is investing in a multi-million pound programme to migrate all Worldspan-registered travel agents to Internet-based communication standards.
Caption: Graham Nicholas
Vice President - EMEAA - Worldspan
On completion, the global initiative will have moved nearly 20,000 Worldspan travel agencies around the world from their legacy communication systems to Internet Protocol (IP) connectivity. While Worldspan was the first GDS to bring IP connectivity to travel agents in 1998, its cost meant it was only affordable by large agencies. Now IP is far more competitively priced and therefore affordable for agencies both large and small.
The initiative will primarily benefit the vast majority of agents who use the popular Worldspan for WindowsSM suite of applications and also includes those who have their own terminal applications
Many agents still use legacy protocols such as X.25 for researching and booking travel fares and availability. Generally, these are more complex, slow and costly to use than the latest generation of Internet communication technologies (such as DSL) and PC-based technologies, so restraining competitive advantage.
Worldspan’s initiative stems from its market-leading experience in travel e-commerce and use of Internet technologies. Over half of all global online travel agency bookings are processed through Worldspan’s system, and the company also powers online travel brands such as lastminute.com, ebookers, Expedia and priceline.com. Faster, more efficient and secure Internet connectivity, according to Worldspan, is now highly affordable, scaleable, proven and growing in popularity in the travel industry.
“Worldspan’s global initiative will give travel agents more choice about what technology they use to look and book fares and other travel services, such as hotel, tour and car reservations,” said Graham Nichols
, Worldspan vice president for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia. “By moving agents from legacy protocols to an IP-based connection, we will give them far greater choice and flexibility in deciding what technology suits them best, be it DSL, Virtual Private Network, or Frame Relay connection. It’s their choice as to what is best for their particular business, not our’s, and that’s how it should be.
Related stories on ITN:
(05/02/2003) Worldspan Targets European Business Travel With E-Commerce Initiative
(31/01/2003) Worldspan Increases European Market Focus
(29/01/2003) Worldspan and Orbitz Joint Technology Agreement