Sabre Travel Network’s UK leisure drive goes Vertical

Sabre Travel Network
and British travel agency systems provider Vertical Group have signed a joint preferred partnership agreement to expand the range of bookable products for both companies’ travel agency customers.  The relationship boosts Sabre Travel Network’s recently announced UK leisure travel focus by giving travel agents a direct connection to Vertical Group’s Magic Desktop, which contains a wide range of bookable tour and leisure products.  Magic Desktop will also become the point of access to Viewdata from the GDS.

The reciprocal preferred partnership means most of the GDS bookings made through Magic Desktop will be made through the Sabre system, and opens up access to Sabre GDS content through Vertical Group’s Advanced Web Services.

A prototype of the integrated booking product will be shown during World Travel Market in London in November, and both companies expect the arrangement to be fully operational by the end of 2004.

“Back in July I spoke of our determination to develop strategic alliances to help boost our leisure offering,” said David Brown, Sabre Travel Network’s vice president, European leisure. “This is the first such alliance.  Vertical Group has established itself as a leading player in the British leisure travel arena and we’re delighted we’ve been able to team up with the company to boost still further the service we offer Sabre Connected travel agencies.”

Peter Healey, Vertical Group’s chief executive officer, said the deal would add value to both companies’ customers.

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“We bring high-value bookable leisure products to the party, while Sabre Travel Network brings a world of other bookable content,” Healey said.  “Its strong presence in every channel of travel sales and distribution is important to travel providers and makes it a strong and attractive partner for Vertical Group and for our travel agency customers.”

Sabre Travel Network’s UK leisure focus was further boosted last month (September) with the introduction of its cruise booking product to its to its travel agency customers here.  Sabre CruiseDirector is available immediately and connects to the reservation systems of nine cruise lines.
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