News for the Hospitality Executive
SOUTHLAKE, Texas, November 8, 2007 -- Sabre Travel Network, the world's largest global distribution system (GDS), and Travelocity, today announced they have selected VFM Interactive Inc., the industry’s leading provider of rich media production and distribution services, to provide a complete solution for the sourcing, management and distribution of hotel photos, videos, virtual tours and other hotel rich media for Sabre Travel Network and Travelocity.
As part of the of the multi-year agreement, Sabre has also partnered with VFM to offer Sabre partner hotels VFM’s Vscape® Lite digital still image management and distribution solution at no cost to them. The state-of-the-art web-based tool will allow participating hotels to upload and distribute up to 10 digital still images per property to Sabre connected agency customers worldwide, including Travelocity and the option to also distribute to thousands of other VFM distribution partners, including major travel websites and travel intermediaries.
Vscape is like the “switch” for hotel visual content. It simplifies and shortens the process of ensuring that a hotel’s photos and other rich media are distributed and kept up-to-date on thousands of electronic channels by providing hotels with a single point of entry for their visual content, thereby reducing the need to upload that content to multiple channels. Features of Vscape include automated image de-duping and replacement and deletion of outdated images on connected distribution channels, ensuring consistency and freshness of a hotel’s image display across the Internet.
"Having hotel imagery is no longer a 'nice-to-have option' --- travelers, both leisure and corporate, now expect to be able to view their accommodations and more and more are making choices based on the visual representation of the hotel properties," said Stephen Fitzgerald, vice president of car and hotel distribution for Sabre Travel Network. "VFM is a fantastic way to make this process easy for hoteliers and it provides them a way to differentiate their offerings through the ready-made marketing network of more than 50,000 travel agency locations that Sabre Travel Network reaches."
“Photos and rich media such as videos and virtual tours are one of the key influencers of consumer hotel booking decisions, yet getting a hotel’s visual content distributed and kept up-to-date on the thousands of channels where hotels are featured has been a daunting and often impossible task for hotels,” said Noreen Henry, vice president hotels and packages for Travelocity. “By providing our hotel partners with free use of Vscape Lite for the distribution of their images, we are providing them with a solution that will significantly streamline their image management and distribution and could, ultimately, result in increased bookings. Importantly, it will also help ensure that Sabre Travel Network and Travelocity users will have access to the most up to date hotel visual content to assist them in making their booking decisions.”
Paolo Boni, president and chief executive officer of VFM said his company’s partnership with Sabre and Travelocity provides their partner hotels with the best rich media management and distribution solution available.
“We are very proud of our relationship with Sabre and Travelocity and their selection of Vscape to manage and distribute their hotel pictures and rich media,” Boni said. “We firmly believe that together we are providing hotels a tool that will improve their online displays, making it easier for them to leverage their visual assets and market themselves more effectively to consumers”.
About Sabre Travel Network
Sabre Travel Network, a Sabre Holdings company, provides the most comprehensive end-to-end solutions for corporate and leisure travel. The Sabre GDS is the foundation for these solutions, providing a ready-built efficient marketplace that connects travel suppliers, including hundreds of airlines and thousands of hotels, with more than 50,000 travel agency locations. Currently, Sabre collectively handles over 70 percent of the BTN 100 bookings.
Key brands of Sabre Travel Network include GetThere, for corporate travel reservation technology; Jurni Network, a consortium of leisure travel agencies providing marketing and promotion services; Nexion, a host agency; SynXis, for hotel reservation management, distribution and technology services; and TRAMS, mid- and back-office solutions and marketing services for travel agencies. Sabre Travel Network also markets TripTailor, a travel wholesaler providing dynamic packaging for the travel agency marketplace.
Sabre Holdings connects people with the world's greatest travel possibilities by retailing travel products and providing distribution and technology solutions for the travel industry. More information about Sabre Holdings is available at http://www.sabre-holdings.com.
Travelocity® is committed to being the traveler's champion -- before, during and after the trip – and provides the most comprehensive and pro-active guarantee in the industry. See www.travelocity.com/guarantee for details. This customer-driven focus, backed by 24/7 live phone support, great prices and powerful shopping technology has made Travelocity the sixth largest travel agency -- booking $10.1 billion in travel worldwide in 2006. Based in Southlake, Texas, Travelocity also owns and operates Travelocity Business® for corporate travelers, lastminute.com, a leader in European online travel and ZUJI, a leader in Asia-Pacific online travel. Travelocity is owned by Sabre Holdings Corporation, a world leader in travel commerce.
About VFM Interactive
VFM Interactive is the leading end-to-end provider of online media management, production and distribution for the hotel and travel industry. VFM helps travel companies maximize brand penetration online through the power of rich media marketing that includes still images, rich media videos, 360º virtual tours and Flash productions. VFM offers clients access to the largest and fastest-growing distribution network of more than 25,000 distribution points where consumers most often research and purchase travel products. These distributors include online travel agencies, travel suppliers, search portals and Global Distribution Systems such as Travelocity, Orbitz, Priceline, TripAdvisor, American Airlines, Yahoo!, SideStep, Galileo and Worldspan. VFM’s clients include more than 10,000 hotels and resorts from brands and management companies such as Best Western, Choice, Crowne Plaza, Hilton, Holiday Inn, Interstate, La Quinta, Le Meridien, Marriott, Outrigger, Radisson, Regent, Sheraton, Sol Meliá, W, Westin and Wyndham. For more information, visit www.vfmii.com.
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