Travelport improves agent advertising

TravelCLICK and Travelport GDS announced today that Worldspan AccentsSM advertising has been enhanced and repositioned for top visibility among travel agents through the Worldspan by Travelport distribution system. The advertisements, which are marketed by TravelCLICK, distribute time-sensitive information to thousands of travel agent terminals worldwide and target agents at the point of sale. The advertisements now will appear at the top of agent hotel availability and car rental availability screens to ensure maximum visibility and an increased chance of booking.

Top-of-screen positioning for Worldspan Accents follows proven Internet search strategies that indicate ads at the top of the page deliver a higher ROI than ads appearing elsewhere on the screen. Results of a recent eye-tracking study,1 which measures where searchers’ eyes go on a search page when query results are returned, points to a ‘Golden Triangle’—a viewing pattern that begins at the top left of the search results page and encompasses a triangular-shaped area of maximum interest. In the study, visibility started at a high of 100 percent for the top listing, dropped to 85 percent at the bottom of the above-the-fold listings, and then fell dramatically below the fold—from 60 percent at the top to only 20 percent at the bottom. (The ‘fold’ is defined as that portion of the screen that shows when the browser is opened. ‘Below the fold’ is that section of results that requires scrolling to view.)

Independent GDS research into travel agent behavior supports these findings, confirming that more than 98 percent of qualified search transactions are generated directly from page-one results, and approximately 60 percent of page-one transactions are made within the top one-third portion of the screen, which is consistent with the ‘Golden Triangle’ philosophy of eye-viewing patterns. Worldspan Accents will now appear in this prime position, ensuring that travel agents see these advertisements as a complement to their search results.

Galileo, also part of Travelport GDS, offers a broad portfolio of advertising tools to content providers including Headlines, which is similar to Worldspan Accents. Combined, GDS media products offered by Worldspan and Galileo Travelport GDS brands now reach over 270,000 travel agency terminals globally.

“Elevating Worldspan Accents advertisements to the top of travel agent availability displays will increase the value of this marketing medium for suppliers and Worldspan by Travelport agents alike.
While advertisers will experience greater visibility and a higher return on their investments, our agents will immediately see highly relevant choices at the point of sale to complement their shopping display preferences,” said Kathy Fitzpatrick, vice president - North America Sales and Worldwide Travel Supplier Solutions for Worldspan by Travelport.

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“This initiative by Travelport GDS follows the promotional strategies of the Internet, realizing that page location is critical to top-of-mind awareness,” said John Hach, vice president of Product Management at TravelCLICK. “There’s no doubt the repositioning and strategic placement of Accents promotional messages will result in increased visibility and bookings for its advertisers.”

TravelCLICK’s eTRAK results for the second quarter of 2007 highlight the continuing importance of GDS e-commerce, showing 35.2 percent of CRS reservations coming through this high-ADR channel for major chains worldwide. eTRAK is a quarterly benchmarking report that enables individual hotels to track booking trends on the Internet and GDS through CRS performance and reflects industry trends through its consolidated view of market activity.
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