Pegasus Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: PEGS) today announced that it is now powering the online real-time hotel booking capabilities for two more convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs). The Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau and the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention and Visitors Bureau are tapping Pegasus’ online booking engine and database for www.dallascvb.com and www.floridasbeach.com. Pegasus Systems is a leading provider of hotel industry transaction processing solutions and electronic commerce services and operates its own leading Internet travel reservations site: TravelWeb.com® (http://www.travelweb.com).
As a result of their connection to Pegasus’ online distribution database and booking engine, both CVBs’ Web sites will provide travel planners and consumers with real-time online hotel reservation capabilities and detailed property information on hotels in the Dallas CVB and St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area CVB geographic locales.
The St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Web site has the additional capability of fully integrating its Web site design with Pegasus’ hotel information. This allows the CVB to customize the Web site content and to provide connectivity to the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area CVB reservation call center. The St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area CVB Web site also welcomes travel agency bookings and is one of the few online travel reservation sites where travel agents can book online and receive their full commissions.
“In 1998, 62 percent of our visitors used the Web to gather travel information. Now, with a direct connection to Pegasus’ online distribution database, vacationers and travel professionals anywhere in the world can browse our Web site and instantly check rates and availability at more than 80 hotel properties in our area,” said Scott Schult, director of technology marketing for the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area CVB. “The beauty of the way we integrated with Pegasus is that we maintain control of our Web site’s design and functionality, allowing us the capability to manage a single reservation system that connects both our Web site and call center.”
Greg Elam, vice president of communications for the Dallas CVB, agrees. “More than 13.8 million people visit Dallas each year with a growing number of those using the Internet to make their travel plans. Pegasus allows us to offer an enhanced service to our Web site visitors by providing the technology needed to make reservations at hotels in our geographic area. And, we realize this benefit without having to invest in new technology,” Elam said.
John F. Davis III, Pegasus’ president and chief executive officer, said, “Many of the CVBs’ local hotels are already connected to Pegasus and are in our online distribution database, which makes it so simple for the CVBs to add online hotel booking capabilities to their sites. Also, the ability to research and book hotels online helps attract more visitors to the CVB Web sites, enabling the CVBs to provide added value to hotels in their area.”
With direct connections via the Pegasus Electronic Distribution system to hotels’ central reservations systems, Pegasus’ Private Label Reservation Service provides both CVBs’ Web sites with the same hotel reservation and confirmation capabilities available through Pegasus’ consumer retail site, TravelWeb.com (http://www.travelweb.com). By using Pegasus’ Private Label Reservation Service, the CVBs’ Web sites can give consumers the ability to efficiently shop, compare room rates and query room availability at local member hotels, as well as view hotel property photos, securely make reservations online and receive a confirmation in seconds.
More than 85 Web sites have contracted with Pegasus to have their hotel reservations “Powered by Pegasus?, including Expedia.com (http://www.expedia.com) (Nasdaq: EXPE), Hotel Reservations Network (http://www.hoteldiscounts.com) (Nasdaq: ROOM), the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (http://www.denver.org) and Japan’s Recruit Isize Travel (http://www.isize.com). During 1999, Pegasus processed Internet hotel bookings representing an estimated $500 million in room revenues.
According to estimates by research firm Jupiter Communications, online travel bookings will grow to $16.6 billion by 2003, with hotel reservations commanding almost 25 percent of all bookings. According to Forrester Research, sales in the travel industry have become the largest online retail category, with estimated online transactions of $7.8 billion in 1999, growing to $32 billion in 2004.