In a move to pursue the largely untapped small group travel segment, Groupology, has signed with Pegasus Solutions, to utilize the company’s PegsTour and UltraDirect electronic distribution products. As one of the first customers to utilize PegsTour and UltraDirect as a single interface, Groupology is establishing a strong position in the meetings market with special interest in the SMERF (social, military, educational, religious, fraternal) segment, estimated to be in excess of $45 billion annually. Dallas-based Pegasus Solutions, Inc. (www.pegs.com) is a global leader in providing technology and services to hotels and travel distributors.
In the growing tour services market, Pegasus’ distribution service offerings provide an electronic link to connect wholesale/tour operator booking technologies, intermediaries and hotel reservation systems. Through the use of a single interface, companies can take advantage of real-time dynamic and static inventory rates, which allow complete access to published and negotiated rates, as well as specifically contracted rates and allotments. By creating an enticing value proposition for hotels, which have not widely sought the SMERF business in the past due to associated labor costs, turnaround and the lack of an end-to-end solution, Groupology and Pegasus have streamlined a booking process through these electronic distribution services.
“Group travel requests represent a unique problem in travel management because most major reservation systems do not provide for group reservations of five or more rooms online,” said Lephate Cunningham, Jr., president and co-founder of Groupology. “But with this segment representing 30 percent of the $150 billion meetings, events and group travel industry in the U.S., there is an immediate need for a solution, for both travelers and hotels.”
Groupology, a new, online group travel company being launched by the David Green Organization, has developed technology that automates the group booking process, minimizing unqualified leads to suppliers and allowing for group collaboration and seamless access to related products and services. This technology will be complemented by Pegasus’ single interface, which combines PegsTour and UltraDirect technologies, linking tour operators and hotel reservation systems, and providing the first viable electronic link between wholesale/tour operator booking technologies, intermediaries and hotel reservation systems. Its single-system interface eliminates the waste of the traditional wholesale model for group booking involving manual communication, 24- to 48- hour confirmations and potential for booking errors. Additionally, it provides seamless connection to hotel reservation systems, directly linking distributors to Pegasus’ portfolio of more than 60,000 hotel properties, and allowing real-time access to information on rates, availability and reservations worldwide.
“The group travel market represents a huge opportunity for hotels and travel distributors, and is an emerging frontier for online booking,” said Dennis Law, senior vice president of product management and strategy for Pegasus. “It’s exciting that Groupology has found value in using Pegasus’ electronic distribution products to help them tap into this wide-open market.”