Sabre expands in Eastern Europe

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 operated a technology and product
development centre in Krakow, Poland, since 2000.

  “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 organized 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 focused 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.