Expedia Launches Direct Connectivity with Hyatt and Outrigger

Expedia has announced that it has launched direct connections with the central reservations systems (CRS) of Hyatt Corporation and Outrigger Hotels & Resorts.
More than 12 million travelers are currently shopping monthly on Expedia.com.

Bookings made by Expedia.com customers for hotels in the Hyatt and
Outrigger portfolios are now automatically confirmed in the respective
systems of each hotel. By early 2004, Expedia will complete phase two of the direct connect project, enabling Hyatt and Outrigger hoteliers to
upload inventory and rates directly from their property management systems into Expedia’s database.

Expedia’s initiative to link directly with hoteliers’ reservations systems
is the industry’s most advanced and fastest growing direct connect
program. In the next 24 months, Expedia is planning to implement direct
connectivity at more than 10,000 hotel properties.

“Expedia’s direct connection makes it possible for our hotels to
seamlessly manage the rates and inventory made available through Expedia, allowing for an additional degree of control and efficiency in the process,” said Joan Lowell, vice president of electronic distribution,
Hyatt Hotels Corporation. “We are extremely pleased to be able to apply
this technology to effectively manage our room rates and availability in
the same manner we manage all other distribution channels.”

As online hotel booking continues to grow—by 2005, PhoCusWright Inc.
estimates that 20 percent of hotel bookings will be made online, up from 6 percent in 2003,* Expedia’s direct connect program makes it easy for
hoteliers to provide Expedia.com customers with up-to-the-minute, accurate hotel room availability data in as few clicks as possible. The first set of search results for all hotels that consumers see on Expedia reflects the most current hotel room information available from the hotelier.
Additionally, Expedia’s direct connection eliminates the cost of fax-based
confirmations and GDS booking fees.

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“Expedia’s direct connect technology will greatly improve the process
involved with serving the hundreds of customers who purchase Outrigger
hotel rooms through Expedia.com each month,” said Alan White, Outrigger’s
vice president of interactive technology. “The cost savings associated
with automatic confirmation, along with the efficiencies of real-time
inventory management, made this a prudent investment in a technology that
will also easily scale as more and more travelers flock online to book
hotel rooms.”

Today’s launch of direct connectivity was enabled by Expedia’s November
2002 acquisition of Newtrade Technologies Inc. and marks a major
advancement in direct connect technology. Expedia’s platform is highly
scaleable and can efficiently handle the hundreds of millions of hotel
room queries the Expedia.com site receives each day. The direct
connectivity platform is based on OpenTravel(TM) Alliance (OTA) standards.
By using Web services, this technology provides Expedia with the
flexibility to connect to existing hotel inventory management systems, to
provide enhanced access to the Expedia’s yield and rate management tools,
and to manage software, hardware, and networking issues in a lower-cost
environment.

“We’ve heard loud and clear from hoteliers that they need improved
efficiencies in the systems used for processing reservations and managing
inventory,” said Lloyd Frink, vice president of hotels and packages at
Expedia, Inc. “To help solve this pain point, we did what we do best -
applied our technology expertise to develop an affordable, efficient
solution that benefits both our customers and hotel property owners.”
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