Sabre Travel Network today launched a product to help European travel agencies and travel providers build their own booking products with content from the Sabre global distribution system (GDS). Sabre Web Services gives companies access to the entire system over the Internet, using industry standard OpenTravel’ Alliance (OTA) technology. Sabre Web Services is aimed at any company that wants to integrate its own systems with the Sabre GDS. Examples include business travel agencies developing their own booking systems, leisure travel agencies building their own booking websites, tour operators wanting to add GDS products to their own, or airlines wanting to make other travel services available on their websites.
Sabre Travel Network is the first GDS operator to introduce this facility using OTA technology. The product is already being used by more than 60 of its customers around the world.
Stuart Nassos, Sabre Travel Network’s European vice president of strategic marketing and sales, said there was a growing trend among travel agencies, tour operators and travel providers in the region to consolidate bookable products from a wide range of different sources.
“We aim to facilitate this as far as possible, and to be the GDS of choice for organisations who want to take this route,” he said. “This is powerful technology and a clear example of how we are diversifying, while still maintaining our core value as the world’s leading distributor of travel products and services.”
54 different Sabre Web Services are now available across Europe, including services related to shopping and booking airlines, cars, and hotels.
An agency planning to build a website with travel booking capabilities can use Sabre Web Services to access bookable products in the GDS. It can then use specific Sabre Web Services to meet its individual needs. For example, one agency may use geographic displays of available hotels, while another may opt for a more streamlined text view of available hotels. By selecting Sabre Web Services, rather than off-the-shelf booking tools, they gain maximum control over the development of their customer or agent-facing booking tools.
The OTA technology allows different systems to ‘talk’ to each other using a single interface, or language. It drastically reduces the need for screen scraping and translating Sabre coding and system messages.
“Sabre Web Services will help our customers reduce the development time of their booking products, thereby reducing costs, speeding up new sources of revenue, improving customer loyalty and ensuring competitive advantage,” Nassos said.