Hotel Online  Special Report



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 Major Travel Industry Alliance …New Leonardo/ICE Portal Partnership
Manages Rich Media Content for Over 25,000 Hotels
with Distribution to 20,000+ Travel Channels!

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MIAMI — October 5, 2005 — World E-Marketing leader Leonardo and Florida-based ICE Portal have just joined forces to create the travel industry’s foremost internet content distribution service.

The new partnership now allows travel suppliers and hoteliers seamless distribution of internet sales content to over 20,000 leading travel websites including the four GDS-Global Distribution Systems.

Now, from a central database, the combined companies offer 24/7 delivery of static and moving images from 50,000 hotels -- 25,000 with animated images, 4,500 videos, plus more than 10,000 virtual tours.

“Companies partnering with Leonardo and ICE Portal now have a single point of access to manage all their visual content,” said ICE President Henry Woodman, “Because there’s no global standard for how various websites receive rich media we’ve created a standardizing interface.”

“We take a client’s multimedia presentation, for example, and deliver it to every distribution site in the required format,” Woodman explained.
“As more hotel rooms and travel are researched and sold over the Internet,” Woodman added, “the ability to effectively show a product online becomes vital. Current research indicates rich media, like virtual tours, generate 46 percent more bookings than still images.” 

The new Leonardo—ICE Portal alliance now provides travel suppliers and distributors with a simple, comprehensive, one-stop shop to satisfy all content needs. Consumers will now find Internet researching and buying much easier with fresh, rich, visual media.

“Our two companies now provide a single point of entry for content, hosting, management, formatting, branding and delivery,” added Leonardo CEO David Elton, “and the value for both supplier and distributor has increased significantly. Now, for the first time, there’s an industry content standard available from a single source.”

“Also suppliers may now manage their content in their own environment if they choose, and ‘push’ content to Leonardo-ICE Portal with an XML interface for formatting and distribution.”

“Our clients get their best marketing materials to more points of interaction with potential consumers than anyone,” Elton added, “The alliance will also simplify the challenge of maintaining image and brand consistency across distribution channels.”

“Some companies,” Leonardo’s CEO continued, “have spent a lot of money managing their visual assets, but discover they can’t deliver in multiple languages in a cost-effective way. Our new formatting and delivery systems meet and efficiently solve this type of challenge.”
Small hotel groups and independent hotels also can now host and easily manage all their visual assets one central database, and be assured their content will be delivered accurately worldwide. 

About ICE Portal

ICE Portal specializes in production, management and delivery of moving content, such as virtual tours, streaming videos and flash, in multiple languages. This enhanced content has become more important in a world with broadband users connecting to the Internet every day. The ICE (Internet Content Exchange) Portal was designed from the ground up using proprietary technology to allow tremendous flexibility of both supplier and distributors to exchange content. All the formatting, branding and sizing is done by ICE Portal, which provides hotels with valuable performance reports that track every client click. Hoteliers using ICE Portal will know what content was viewed, on which Web sites, the number of e-mail requests generated from each Web site, the most viewed images and more.

ICE Portal partnered with Leonardo to offer clients a more complete e-commerce solution. In addition to distribution in North America and Europe, ICE Portal has partnered with PREVU Corporation in Asia Pacific to deliver its content to hundreds of the top travel sites in the region. A few distribution partners include Orbitz, tour operators such as Liberty Travel and Trisept Solutions’ Vacation Access, which delivers ICE Portal’s branded content to 85,000 travel agents. Clients include Starwood, Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, Choice, Wyndham, Cendant and Sol Melia. For more information, visit www.iceportal.com.
 
About Leonardo

Leonardo is the world leader in travel content management, e-marketing and content distribution across the global travel chain. Its online solutions are designed to simplify the management of rich content and the automation of distribution to the global distribution systems, travel channels and their travel partners. For all travel partners, Leonardo provides the largest one-stop aggregated source of digital content for hotels, destinations and attractions in the travel industry. 

Leonardo works with more than 50,000 hotels, including many global hotel companies, such as InterContinental, Carlson, Worldhotels, Raffles/Swissotel, Rosewood, Jumeirah International, Preferred Hotel Group, Kersner International, Small Luxury Hotels, Leading Hotels of the World, Le Meridien, Nikko, Peninsula, Starwood, Aston, Luxe and Destination Hotels and Resorts. Leonardo also works with more than 80 tourist boards, including Singapore, Portugal, The Hague, and Antigua and Barbuda. Major travel channel partners include Amadeus, Galileo, Sabre, Worldspan, Pegasus, WizCom, WorldRes, Lodging.com, Cheaptickets, Yahoo Travel, Opodo, Vista, Planetgo, Aergo, Widderoe and NorthStar Travel Media. For more information, visit www.leonardo.com.

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Contact:

Barb Worcester, Principal
PRpro
barbw@prproconsulting.com
Tel: (440) 930-5770
 
Henry Woodman
President
ICE Portal
(954) 893-6778
henry@iceportal.com
 
David Elton
Chief Executive Officer
Leonardo
44 20 7717 8436 
david@leonardo.com

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