The biggest advancements to impact the travel distribution industry in years will be divulged at ResExpo 2005, a leading annual business and technology conference for the travel industry.Industry experts, top technologists and influential associations will use this year’s event to reveal plans and address developments that all agree signal major changes for the travel industry in the months ahead.
Appropriately themed “Big Ideas in Travel Distribution - From Revolution to Execution,” ResExpo 2005 unfolds March 1-3 at Atlanta’s Omni CNN Center. Online registration is available at www.res-expo.com. A $100 discount applies to all registrations booked by January 31.
Mike Hulley, president of EDS Transportation Global Industry Solutions, will open the conference with a view of the major IT and business trends shaping today’s travel industry. “ResExpo is essential in helping travel executives separate the real from the virtual, and the slide wear from the genuine technologies that decision-makers can bet their badge on,” Hulley said. “Travel executives need a forum that cuts through the hype and focuses on today’s realities and the paths that will allow us to embrace tomorrow’s capabilities. ResExpo is that forum.”
Terry Jones, founder of Travelocity and current partner of Essential Ideas, will give the conference keynote address, sharing his vision of what’s to come for online travel. The emergence of alternate global distribution systems will take center stage as keynote speaker Jeremy Wertheimer, president and CEO of ITA Software, discusses his company’s forthcoming GDS alternative and what it means for travel suppliers, travel agents and other distributors. Also keynoting the conference is Alex Zohglin, president and CEO, G2Switchworks. Zohglin will discuss how his company’s technology will break tradition in allowing disparate travel supplier systems to connect to varying systems in use by today’s travel management companies.
Additional speakers include Paul Bahnick, vice president of Technology, Travel Impressions; Brian Barth, president and CEO, Sidestep; Mitch Gross, Executive Vice President and General Manager, The Americas, Galileo; Steve Hafner, CEO, kayak.com; Kevin Healy, vice president Planning and Sales, AirTran Airways; John Ische, president and CEO, Trisept Solutions; Mike Kistner, CIO and senior vice president of Information Services, Best Western International, Inc.; Debbie McGrath, vice president of Distribution Marketing, Marriott; Sue Powers, CIO and senior vice president of Worldwide Product Solutions, Worldspan; John Slater, managing director of Distribution Planning, Continental Airlines; Shirley Tafoya, senior vice president of Sales, TravelZoo; and Greg Webb, senior vice president of Marketing, Sabre Travel Network.
ResExpo 2005 will also mark the rebirth of the North American chapter of Tour Operators and Wholesalers Achieving Real-time Distribution (TOWARD), an organization structured to help travel companies make necessary changes, find new opportunities for going to market and profit in the new world of travel distribution. TOWARD and other prominent associations are major conference sponsors, including the Open Travel Alliance (OTA), the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA), and CrossSphere, the global association for packaged travel. Additional registration discounts apply for members of these groups. Ê
Hundreds of executives and professionals will attend ResExpo 2005, representing airlines, hotel and car rental companies, tour and vacation operators, travel Web sites, travel agencies and wholesalers, global distribution system (GDS) providers, third-party technology providers, research companies, analysts, corporate travel departments, financial services institutions and other companies with a stake in travel distribution and procurement.Ê