US expo highlights travel tech

Res-Expo 2006, to be held March 7 and 8 at the Adam’s Mark Hotel in Dallas, is the first strategic global travel conference in 2006. Res-Expo focuses on distribution strategy and marketing, and how all facets are operating cohesively in today’s global digital economy.

Conference co- producers Travel Technology Source, LLC and Market Designs, LLC announced growing executive participation, with a speaker and panelist roster representing top executives from all major participants in the growing global distribution network (GDN).

SideStep.com, which delivers online travel choices to more than 4.7 million consumers each month, will be represented by the company’s new president and chief executive officer Rob Solomon.

Formerly vice president and general manager of Yahoo! Shopping Group, Solomon will make one of his first public appearances as SideStep’s new chief executive officer at Res-Expo on March 7.

He will join Google’s managing director of Travel, Jane Butler, Kayak.com’s chief executive officer, Steve Hafner, and others, to expound on the evolving role of metasearch engines in today’s online travel environment.

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Brian Clark, vice president - Planning and Sales for low-cost carrier Virgin America, another new start-up by British billionaire and Virgin Atlantic founder, Richard Branson, will share the stage with executives from other low-cost carriers, including, Tim Claydon, senior vice president - Sales and Marketing for JetBlue, and Kevin Healy, vice president - Planning and Sales for AirTran Airways, to discuss how these progressive airlines continue to re-invent distribution and marketing.

Senior-level guest speakers also include Ken Esterow, president - Travel Industry Services, Cendant Travel Distribution Services; Shirley Tafoya, senior vice president, Travelzoo; Mark Koehler, senior vice president - Air, Priceline.com; Pam Elledge, vice president - Sales and Distribution, Delta Air Lines; Debbie McGrath, vice president - eCommerce Sales and Product Strategy, Marriott International; Scott Brandt, managing director - Worldwide Sales, United Airlines, and many more.

A complete list of industry leaders presenting at Res-Expo, a full conference program, and online registration are available at http://www.res-expo.com/ .

Previously announced, the conference will kick off with a keynote presentation by Don Tapscott, New York Times best-selling author of The Digital Economy, Digital Capital and The Naked Corporation. Tapscott will be introduced by Kay Urban, president and chief executive officer for Amadeus North America, the premier plus sponsor of Res-Expo 2006.

The Res-Expo Exhibitor Pavilion is sold out, promising attendees a close- up view of the latest technologies, services and other offerings from travel marketing and distribution companies around the world.

“Executives from travel companies worldwide speaking at Res-Expo 2006 have proven strategies and innovative solutions at work in the marketplace, and in keeping with Res-Expo’s own proven strategy, it will remain the conference best known for exposing the real world, with users of new technologies participating on several panels,” said Vickie Singer, president and CEO of Travel Technology Source and co-producer of Res-Expo. “This year’s program is strong, rich and relevant. For every participant in global travel distribution, Res-Expo has a convenient location at the right price, with senior-level speakers and a program more comprehensive than any other travel industry conference. It’s a must-attend conference this year.

“Industry events that focus solely on technology miss the mark for today’s travel companies,” Singer added. “Travel technology users require an open forum for candid discussion and Res-Expo provides that forum. In addition, this event is focused on providing professionals, entrepreneurs and companies with all-important networking opportunities. Our conference format and venue provide an optimal environment for results-oriented networking.”

“Professionals tell us they come to Res-Expo for an education, and we deliver that by lining up industry leaders who understand the relevant topics in travel marketing and technology, and whose companies and products are driving change in the industry worldwide,” said Vela McClam-Mitchell, president and CEO of Market Designs and co-producer of Res-Expo. “We urge travel professionals everywhere to come to Dallas this March to meet with the people and discover the products and solutions that offer new ways to reduce operational costs, deliver opportunities, and increase revenues in today’s travel environment.”
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