have announced an agreement to provide Orbitz with highly competitive merchant hotel rates for Cendant-franchised hotels using Cendant’s JumpStart Web Services technology.
Under the agreement, participating hotel brands will seamlessly communicate reservation and other information to Orbitz’ direct connect technology via JumpStart.Ê Currently, more than 3,100 Cendant franchisees provide merchant hotel rates to Orbitz, which are marketed as OrbitzSavers(tm) and offer travelers’ special savings at these properties.Ê The Orbitz Merchant Hotel program continues to add Cendant hotels every week, ranging from roadside lodges to city center properties.Ê Cendant operates more than 6,300 hotels worldwide.
“By enabling Cendant hotels to use their own reservation technology to seamlessly connect to Orbitz, we are making it easier and more cost-effective for more of these properties to provide merchant inventory to Orbitz - and increasing the availability of great rates to travelers,” said John Samuel, executive vice president of Consumer Travel at Orbitz.Ê “We continue to enhance the breadth and quality of our services to attract hotels to our growing Orbitz Merchant Hotel program, which contributed nearly half of Orbitz’ hotel revenues in the first quarter of 2004.”Ê
JumpStart is a turnkey distribution tool for suppliers that requires no technical modification to existing systems, and offers hoteliers a new strategic channel through which their rooms will be sold cost-effectively, at lower booking fees than they would typically pay through traditional distribution channels.Ê With JumpStart, suppliers have the ability to connect to preferred tour operators and online travel retailers, like Orbitz, without incurring the time and cost typically associated with implementing direct connections, or manually faxing reservations.Ê
Peter Strebel, Cendant Hotel Group’s senior vice president of sales and marketing, said the Jumpstart connection to Orbitz will increase ease-of-use, reservation accuracy and speed of distribution for the independent owner-operators who franchise Cendant’s hotel brands.Ê “This initiative illustrates our continuing effort to add value to our franchisees,” he said.
Orbitz currently provides OrbitzSaver rates on approximately 15,000 properties through the Orbitz Merchant Hotel and Travelweb programs.Ê Orbitz.com displays merchant and published rates at more than 65,000 resorts, independent hotels and brand name chains worldwide.
Andy Hermo, vice president, enterprise sales and account development, for Cendant’s Travel Distribution Services Division, said the JumpStart connectivity “gives Orbitz a highly reliable and efficient link to global merchant hotel inventory, benefiting millions of consumers who want real-time access to a more diverse portfolio of products at the best rates possible.”