Travelport, one of the world’s leading providers of global distribution systems (GDS), today announced that as part of an ongoing strategy to deliver solutions that better merchandise the products of its customers, that it is selling its GDS advertising exclusively through internal advertising consultants effective January 2010. With this change, Travelport becomes the only global GDS to exclusively sell its own GDS advertising.
GDS advertising allows travel suppliers to reach travel agents with relevant promotional and product information at the critical point of sale, as they search for air, hotel and car products information by destination market.
“Travelport is developing sales and marketing capabilities which will result in bringing the relevance and clarity of Google-like search advertising to the travel agent’s desktop,” said Paul Hesser, Travelport GDS vice president, Advertising and Merchandising Solutions. “With plans to roll-out the Travelport Universal Desktop later this year, we will accelerate the move from primarily a distribution vehicle to a strategic sales and marketing platform for airlines, hotels, car rental companies and other travel providers, offering more integrated and targeted messaging opportunities, as well as the ability to deliver robust graphical ads. To do this effectively requires close coordination of several key functions - consultative advertising account managers, travel expertise, and leading edge technology. We evaluated third-party providers, but determined we could best meet the needs of our customers through a direct relationship.”
As part of this transition, Travelport has established an advertising operations and support team that will utilize a leading edge ad serving platform to deliver campaigns across Travelport’s product portfolio to ensure that advertisers get the highest return on their advertising programs. The platform will be positioned to support merchandising when used with the Travelport Universal Desktop, which will seamlessly unify selling and merchandising programs, automate processes for travel agencies and allow diverse content to be accessed easily. These merchandising capabilities will enable travel suppliers to better target travel agents with the right products, services and offers at the right time; expanding their revenue opportunities through the distribution of optional services, such as the up-sell of seats and baggage as part of the sales process.
Added Hesser, “Really what this is about is the need to offer a complete marketing package to travel suppliers to effectively reach travel agencies and their travelers. By expanding our capabilities, we’ll be prepared to better merchandise our customers’ products.”