve efficiencies in publishing integrated content and reservation data to all Pegasus partner channels, including the global distribution systems (GDS), online travel agents (OTAs), travel portals and other third party systems within the Pegasus electronic distribution network. This network also includes its own consumer Web site www.hotelbook.comTM. Disparate content is an industry-wide problem which can undermine a hotel's merchandising and online profile and results in inaccurate displays or missing information that strongly influences bookings,said Michael McCartan, Vice President Product Management Distribution Services, Pegasus Solutions. We are taking the lead in finding a solution to the problem that has been at the top of everyone's agenda for years. McCartan continued, We were attracted to ABC Connection because of its publishing focus, and the breadth and depth of information and visual content managed on its database. ABC Connection puts brand consistency and marketing control directly into the hands of hotels at both the group and property level, while taking away the difficult and time-consuming task of maintaining consistent content in multiple systems that require market-specific information. ABC Connection will undertake an extensive matching exercise to ensure its information fully integrates with the Pegasus Online Distribution Database, which contains descriptive information for more than 95,000 hotels worldwide. A future phase will develop a user defined content (UDC) program for each channel partner in the Pegasus network. Once implemented, the global distribution systems and other travel distributors will be able to receive regular feeds of high quality validated content and inventory via Pegasus that is relevant and fully customized to match the search and display criteria for their markets, agents and customers. Brian Farrugia, ABC Connection CEO, said: We are delighted to be part of this step-change in online publishing for the hotel industry. Our agreement with Pegasus is very good news for our hotel customers who can now ensure consistency of message and ease of updating their information across the full spectrum of the Pegasus distribution network. They have recognised and experienced business growth and brand promotion that comes from the distribution and availability of high quality and consistent information. The marketing exposure via Pegasus will deliver significant added value.ENDS Media Contact: Ariel Herr for Pegasus Solutions aherr@fortepr.com Telephone: +1 (214) 890-7912 x23 Alison Pickering for ABC Connection alison@abcconnection.com Telephone: +44 (0)7787 504 331 About Pegasus Solutions Inc Pegasus is proud to celebrate 20 years of providing innovative solutions to hotels and agents worldwide. Pegasus Solutions is the world's leading provider of technology and services to hotels and travel distributors, supplying the award-winning RezView® NG central reservation system, electronic distribution services, advanced agency commission processing and payment services, and hotel marketing representation services. Founded in 1989, Pegasus created and launched the hotel switch, and today its customers include more than 95,000 properties around the globe as well as a majority of the world's travel agencies. Additionally, Pegasus' powerful representation arm incorporates Utell® Hotels and Resorts and Utell Connect, services that have been chosen by nearly 11,000 member hotels in more than 130 countries, making Pegasus the hotel industry's largest third-party marketing, sales and reservations specialist. Pegasus also powers the niche consumer Web site www.hotelbook.comTM, dedicated to promoting independent and boutique hotels throughout the world. Headquartered in Dallas, Pegasus has 18 offices in 11 countries, including regional hubs in London, Singapore and Scottsdale, Arizona. For more information, please visit www.pegs.com or www.utell.com. www. ABC Connection.venue-guides.net www. ABC Connection.hotel-guides.net



371

HBAA and ABC Connection announce strategic partnership; deal will strengthen existing ties

(London, 2 February 2010) The Hotel Booking Agents Association and online publisher ABC Connection today embarked on a new chapter in their existing relationship by announcing a three-year strategic partnership to benefit HBAAs members (agencies) and partners (hotels and venues). This is the first such partnership for the HBAA, which represents the collective interests of its members in the procurement and management of conference, meeting and accommodation facilities in the UK and overseas. The scope of the agreement includes collaboration on industry research and white papers, and the provision of co-branded systems and online tools to be made available to member agencies. ABC Connection will be the exclusive provider of hotel and venue content to the HBAA. Peter Ducker, HBAA Executive Director, said: ABC Connection has become an industry authority on content and publishing and provides that independent link between our members and their suppliers. We will be exploring a number of initiatives to support our members. One of our key objectives is to encourage and nurture innovation that will advance our industry. ABC Connections experience and expertise in developing technology tools that simplify processes between agencies and their hotel and venue suppliers will be invaluable in this area. Brian Farrugia, ABC Connection CEO, said:We are delighted to have concluded this new long term agreement. We began working with HBAA in 2003 and have a well-established relationship with the association, its members and partners. We look forward to taking this to another level and are excited about the opportunities ahead. www. ABC Connection.venue-guides.netwww. ABC Connection.hotel-guides.net



370

Redfern Travel starts 2010 with renewed focus on its meetings business

(London, 20 January 2010) Redfern Travel, one of the fastest growing travel management companies in the UK and a leading travel services provider for the Government sector, has introduced the online Request for Meetings (RfM) system from ABC Connection to manage its venue search, enquiry and client proposal process. The integrated system enables the Redfern Travel team to take detailed briefs, negotiate with suppliers, compile a shortlist of the most suitable properties and create professional online proposals with at-a-glance venue comparisons, all in one seamless process. Its new RfM system provides Redfern Travel with instant online access to ABC Connection database of meetings and conferences content which it can interrogate on behalf of its clients, including 3,500 Government departments and agencies. The system automatically alerts hotels and venues when they have an enquiry from Redfern Travel and enables them to respond online with availability and prices. Mark Bowers, Commercial Manager, Redfern Travel, said:Bringing automation to the meeting and conference part of our business has been a key objective for Redfern. We have been very successful in reducing manual intervention to a minimum in most parts of the business, and benefitted from the associated reduction in costs. Meeting and conference is the last labour-intensive area we needed to address, and our agreement with ABC Connection will not only result in process benefits to us but will improve service delivery to our clients.Redfern Travel also is taking a feed of ABC Connections hotel and venue content for its dedicated customer search portal, where its clients can view detailed information and images on thousands of venues in the UK and Ireland, all searchable by name, location or capacity. ABC Connections database includes the widest range of options for conferences, meetings and events, ranging from grand sporting venues and specialist sites to city centre hotels and intimate local properties.


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