Japan Ryokan Association Selects Utell Connect and NetbookerNG
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The premier Japan Ryokan Association has teamed up with Utell Hotels & Resorts as its partner of choice to offer selected member properties throughout Japan worldwide distribution via Utell Connect and Pegasus Solutions Inc- services powered by Pegasus Solutions.By choosing Utell Connect, the Japan Ryokan Association properties will be connected to the four Global Distribution Systems (GDSs) via the Pegasus Switch over the next few months. Additionally, the ryokans will offer rate and availability information in Pegasus’ Online Distribution Database (ODD) for distribution to online travel agencies (OTAs), corporate travel departments and tour operators. The Japan Ryokan Association will also implement Pegasus’ leading Internet booking engine NetBooker® NG exclusively, to enable them to receive internet bookings directly from consumers. This is the first deal of its kind in Japan where traditionally the ryokans have previously never been bookable online.
“We’re proud to offer a unique and spiritual accommodation experience in Japan, with our collection of the best ryokans,” said Masao Koseki, executive director of the Japan Ryokan Association. “Utell Connect has provided us with a market leading distribution solution, enabling us to offer worldwide access to our properties, so the world can experience Japanese hospitality at its best.”
Representing the top 1,300 of Japan’s 55,000 ryokans, the Japan Ryokan Association offers a selection of traditional ryokans that have met the Association’s strict regulations regarding cultural aesthetics, privacy, and hygiene. Ryokans offer travelers the essence of Japan - from staying in a room with Tatami (straw mat) flooring and wearing a typical Yukata (robe), to enjoying an Onsen (hot-spring bath) or traditional evening and morning meals prepared by a master chef heya-shoku (in room). Until now, these enviable properties have been unavailable online or through the GDS.
Initially, two hundred properties will be using Utell Connect and NetBooker® NG with around the same number being added each year throughout the three year contractual period.
“We are delighted to welcome on board the members of the Japan Ryokan Association who as a result of this agreement will realize an immediate boost in bookings. However, the real win here is for the demand community, which has gained simple and direct access to a cultural treasure trove of desirable properties,” said Ric Leutwyler, president of Utell Hotels & Resorts.