GetThere has announced that corporations using GetThere can soon offer business travelers the capability to book and manage trips anywhere around the globe via their hand-held devices. GetThere2go seamlessly replicates a corporation’s travel site on any Web-enabled mobile device, allowing road warriors to book flights, add an extra hotel night, or rent a car - all within corporate policy guidelines.
GetThere, which recorded more than 10 million online corporate bookings in 2006, unveiled the new functionality at the annual National Business Travel Association (NBTA) Convention & Exposition in Boston, Mass.
To facilitate this new service for its global client base, GetThere entered into a unique relationship with Usablenet, Inc. New York-based Usablenet first offered mobile services to travelers in 2006, and in only 18 months, Usablenet’s scale and speed has driven the company to a leadership position in the mobile travel arena. Three of the top six U.S. airlines use Usablenet, as well as three of the world’s top hotel brands and Amtrak. On an average day, 20,000 to 30,000 travelers connect via Usablenet to manage their trip via their mobile devices.
From a corporate policy standpoint, GetThere2go eases concerns travel managers may have when it comes to mobile-generated bookings. Options for air, car and hotel are provided in the same manner as if the traveler was shopping on a computer. Preferred airlines and hotels, complete with logos and photos, are highlighted on the small screen. If a company has a GetThere feature such as Online Ticket Exchange active, the traveler can access that functionality as well. Fulfillment and quality control are facilitated through the standard agency process.
GetThere2go’s arrival coincides with the rapid growth of the number of travelers across the globe boarding planes and trains with a mobile device - and they are using those devices to perform many tasks. Mobile technology providers estimate that as many as 97 percent of business travelers carry a phone or PDA, and a May report by Forrester Research noted that “45 percent of business travelers use mobile data services such as text messaging and the mobile Internet. Mobile data services form the foundation for the next generation of travel distribution.”
The initiative to launch GetThere2go marks Usablenet’s first foray into managed travel. “GetThere’s roster of Fortune 500 clients and agency resellers that already have harnessed online managed travel is a critical component of our decision to work with GetThere and enter the business travel sector,” said Nick Taylor, vice president of business development for Usablenet.
“The introduction of GetThere2go is a natural extension of our services at time when business travelers are increasingly asking for tools that give them more control over their journeys,” said Ray Pazerekas, vice president of business development for GetThere. “The ability to manage trip options without needing a computer or an agent gives travelers the freedom and flexibility to make the in-policy choice that best suits their needs. GetThere2go makes it easy for road warriors to stay focused on business and spend less time dealing with travel arrangements.”