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Travel Management

 February 04, 2010
GetThere Doubles Pace of Innovation On New Platform In 2009

 GetThere has released its latest quarterly grouping of enhancements for business travel programs. The compilation of upgrades capped a record year of innovation for GetThere, with agency and corporate clients benefitting from several air, hotel, and mobile enhancements that continue to help companies better manage their travel programs.

A Sabre Travel Network business, GetThere has self-booking deployments in 76 countries. Corporations booked more than $9 billion in business travel on GetThere in 2009, with the majority of America's 100 largest corporate travel programs using the solution.

GetThere increased its leadership in the multi-national arena by introducing Japanese and Chinese language options to the solution in late 2009. With its group of diverse global clients, and increasing interest from prospects with significant travel spend in Asia/Pacific, the rollout of GetThere's 10th and 11th languages is quite timely.

GetThere completed the migration of its entire client base to a powerful new platform in 2009, enabling travelers and arrangers to see more options at speeds that are 30-50 percent quicker. The platform also facilitates faster coding, development, testing and deployment of new features, highlighted by the following fourth quarter developments:

Custom Hotel Notes -- This function facilitates seamless communication between travel managers and travelers on specific hotel-related items. For example, if a company has negotiated free breakfast and Internet at a preferred hotel, those offerings are displayed in a Custom Hotel Note found on the shopping and booking pages. Travelers then make more informed hotel selections based on preferences, negotiated amenities and location while still booking within policy. Travel managers using this function today record greater hotel compliance, slash spending on web access fees, and improved user satisfaction among employees.

• Hotel Preferred Rate Notification -- The new tool alerts travel managers if a traveler views hotel rates in GetThere that are higher than the negotiated rate for that property. This ensures the rates negotiated by travel managers are properly in place to ensure cost savings.

• GetThere Ticket Manager/Online Exchanges -- Early last year, GetThere began delivering unused ticket messaging. Enhancements delivered in the fourth quarter allow users to exchange a far greater percentage of actual tickets online, including partially-flown tickets, international exchanges, and tickets for the same trip that are made on separate carriers.

Pre-Trip Approval via Mobile Phones -- This enhancement allows travel managers to review traveler bookings on their mobile devices and approve the trip, speeding up the authorizing process.

• More European Carrier Content -- Working with Travelfusion, GetThere now accesses flights, schedules and ancillary offerings from 26 EMEA-based carriers that typically do not participate in global distribution systems. The seamless WebConnect option in the GetThere air shopping path continues to provide greater options for managed programs in Europe.

• Additional Car Locations -- GetThere has added 1,700 international rental car locations allowing global travelers to rent a car on GetThere anywhere in the world.

• Green Hotel Indicator -- Identifies individual preferred hotels within the program that meet the company's defined standards for sustainable hotels, and incorporates that information in the display to the traveler.

"Corporations now realize that travel is vital to the regeneration of their businesses, even as they seek to maintain the demand management mindset that drove such value last year," said Suzanne Neufang, chief marketing officer for GetThere. "By delivering enhancements faster, and ensuring that new products and services work within the savings-focused demand management framework, GetThere is best positioned to work with both big and small companies as business travelers get back on the road in 2010."