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Sabre Travel Network Helps Hotels and Agencies Streamline Commission Payments

New Tool Latest in a Long Line of GDS Products and Services for Hotels

SOUTHLAKE, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nov. 30, 2006–Sabre Travel Network today launched a product aimed at helping hotels and travel agencies manage hotel booking commissions more effectively. The new Web-based product is called Sabre Worldwide Commission Manager and was developed in conjunction with Seville-based Worldwide Payment Systems (WPS). It will be introduced at next week’s HEDNA Conference in Florida and implemented with Sabre’s hotel customers during December.

Sabre Worldwide Commission Manager will be available to hotel operators around the world and will give them a new ability to track commission payments to travel agencies on a global scale, while enabling agencies to track, manage and – where necessary – claim commissions easily and efficiently.

The lack of an industry-wide standard has so far prevented technology providers from developing products to do this effectively. By teaming with Sabre Travel Network to develop this product and make it available to more than 76,000 hotels and the huge worldwide network of travel agencies that use the Sabre global distribution system (GDS), WPS believes it will generate the impetus and scale to make this product the global commission management solution of choice.

“Between Sabre Travel Network, Travelocity, lastminute.com, Site59.com, the Jurni Network, Nexion and SynXis, Sabre Holdings has one of the largest hotel inventories of any company anywhere,” said Pedro Fernandez-Salvador, WPS’ chief executive officer. “Sabre Worldwide Commission Manager will contribute by enhancing this hotel offering still further.”

Sabre Worldwide Commission Manager is the latest in a series of tools and services (some outlined in detail below) from Sabre Travel Network designed to help hotel operators increase sales, encourage travel agencies to book accommodation through the Sabre GDS, create operational efficiencies for suppliers and agencies and give travel agents the most comprehensive collection of bookable leisure and business travel products. The company intends to unveil early next year other products to make it even easier for travel agencies to book hotel accommodation through Sabre.

“Managing commissions and dealing with payment enquiries has been one of the biggest booking bug-bears facing both travel agencies and hotel operators,” said Richard Adams, Sabre Travel Network’s senior vice-president for the EMEA region. “By providing this solution we hope to ease the situation for all concerned, stimulate travel agencies to boost the number of hotel bookings they make in the GDS and so make Sabre a preferred distribution method for hotel operators.”

Hotel chains and independent properties that use the tool will receive regular updates about their commission status. Sabre Travel Network will export to Sabre Worldwide Commission Manager on a monthly basis all booking information such as reservation numbers, check-in and check-out dates, rates and commissions. Hotel operators can then access and manage this information in several ways, including on the Internet.

Sabre Connected travel agencies will be able to track their commission status online. A high-level summary provides an overview of all the previous months’ commissions for the bookings done through the GDS, grouped by their status. A tracking tool enables the agency to check the commission status of different reservations, while a claim tool eases considerably the communication between hotels and travel agencies about pending commissions, saving administrative work on both sides and making the exchange of information more efficient.

Sabre Worldwide Commission Manager will be launched initially to a limited number of travel agencies as part of a pilot project. It is available in several languages and able to process multiple currencies. To date English, German, French and Spanish are enabled. An Italian version will follow shortly.

Recent initiatives for hotel operators

Sabre Travel Network has introduced recently a number of initiatives designed to help hotel operators make more money through the GDS. Its Sabre Surround and Hotel Spotlight marketing services continue to show exceptional growth as hotels prove accepting of, and willing to pay for, new merchandising opportunities. It has enhanced existing merchandising opportunities through its targeted Promo Spots and Sign On messaging tools, and has recently released UpSell, a way to help hotels increase revenues on each transaction through special offers to agents at the point of purchase.

Parent company Sabre Holdings offers hotel operators the ability to reach consumers through advertising on the Sabre Virtually There itinerary Web site, Travelocity, lastminute.com and IgoUgo.com, where the world’s most passionate travelers gather to relate their experiences. It offers direct marketing programs and product preferencing to Jurni consortium members, and preferential placement on agent and traveler booking screens such as MySabre and Travelocity.

It also offers targeted e-mail marketing to increase brand awareness and booking opportunities, and tailored, targeted promotional campaigns designed to reach the right buyers at the right time.

“Our innovative marketing programs continue to grow in popularity with hotels,” Adams said. “Our hotel merchandising revenues have grown approximately 40 percent year-over-year and now account for 23 percent of all Sabre Travel Network’s hotel revenues. We expect this strong growth to continue and expect revenue from hotels to become a much more significant piece of the Sabre Travel Network portfolio going forward.”

At the end of October this year, the top ten Sabre Travel Network hotel suppliers showed strong growth and performance. Room nights booked through the GDS were up five percent year-on-year, length of stay was up to 2.21 days (a year-on-year increase of 1.1 days), the average daily rate was up 8.4 percent year-on-year and revenue delivered to the hotels was up 13.8 percent.

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.

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 (NYSE:TSG) 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.

About WPS

WPS (Worldwide Payment Systems, S.A.) is a leading information and payment processing company, specializing in solutions for the tourist industry.

WPS offers a wide portfolio of services and personalized instruments to achieve efficiency and transparency when making any information and/or payment transaction. Among others, WPS is currently providing commission payments services, billing solutions, reconciliation tools, automation of administrative processes for the industry, etc.

With a worldwide presence, WPS is optimizing the business flows of more than 90,000 travel industry players in 190 countries.

More information about WPS is available at: www.wpsnetwork.com and logistic@wpsnetwork.com.

CONTACT: Media Contact:
Sabre Travel Network
Kathryn Hayden, 682-605-2252
WPS Press contact:
Tel.: +34 955 031 400
Fax: +34 955 031 440
E-mail: press@wpsnetwork.com

SOURCE: Sabre Travel Network

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