DISTRIBUTION market leader Cendant TDS is launching an integrated online product platform through Galileo that will – for the first time – see the company distributing packaged wholesale products through its agency network.

The Regional Vendor Platform (RVP) – due the final quarter of this year – will also aggregate and distribute air, hotels car hire, cruise, destination activities, insurance and foreign exchange through traditional and online agencies.

Utilising the Travel Service Aggregator (TSA) technology Galileo developed with Webjet and Microsoft, RVP will allow agents to directly access and book the live inventory of contracted suppliers via a web interface.

Cendant TDS Managing Director John Guscic says RVP will feature “all types” of online and offline product, although suppliers must have a robust technological capacity to ensure seamless integration with the web-based application.

“It will be used as a booking front-end for agents or agency.com sites to provide the most robust and integrated content platform available in the market,” Guscic says.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for suppliers and wholesalers to expand their product reach.”

Guscic says that work is already well advanced on the technical aspects of RVP, which will be integrated into GDS desktops.

“The TSA technology is so robust; it integrates into the mid and back office, enabling touchless transactions.

“This product is a great success story for the Australian travel industry and has already been rolled out globally.

“It is being used by UK consolidator and wholesaler Travel 2/Travel 4, while Harvey World Travel is using the TSA platform in a B2B environment.”

Planning for the product accrual strategy is now underway with Cendant set to appoint a dedicated partnership and relationship manager.

Director, Product Management and Marketing, Kurt Knackstedt, is currently scouting product from all sectors.

“We want everything,” he jokes.

Guscic adds: “We want all the content we can get then let agency customers make the decision on what they want to buy.”

In terms of marketing, Guscic claims RVP will give Galileo a major advantage over its competitors, although TIAS also offers agents an aggregrated database – albeit without air – through Traveltools.

“No-one else will have the suppliers, the technology or the distribution reach, while agents will be able to get all content through the same booking engine rather than visiting separate websites or making lots of phone calls.”

Guscic claims that Galileo’s share of the Australian Global Distribution Systems market has grown 10% over the past year and now sits at around 50%.

Its agency partners include Harvey World Travel, Flight Centre, American Express, and BTI.

May 13, 2005

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