The GENESIS Travel Distribution System announced today that it plans to launch the first phase of its worldwide agency-owned travel distribution system beginning in February 2004. The announcement culminates an extensive search for a major travel technology provider to replace Atraxis, the IT division of the former Swissair Group. In 2001, GENESIS had inked a long-term technology agreement with the Swiss travel technology company, but the airline financial catastrophe which resulted in the bankruptcy of the Swissair Group, including Swissair and Sabena Belgian World Airlines, also brought down their technology division, Atraxis. The insolvency of the two major airlines and their jointly-owned IT company sent GENESIS back looking for new industry partners. After nearly two years of talks with a vast array of technology companies, GENESIS has selected a new provider to continue where Atraxis left off.
GENESIS will keep the identity of the major travel technology provider confidential until the GENESIS Board of Directors meets at its Worldwide Registry Meeting, 12-15 November 2003, at which time the board will ratify GENESIS management’s selection of the provider. A letter of intent from the provider has been received by GENESIS, and the board is expected to approve the terms of a subsequent long-term contract between the parties.
The Registry meeting is scheduled to coincide with the November 2003 board meeting of the Association of Retail Travel Agents, ARTA (www.artaonline.com), a long-standing GENESIS supporter and will give GENESIS officials from Canada, the USA, Mexico, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, and the UK an opportunity to strengthen ties with the Lexington, Kentucky-based association of some 3,600 U.S. travel agencies. The ARTA board will review and consider the GENESIS implementation plan for approval.
The meeting will also coincide with the next board meeting of WIN, the Worldwide Independent Travel Network (www.win-travel.org), a collective of agency groups from all over the world representing some 6,000 travel agencies worldwide, members of which have also been strong supporters of GENESIS. The joint GENESIS, ARTA, WIN meeting is intended to provide a comprehensive, global, and thorough assessment of the GENESIS plan and to assure worldwide compatibility for implementation.
“The emergence of GENESIS in February of 2004, while having been a long and arduous process, comes at a time when industry stakeholders, travel agents, CRSs, airlines, and other travel suppliers know that a new distribution model must evolve. We all would have liked to have seen GENESIS so much sooner, after all, it has been nearly eight years in the making. However, the plan of implementation is both a solid and viable one. I think travel agents will agree it was well worth the wait”, said GENESIS President and CEO Bruce Bishins.
GENESIS plans additional announcements during the week of 24 November 2003, following its worldwide Registry meeting.