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Travel Management

 February 07, 2007
GetThere Tops 10 Million Online Corporate Travel Bookings in 2006

 GetThere has (February 7) announced the milestone of 10 million bookings made by corporations using the GetThere system in 2006. Combining air, car, hotel and rail reservations, the value of bookings made by business travelers using GetThere in 2006 surpassed $8.1 billion. In last year's Benchmark Survey, GetThere clients reported an average savings of 14 percent on air tickets. Based on that figure, GetThere estimates that corporations using GetThere for online bookings saved approximately $600 million in airfare in 2006.

With more than 3,000 companies and 135 travel agencies around the world using the system, GetThere recorded its sixth consecutive year of 20 percent growth in 2006. A majority of Fortune 200 companies that have online booking sites use GetThere, as well as more than half of the corporate travel industry's 100 largest accounts. In the fourth quarter of 2006 alone, nine companies with a total air volume above $500 million signed renewal agreements to use GetThere in 2007 and beyond.

GetThere's leadership in the online corporate travel arena is spurring more companies to take advantage of travel technology to save money and drive policy compliance on business travel. PhoCusWright predicts that gross U.S. online corporate bookings will grow 18 percent in 2007, with industry adoption rates growing from 45 percent in 2006 to 52 percent in 2008. GetThere clients are clearly ahead of the curve, reporting an average adoption rate of 68 percent in the 2006 benchmark survey.

Charlotte-based Compass Group USA, Inc., a leading foodservice company that spends approximately $50 million annually on travel, deployed GetThere to its travelers in the summer of 2006. Within five months, the company tripled the number of employees using the corporate travel site. Compass Group USA also reported savings of 17 percent or more on its most-traveled city pairs. "GetThere's customer success managers and knowledgeable support staff are dramatically impacting our travel program," said Steven Howell, senior procurement manager for Compass Group USA. "GetThere's easy booking process, along with a support structure of people that truly grasp the complexities of business travel, reaps benefits for us every day."

GetThere's global footprint continued to grow in 2006, with business travelers in more than 40 countries now using GetThere. Agency and corporate bookings were up in all regions, highlighted by:

- a 33 percent increase in Europe;
- a growth of 20 percent in Latin America; and
- a 64 percent increase off a small base of customers in Australia/New Zealand.

GetThere is in the final stages of its Enhanced Design initiative, integrating the award-winning displays and leisure look and feel of Travelocity into the GetThere system. The company issued 10 major releases in 2006, highlighted by an easy-to-read matrix for air shopping and a new graphical interface that mimics leisure sites that travelers are used to. More than 50 percent of GetThere clients have switched to the new interface, with 61 percent reporting that the leisure-like enhancements have contributed to increased use of the GetThere system in their respective companies.

On the agency front, 21 regional travel management companies (TMCs) in North America signed agreements to offer GetThere to their corporate clients in 2006. TMC participants in GetThere's new Premium Partner Program recorded a cumulative booking increase of 97 percent. Earlier this year, GetThere honored 11 agencies for their contributions to growing use of the GetThere system with Luminary Awards.

"Our clients increasingly have a better understanding of the time and money savings they can generate via use of GetThere," said Michael MacNair, president of MacNair Travel Management in the greater Washington, DC area. "We've implemented a number of longtime clients who were previously unaware of such systems. Forty percent of our new sites are from existing clients." MacNair Travel Management earned a Luminary Award for its efforts in delivering savings to its clients via use of GetThere.

"Our clients and agency partners were most instrumental in our 2006 success," said Bev Heinritz, general manager of GetThere. "As much as we focus on delivering product enhancements to meet the evolving needs of business travelers, it is rewarding to hear our clients refer to the outstanding service they can count on from GetThere staff as a key component of their choice to continue growing with us. We look forward to serving our customers in 2007, and stand ready to help corporations who are new to online booking embrace their global travel savings potential."

www.getthere.com