GetThere has announced that Silver Spring, MD-based Discovery Communications is among the first corporations to deploy GetThere Green. The unique set of components in GetThere Green allows companies to integrate green travel policies into their business travel programmes.
More than 3,000 companies worldwide, including more than half of the Fortune 200 that use an online travel programme, used GetThere in 2007 to cumulatively book more than $9 billion in travel. Discovery, a GetThere client since 1999, books more than 80 percent of its travel in the U.S. and U.K. via GetThere.
Introduced to GetThere corporate clients and agency resellers in late 2007, GetThere Green enables companies to integrate their carbon emission data and supplier green status, as well as deliver relevant messaging at the point of sale to educate travellers about the carbon footprint of their journey and impact choices they make in the booking process.
According to Yukari Sison, Discovery’s director of travel services, the company is taking a phased approach to the implementation of its green travel program. “We’re using the messaging capabilities to provide travellers with localised information on their destination, such as local rail transportation options, restaurants with organic menus, etc. Messaging also asks our travellers to pause to consider sharing a rental car with a colleague making the same trip, and perhaps getting a hybrid vehicle.” Discovery is rolling out these messages for its top dozen corporate destinations in North America and Europe.
Discovery is also identifying “green” hotel suppliers on its GetThere travel site. With the help of Discovery’s travel management company, Travelocity Business, hotel properties that meet Discovery’s criteria for green partner are highlighted in the booking engine. TBiz also supports Discovery’s green initiative by monitoring and reporting CO2 emissions by market and segment, analysing data for carbon reduction and/or offset options.
Future phases of Discovery’s rollout will include identifying green air and car suppliers in the online booking process, using dynamic messaging in conjunction with clearly visible icons.
The rollout of GetThere Green dovetails with Discovery’s cross-company initiative, Planet Green, which represents the company’s commitment to document, preserve and celebrate the planet. The initiative includes the first-ever 24-hour eco-lifestyle television network, scheduled to appear in more than 50 million homes in June 2008. “GetThere’s innovative, flexible approach helps us truly walk the talk with our travel programme,” says Claire Alexander, vice president of operations & interactive media for Planet Green. “Greening the travel site helps everyone at Discovery become more aware of how their travel choices effect the environment, and provide travellers with a new way of experiencing their destination.”
“It’s an honour to play a role in the launch of Discovery’s green travel program,” said GetThere vice president of product marketing and customer experience, Suzanne Neufang. “We’re confident that other companies will follow the path companies like Discovery are trailblazing.”