EVANSTON, Ill., Jan. 29, 1998 -- Commissionable discount air and hotel products are now available on the Internet for U.S. and Canadian travel agents to book on-line for their clients.
In an industry first, Spy Travel Net, Inc., today announced that North American travel agencies can register to use Spy Travel Discount Network to book and sell its growing inventory of exclusive wholesale travel products. The Spy service is free to licensed agents. Registration, also free, takes only a few minutes at http://www.spyspy.com.
"Spy is the first Internet-based travel wholesaling service designed for use by travel agencies," said Greg Merkley, Marketing Director - North America. "Based on our experience in Asia, we expect agencies in North America to take great advantage of Spy's easy-to-use technology and exclusive inventory.
"Research shows most travelers want to book with their travel agents, and Spy now gives agents in the world's largest travel marketplace an alternative to booking through their computer reservation systems or by phone."
Introduced a year ago in Singapore, Spy is already a success
with agents in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia and other countries
Asia/Pacific region. At present more than 600 travel agencies tap into the Spy system.
Wholesale Hotels And Consolidated Air Fares
Spy recently added consolidated air fares to its data base of wholesale hotel rooms. Air fares cover more than 300 city pairs worldwide, with flights originating from gateway cities in Asia, Europe and North America.
Spy's data base of wholesale hotel rooms covers more than 5,000 properties in 312 cities and 52 countries. Later this year, Spy will add cruises, tours and car rental products.
"We plan to sell a broad range of wholesale and discounted products that are not available through the traditional CRS channel," Merkley said. "We hope to expand the market for wholesale and consolidator products by making it easier for agents to book these products for their clients."
Enhanced Software And Support For Professionals
Spy streamlined the booking process with Spy Professional, an enhanced booking tool for agencies. Spy Professional combines all booking functions into a Java application that can be downloaded from the Spy web site at no charge. Spy Professional is faster, more interactive and more usable in an agency setting than HTML booking tools.
"Travel agents who book frequently on the Web find HTML-based sites too slow and restrictive," Merkley said. "Spy's new software was designed as a flexible searching and booking tool for high-volume professionals rather than a browsing tool for occasional users."
In February, a telephone Help Desk to support travel agency users will be established through a partnership with 800 Support, a pioneer in technical support and professional services based in Portland, Ore. A toll-free help line will be available to assist agencies with technical and customer service questions Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Pacific time. E-mail communication will also be supported.
"As a wholesaler who doesn't charge booking fees, we're very committed to helping agents sell our inventory effectively and efficiently," Merkley said. "We want agents to be as productive as possible."
Spy Travel Discount Network is marketed in North America by Spy Travel Net, Inc., a subsidiary of Linbert Travel Exchange, a hotel and air ticket consolidator. Linbert is a member of Ken-Air Leisure Group, a $100 million Southeast Asian company founded in 1973. Prospective customers can call Spy Travel Net at 847/869-1568; fax to 847/869-1583; or E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or view Spy Travel Discount Network at http://www.spyspy.com.