Signaling a shift in the way consumers and travel agents leverage the power of the Internet, Veer announced today that the Company will preview its comprehensive new travel website (www.veer.com) at World Travel Market in London, November 13-16. Veer, which will launch at the beginning of next year, is the first leisure travel site that enables both travelers and travel agents to research, build and book personalized trips in real time to far-flung destinations beginning with Africa. Key site features will fundamentally alter the way that both travelers and the travel industry view travel and the Internet in their planning and booking. Distinguishing elements of Veer include:
Dynamic trip building functionality to create personalized itineraries for all interests, ages and budgets.
Real-time booking and confirmation of both standard car hire and air tickets and off-the-beaten-path accommodations from mobile tents to tree-top lodges and small luxury hotels.
Local insights on where to go, when to go and what to do.
Comprehensive source of travel information including, visa information, currency conversions, immunization guidelines, and weather and seasonality information.
24/7-customer service and support at any time from research through completion of the trip, including in-country support for travelers during their trips.
According to Judy Wade, acting as launch CEO of Veer, “Low priced airfares have driven customers to the web, but there is no single on-line source that serves up all of the necessary information to experience the hidden possibilities of a far-flung destination. Veer will be the first site that combines insider information on activities and destinations with unique accommodations and excursions, making Veer a powerful tool to research, build and book a customized trip directly or through a travel agent.”
Unlike many travel companies, both online and offline, Veer doesn`t view the reservation as the completion of its interaction with customers, whether they are booking directly or through a travel agent. Veer will provide customer support and assistance around the clock at any stage of the trip process, including in-country support for customers who need help or advice mid-journey.
Wade added, “One of Veer`s distinct advantages is the level of information it provides to its users, including access to tours, accommodations and excursions that are often unfamiliar and unavailable to most travel agents and consumers. Our 24/7 customer assistance will ensure that Veer customers aren`t forced to trade spontaneity and flexibility for well-researched and personalized itineraries and activities when they travel.”
Multi-Channel Business Model Cultivates Travel Agency Partnership - According to Jupiter Communications, the online travel market is expected to reach $17 billion by 2003, fueling increased competition between travel agents and new sites for consumers` travel budgets. Veer is currently one of the only travel sites that is fully supporting agents with its business model by paying standard industry commissions to agents, referring site visitors to travel agents, and providing training to its agency partners to enhance their individual businesses.
“We don`t see the Internet as the great divider between the travel trade and the consumer, but as a tool to enhance the relationship between the travel agent community and their customers,” added Wade. “Veer.com will allow agents to provide even better service - including customized trips based on local insight - to a more educated consumer who has extremely high expectations of the perfect, personalized trip.”
Consumers will be welcome to use Veer to directly book their trips, and will get the same competitive price booking directly or working with a travel agent. In fact, Veer will enable customers to opt-in for travel agent support at any time in the process without impacting the agent`s commission structure.