Sabre buys stake in Polish tech provider

8th Mar 2007

Sabre Travel Network has
acquired a 40 percent stake in ESS, a technology provider and distributor of
tour content to the travel industry in Poland.The acquisition, effective on
1 March, complements Sabre Travel Network’s ongoing investment in Europe,
its focus on growth regions, and its drive to boost the range of European
leisure products bookable in the Sabre GDS.

ESS is one of the leading providers of leisure travel solutions for tour
operators and travel agencies in Poland. It is headquartered in Wroclaw and
has 18 employees. The investment enables Sabre Travel Network to meet the
full technology and distribution needs of the broad spectrum of tour
operators and travel agencies in Poland, including small and mid-sized
leisure-focused agencies.


“Sabre Travel Network has an outstanding reputation with travel agents and
is a perfect partner for ESS,” said Tomasz Berdowski, founder and general
manager of ESS. “Both companies share the vision of growth in the European
leisure sector and Poland, with its population of 38 million, is one of the
most lucrative travel regions in Eastern Europe.”



The Polish travel industry has grown strongly over the past few years.  The
number of organised foreign trips purchased by Poles has grown by 15 to 20
percent annually.


Sabre Travel Network will evaluate opportunities to expand the ESS business
into other countries in Eastern Europe, although its primary near-term focus
will be growing its presence in Poland.


Richard Adams, Sabre Travel Network’s senior vice president for Europe,
Middle East and Africa (EMEA), said the move would help expand the Sabre
global distribution system (GDS) into the growing region of Eastern Europe,
while also helping to support existing travel agency customers who plan to
do business in the region.


“We are focussed on enhancing our leisure booking capabilities and are
investing in the growth in Eastern Europe,” Adams said.  “Our investment in
ESS brings these two strategies together.”


Sabre Travel Network has operated a technology and product development
centre in Krakow, Poland, since 2000.


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