Galileo International and e-Travco have launched the first wave of Internet travel sites targeting college and university communities.
The companies said the joint effort will combine the convenience of booking travel online with the advantage of local content and customer service contacts.
e-Travco plans to launch customized Web sites called TravelPorts for 200 college and university communities in the US and Canada by the end of 2002, with additional TravelPorts displayed in the UK by 2003 for selected college and university communities.
Our TravelPorts provide a much needed high-tech, high-touch solution for travel agencies in college and university communities where both students and faculty members already heavily utilize the Internet for travel purchases,” said Brent Pasquinelli, e-Travco founder and president. These sites will be exclusively powered by Galileo.
Pasquinelli said a common complaint by travel consumers has been the lack of a familiar travel agent to answer questions or provide assistance when travel plans go awry. Using Galileo’s technology, e-Travco will solve this dilemma with travel portals customized to each college or university community, he said.
“With our service and technology solution, we are helping travel agencies capture online bookings while highlighting to their customers the ability to provide local content and hands-on personalized service at no extra cost. We are working exclusively with Galileo for two important reasons—they have the best technology and are the most travel agency-friendly GDS.”
Students, faculty and area residents will register online with local travel agencies or can opt to be assigned to local travel professionals. Customers will then have access to a wide variety of online travel products, information and local savings, including:
—Galileo’s computerized reservation systems accessed via the Galileo Passport booking engine for searching and booking millions of available airfares, car rentals, hotel rooms, cruises and tours.
—local travel agency and agent contact information.
—local travel packages.
—a wide variety of consolidator packages.
—local merchant and entertainment discounts (beginning summer 2001).
—a loyalty rewards program.
“Galileo Passport technology provides the power and flexibility to create dynamically branded, high-tech travel Web sites for e-Travco to provide to travel agencies serving the collegiate marketplace,” said Galileo’s John Hach, vice president for corporate and consumer sales and marketing. “Together with some of Galileo’s own initiatives like TravelGalileo.com and XML Select, e-Travco further expands Galileo’s strategy of creating multiple points of presence on the Internet while helping travel agents deliver superior content and customer service to their clients whenever and wherever they want to purchase travel.”