Group Travel Planet Celebrates 5th Anniversary

Group Travel Planet, the company who pioneered online
group travel booking, today announced the celebration of its 5-year
anniversary and the company’s key accomplishments of providing consumers,
tour operators and thousands of group-friendly suppliers one-of-a-kind
features that make it simple and convenient to book and manage group
travel online. Launched originally as CoachQuote.com in March 2000 as a B2B focused
primarily on providing professional tour operators an easier way to find,
research and book their group hotel rooms, charter motor coaches and
secure attraction and theatre tickets, the company re-launched in
September 2004 as GroupTravelPlanet.com to offer its vast supplier
inventory and fully-automated group-booking capabilities to consumer
groups.

“We’ve accomplished a lot over the past five years including developing
the first fully-automated system that enables group leaders and tour
operators to plan, book and manage their entire group reservation online
without ever having to talk to one person,” said Scott Harness, president
and CEO of Group Travel Planet (GTP). “From the moment they click purchase
to the time they take their group trip, everything is fully-automated. No
other online group travel provider comes close to providing this level of
online service.”

In addition to providing a fully-automated solution for group leaders and
tour operators, the company also provides numerous benefits to its
thousands of suppliers throughout North America that have become members
of its site.

“One of the main reasons I joined GTP was the fact that it’s been so
successful at attracting thousands of group-friendly suppliers, including
over 10,000 hotels that use our robust Extranet to allocate group
inventory and net group rates,” said Scott Pearson, vice president of
Internet Distribution & Development at Group Travel Planet.

“The (GTP) system is great,” said Kenny Myers, Director of Revenue
Management, CSS Hotels, Memphis, TN. “Not only has it helped attract new
groups that we never knew existed, but it’s also like having an additional
sales coordinator—one that never forgets to get a signed contract or
deposit and always keeps me updated, even when the group needs to add or
drop rooms. It puts us in control and we love it!”

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As the company celebrates this milestone, online group travel planning
appears to be heating up. “We always felt from day one that sometime
between the fourth and fifth year, booking group travel online would go
mainstream and we feel confident that we’re in position to continue
leading the way as new competition enters the space,” adds Harness.

Moving forward, part of the company’s strategy is to continue building a
vast network of online distribution partners. According to Scott Pearson,
the company has signed several large deals (most of which will be
announced at a later date), including SideStep, Revelex, VISIT FLORIDA,
Clear Channel Entertainment, David Green Organization, and Versyss, just
to name a few.

“Expanding the reach of our technology is an important part of our
future,” said Harness. “The first five years have been great and we look
forward to continuing to reach new groups and provide them with a faster
and easier way to book and manage their group trips online.”
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