TOWARD Europe, the pioneering organisation created to maximise the commercial success of travel industry companies has announced the signing of luxury hotel and leisure company Orient-Express Hotels. This latest signing will increase membership of the organisation, which launched in April 2003, and whose initial focus is to optimise distribution through industry-wide agreement on best use of technology, to 29 leading travel industry companies across Europe. Other members include [MKB1]Amadeus, Cosmos, Hertz Europe, Eurostar, Starwood and RWA.
Orient-Express Hotels has also joined TOWARD Europe’s Travel Supplier to Tour Operator working group, which is creating a vision for how travel suppliers such as airlines, hotels and car rental companies can distribute their product more efficiently through tour operators and to agents and end consumers. Existing group members include Travel2, Accor, OTC and Avis.
Angela Clarke, director of sales and marketing at Orient-Express Hotels said: “TOWARD Europe is intent on improving industry distribution, which is the key reason behind Orient-Express Hotels’ decision to become the organisation’s latest new member.”
Clarke continued: “We will become actively involved in the Travel Supplier to Tour Operator working group and provide maximum input to help the entire organisation achieve its goals.”
Alister Beveridge, TOWARD Europe’s acting-chairman and Group IT director of Cosmos, said: “We welcome Orient-Express Hotels to TOWARD Europe, and believe this blue-chip company’s involvement will provide an invaluable contribution to our organisation’s rapid development.
“Orient-Express’ arrival provides further evidence that the industry is focused on emerging from a succession of volatile trading periods with a far more robust distribution infrastructure, to help us withstand difficult times in future and to ensure we maximise profitability during the good periods. If we work together, this is achievable.”