German rail network Deutsche Bahn (DB) has switched 204 of its railway station-based Travel Centres and 57 Reiseland Deutsche Bahn travel agencies to the Sabre global distribution system (GDS). The operation is one of Sabre Travel Network’s largest single European conversion exercises and all 261 new outlets are expected to be fully converted by Q3 2005.
Sabre Travel Network will equip the 204 DB Travel Centres with its new Internet-based leisure booking product designed specifically for the German market, MySabre+merlin. This will make the Sabre system the leading GDS in Germany’s largest railway stations. The DB Travel Centres sell many products from DB-owned tour operator Ameropa. These and other leisure travel bookings will be processed by MySabre+merlin, while DB rail travel will be booked in the Bahn’s proprietary NVS system.
The 57 Reiseland DB travel agencies sell a wide range of tour and leisure travel products from Germany’s most important tour operators. These agencies will be equipped with MySabre+merlin front and mid-office systems as well as Shop, the tour package price and quality comparison product. All accounting data will be transmitted to the travel agency accounting system RBS through an automated connection.
Stuart Nassos, Sabre Travel Network’s vice-president of strategic marketing and sales for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) said the first conversions had already been completed. More than 90 locations will be converted by the end of this year.
Sabre Travel Network
is supporting the roll-out process with a training programme specifically customised to the needs of DB staff, Nassos said. Several hundred employees of DB Travel Centres and Reiseland DB travel agencies will be trained on MySabre+merlin, and specialist key account executives will be dedicated to support the DB outlets during and after conversion.