Press Releases

Best Western Expands Online Presence By Partnering With Travelocity's Merchant Program

PRNewswire
FORT WORTH, Texas
Sep 3, 2003

Travelocity's(R) merchant hotel program, the fastest growing independent program in the industry, now features inventory from Phoenix-based Best Western International Inc., THE WORLD'S LARGEST HOTEL CHAIN(R), giving millions of consumers access to guaranteed low priced hotels from Best Western via the Travelocity hotel and TotalTrip(SM) shopping engines.

After setting new records in online traffic and revenue this year, Best Western is following through on plans to further drive business through its Web properties and associated partnerships.

Best Western hoteliers around the world will now benefit through increased distribution and revenue opportunities by combining with the reach of Travelocity, one of the leading global Internet travel sites. The preferred net rate agreement also gives Best Western hotel operators access to Travelocity affiliates such as Yahoo! and AOL.

According to Best Western officials, the reach of the brand's properties in more than 80 countries across the globe combined with travel needs of the 40 million members of Travelocity's services make the partnership a mutually beneficial arrangement.

"Best Western has long embraced the power and scope of the Internet allowing our customers the option of booking online since 1995," said Ric Leutwyler, vice president of E-Commerce and Field Marketing for Best Western International. "We see expanding our presence on the Web with a leader like Travelocity as a natural progression of our initial strategy put in motion eight years ago."

Ross Mantione, Travelocity's vice president, partner marketing alliances said on the deal: "The Best Western brand is respected around the world and having them part of our merchant hotel program further complements our scale and property mix. We are confidant that our relationship with Best Western will be lasting and mutually beneficial."

The roll out of Best Western's merchant inventory on Travelocity has already begun and more properties are being added daily.

About Travelocity's Merchant Hotel Program

More than 7,000 hotels worldwide currently participate in Travelocity's merchant hotel program. Popular chains include Best Western International, Carlson Hotels Worldwide, La Quinta Corporation, Choice Hotels International, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Cendant Corporation and InterContinental Hotels & Resorts (formerly Six Continents Hotels). Additionally, more than 1,500 well-known independently owned and operated hotels from across the world participate. Travelocity was the first online distributor of its scope to gain access to rates and availability directly from suppliers' central reservation systems. Hoteliers benefit from Travelocity's seamless technical solution and have greater merchandising opportunities to more than 40 million Travelocity members and onward distribution partners through enhanced hotel descriptions and rate displays on the hotel path, as well as participation in packaging and cross-sell opportunities. Inventory and rates can be loaded via Sabre global distribution system, through the hotel's central reservation system or via the Travelocity extranet. Hotels can obtain more information by sending an e-mail to partner.marketing@travelocity.com

About Travelocity

Travelocity(R), a Sabre Holdings(TM) company, pioneered the online travel space and continues to be the most popular travel service on the Web, giving consumers access to hundreds of airlines, thousands of hotels and cruise, last-minute and vacations packages, and best-in-class car rental companies, all backed by 1,000 customer service representatives staffed to provide 24-hour assistance. With 40 million members, Travelocity is the seventh largest travel agency in the United States. It has been recognized worldwide for its leadership in the online travel space, and it operates or powers Web sites in five languages across four continents.

Sabre Holdings Corporation is a world leader in travel commerce, 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/ . Additional information about Travelocity can be found on the Web at http://www.travelocity.com/ .

About Best Western

Best Western International is THE WORLD'S LARGEST HOTEL CHAIN(R) with more than 4,000 hotels in 80 countries and territories. Best Western is a membership association of independently owned and operated hotels that provides marketing, reservations and operational support to its members. For more information about Best Western, visit www.bestwestern.com .

   TRAVELOCITY CONTACT:
   Judy Haveson (judy@vollmerpr.com )
   212/554-7425
   Amy Fuhrer (amy@vollmerpr.com )
   972/488-4790

   BEST WESTERN CONTACT:
   Tiffany Tchida (tiffany.tchida@bestwestern.com )
   602/957-5752

SOURCE: Travelocity

CONTACT: Judy Haveson, +1-212-554-7425, or judy@vollmerpr.com , or Amy
Fuhrer, +1-972-488-4790, or amy@vollmerpr.com , for Travelocity; or Tiffany
Tchida of Best Western International Inc., +1-602-957-5752, or
tiffany.tchida@bestwestern.com