Starwood and Cendant Strike Landmark Deal

PARSIPPANY, NJ and WHITE PLAINS, NY 06-26-2003—Cendant Travel Distribution Services, a division of Cendant Corp. (NYSE: CD), and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced the completion of a multi-brand, multi-year global agreement providing Starwood with access to Cendant`s full spectrum of distribution products and services.
As part of the strategic partnership, Starwood will distribute rates through Galileo, a leading global distribution services (GDS) company, CheapTickets.com, a leading online retail travel site, Neat Group, a dynamic packaging provider, Lodging.com, a leading online hotel site, and the THOR travel agency network.
Cendant`s global customer base is expected to benefit from this new agreement. Participating Galileo-connected travel agents will have access to exclusive content, providing specially negotiated promotions from participating Starwood hotels and resorts. In addition, Starwood has committed to implementing Inside Shopper, Galileo`s highest level of seamless rate and availability functionality. Starwood will also distribute preferred chain-level rates through CheapTickets.com, Lodging.com and its affiliates, while also providing package net rates for dynamic packaging through the Neat Group. Additionally, Starwood has agreed that its hotels will participate in the THOR Marketing programs to further their sales efforts through THOR`s agency network.
This pact includes future considerations by both parties in the areas of technology, marketing, connectivity and additional distribution offerings.
“As we look at the challenges and opportunities in the marketplace, coupled with our need to increase sales and reduce distribution costs, the Cendant enterprise-wide distribution model is designed to give us a strategic advantage,” said Steven M. Hankin, president, Starwood Technology and Revenue Systems (STARS). “The flexibility of the program allows our hotels to have more control over the distribution, pricing and yield management of our rates, improving their ability to drive profits and manage inventory.
Hankin added, “We consider this long-term partnership to be a key step in driving future growth for our hotels. Our properties will have access to various new distribution outlets both online and offline, all at considerable cost savings through one managed relationship, which is far more efficient than managing separate contracts and multiple relationships. It`s a win-win relationship; we reduce costs and increase profitability, all while gaining greater prominence in Cendant`s distribution channels.”
“This innovative agreement addresses our changing industry dynamics and underscores the value of doing business with Cendant with our shift to a comprehensive travel distribution services model, which is easier and more efficient than dealing with a singular distribution channel,” said Sam E. Galeotos, president and CEO of Cendant`s Travel Distribution Services Division. “We are pleased to strengthen our relationship with Starwood in this landmark agreement that will also benefit our travel agency clients and travel consumers.”
“We are focused on providing hospitality and leisure suppliers with customized and controllable programs drawn from our suite of products and services to help increase profitability for these important partners,” said Michael W. McCormick, senior vice president of hospitality and leisure for Cendant`s Travel Distribution Services Division. “Our unique assets give these suppliers more flexibility and real-time control over pricing and yield management than many current competitors and we`re delighted to work together with Starwood to ensure its future leadership standing in the industry.”
About Cendant Travel Distribution Services: Cendant`s Travel Distribution Services Division is one of the world`s largest and most geographically diverse collections of travel distribution businesses. The division, employing some 5,000 people in more than 110 countries, includes: Galileo, a leading global distribution system (GDS) serving more than 47,000 travel agencies and over 51,000 hotels; hotel distribution and services businesses (Trust, THOR, WizCom); leading travel agencies, including Cheap Tickets and Lodging.com; Shepherd Systems an airline market intelligence company; and Highwire, a corporate travel booking company.
About Starwood Hotels & Resorts: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 750 properties in more than 80 countries and 105,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. With internationally renowned brands, Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts including: St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, W brands, as well as Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwood.com.
——-