GetThere plans to offer corporations a comprehensive ground booking option to supplement online travel programs. Through an exclusive online relationship with GroundRez, corporate travelers using GetThere can now book black cars, sedans, limousines and even taxis in cities across North America and Europe. GetThere recorded more than 10 million online corporate bookings in 2006.
GroundRez acts as a technology switch and management tool that efficiently funnels ground options from more than 2,000 providers in a concise layout that facilitates both product and price comparison. Through the unique solution available to GetThere users and agency resellers, travel managers and procurement personnel can determine which ground vendors are available to their employees, ensuring vendor familiarity and proper vendor utilization. Preferred ground transportation providers are highlighted in the display, guiding both travel arrangers and road warriors as they book online. A reserved taxi service is also available, offering a cost effective, cashless booking option documenting the trip and simplifying expense reimbursement.
Once the reservation is booked, confirmations and itineraries are sent via e-mail. Travelers have direct online access to view existing reservations, and can cancel or make changes to a reservation as needed.
Launched by seasoned industry professionals in 2006, GroundRez has leveraged its independence with an online focus to gain traction at the right time. Limousine & Chauffeured Transportation (LCT) magazine reported in March that 41 percent of limo/sedan operators took a reservation online in 2006, nearly doubling the figure from 2005. The increased willingness by ground providers to book and service reservations online is critical as travel managers are confronted with the growing expense associated with black car use in major cities. LCT claims there are more than 85,000 vehicles in this category today, with sedan rates averaging $54 an hour.
GroundRez’s innovative technology brings the proven mantra of “visual guilt” into play for black car and ground bookings. Business travelers have demonstrated they will make the best choice for the company when booking online. GroundRez focused its development on this foundation, enabling travelers to scan all ground travel options (i.e. limo, sedan, taxi) before booking. Travel managers benefit from policy management and reporting on key items such as market share, advance purchase trends, high-volume destinations, etc.
“GroundRez is a great fit for GetThere as it meets our key priorities of delivering wide-ranging content and doing so through an efficient and expedient process,” said Jeremy Stubbs, director of ground transportation for GetThere. “More importantly, it’s a great fit for our customers as they strive to contain their travel costs.”
“Limo, sedan, and taxi spend combined is larger than car rental, yet it is unmanaged and riddled with inefficiencies,” said Tony Bonanno, president of GroundRez. “GetThere’s clients already have an aptitude for deploying travel automation that drives savings in the traditional areas of air, car and hotel; it only makes sense for GroundRez to launch by working with GetThere’s impressive client roster. We’re confident that we can deliver savings and service opportunities for both corporations and TMCs in short order.”