Small Groups are a Big Deal
|DENVER – July 7, 2004…
Groople announces the public launch of the online travel industry’s most
advanced technology for leisure groups at www.groople.com,
an online retail marketplace designed for group travel.
Created by some of the industry’s most seasoned veterans, Groople provides a powerful online group portal and community that meets travelers’ research and booking needs while offering technology that enables suppliers to automate and control the pricing and allocation process. At Groople, consumers see the group inventory that the hotel or other supplier dynamically manages on the back end, allowing groups to take advantage of discounts quickly and easily while giving suppliers the representation they require to accommodate group bookings.
“Groople has group travel figured out, creating the most focused way to tap into this lucrative market of unmanaged leisure groups,” said CEO David Loy, a former executive at Trip.com and eBags. “We’re excited to see hospitality industry leaders recognizing this void and capitalizing on the opportunity to realize enhanced revenues from this channel.”
Among many firsts for the group market, the new technology platform enables consumers to do something that other sites haven’t allowed – to book travel and accommodations for more than five rooms in a single online session. Featuring more than 56,000 hotels, including 7,000 that offer real-time group rates, Groople is primed to become the industry’s largest automated solution for unmanaged group leisure travel, a market estimated at $18 billion to $24 billion. Under its hosted inventory and commission models, Groople generates group bookings niche by niche for hotels and plans to add air, car, cruise, bus and rail later this year.
“We’re proud to start with a solid base of corporate partners and offerings and we look forward to unveiling Groople on a wider scale in the very near future,” Loy said. “Booking group travel online shouldn’t be difficult, and we’re excited to be contributing aggressively to the simplification process.”
Groople has already entered partnerships with many of the most recognized brands in the hotel industry to give consumers the best options when making their group travel reservations. And customers aren’t the only group that will benefit from using Groople.
“We immediately recognized the many advantages of using Groople for targeting and servicing the group travel market,” said Shelley Carroll, General Manager of Summerfield Suites by Wyndham. “The potential for growth is tremendous and, with Groople’s advanced technology, we feel like we’re ahead of the curve.”
Groople caters to a myriad of groups - military, educational, religious, fraternal, bridal and other social groups – and supports an 80-seat call center to help handle special requests and more complex needs, such as booking banquet facilities and registering for events. Groople includes online tools to help users manage various aspects of the booking process, from travel and hotel to rooming lists and group profiles and, in a soon-to-be-released version, will allow travelers to search and price meeting space, food and beverage, audio visual equipment and other group related amenities.
Optimized to work with partner web sites interested in offering group booking functionality, Groople’s user interface allows seamless integration through private label, co-branded and white-label offerings.
Groople will also ease the burden of travel agents who wrestle with tedious manual group bookings by giving them a tool to help organize the booking process while enabling communication through each step. The easy-to-use agent desktop application allows seamless integration with suppliers and enables agents to give their customers the most up-to-date pricing and an enhanced level of service.