A deal was signed this week between Dnata Agencies and Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts, to provide customers with an improved booking procedure.
Valid for an initial three-year period, the agreement will be fleshed out in stages, according to Russel Sharpe, regional vice president of sales for Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts, who said the partnership will be developed into new areas in the medium-term.
Sharpe said, “To start with, we are co-ordinating our back office reservation systems so that mutual customers can access both hotel reservations and airline ticketing at one point, as well as additional services such as car hire bookings, for instance.
“This means that individual - or corporate - clients can virtually create their own ‘packages’, print out prepaid vouchers and be ready for travel at the click of a button.”Ê
Meanwhile, both Dnata agents and the group’s network of Axis and BTI partners around the Middle East will be able to access a reservations tool for booking the very best deals at Le Meridien hotels worldwide.
Rashid Al Noori, Senior Vice President Dnata Agencies, said, “We are delighted to partner with Le Meridien, a leading hotel chain with global reach and a reputation for quality. Through our own extensive regional network, Dnata looks forward to working closely with them to provide travel industry players with access to the best prices and products.”
“This agreement means that we can get closer to both the travel trade and the end customer, putting Le Meridien in the spotlight by offering simple reservation procedures and competitive rates,” said Sharpe.
Despite a growing trend towards web-based travel bookings, Le Meridien is committed to supporting the travel trade, he emphasised.
“There have been predictions about the demise of the travel agent for decades, and it has never happened. What we will see is a rationalisation of operations, with a trend towards consultancy as well as packaging of the varying elements of an itinerary - and here, Le Meridien and Dnata are leading from the front.”