SOUTHLAKE, Texas, Oct. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In a move to further penetrate the leisure travel market through a new offline sales model, Sabre Travel Network, a Sabre Holdings (NYSE: TSG) company, today announced the creation of Jurni Network, a unique offline leisure travel agency consortium. Jurni Network will provide agency members access to the industry's most sophisticated market intelligence combined with highly targeted marketing programs, and will offer preferred suppliers the opportunity to increase sales through the preferencing of their products at the agents' desktop. The consortium will be backed by proven products and services that leverage the industry expertise, travel merchandising and technology capabilities across Sabre Holdings. Nexion Component of Jurni Network Sabre Travel Network has recently signed an agreement to purchase the assets of Nexion, Inc. as a component of the creation of Jurni Network. This purchase is expected to bring 750 independent agents as charter members of Jurni. It is also expected to enable the development of a unique integrated desktop application for Jurni agents, founded on the Nexion technology platform, that allows Jurni Network to merchandise preferred supplier offerings at the point-of-sale. Nexion began as a consumer travel site, then converted to become a host travel agency for offline leisure travel professionals in 1998. Headquartered in San Jose, California, Nexion has developed an exclusive Internet-based technology platform that provides access to the widest possible travel inventory. Nexion currently connects travel professionals with all four major global distribution systems, as well as graphical cruise booking, Web fares and the air consolidator shopping mall, in one single, affordable platform using a PC and a local Internet connection. While Nexion's technology and professional expertise is expected to support Jurni Network, Sabre Travel Network plans to continue to operate Nexion as a host agency, strengthening Sabre Travel Network's capabilities and relationships with offline leisure travel agencies. Travel Product Offerings Starting next quarter, Jurni agents will gain access to a wide range of leisure travel products sourced from Travelocity, Site59, Nexion and Sabre Exclusives merchant hotels, in addition to negotiated products from preferred suppliers. "Jurni Network will transform the traditional roles of agencies, suppliers and the GDS in this new consortium model," said Eric J. Speck, chief marketing officer of Sabre Holdings. "It will enhance the value proposition offered to both agencies and suppliers through a typical agency network with in-depth traveler data and targeted marketing programs for agents and preferenced merchandising opportunities for preferred suppliers. By partnering with Jurni members, Jurni Network will be able to advance its efforts to be actively involved in retailing travel products to drive more revenue for participating suppliers, Jurni members and Sabre Travel Network." Market Intelligence Offering Jurni Network is working with Equitec, a leader in providing consumer- based business intelligence solutions. Equitec leverages proven methodologies and development relationships with world leaders in data assets and analytical software. This unique combination of resources enables Equitec's clients to accurately understand and predict consumer behavior, enhance customer value and effectively market their products and services. Through the services of this provider, Jurni Network will offer sophisticated market intelligence to enhance agents' ability to sell through access to knowledge about specific consumer groups' travel trends, behaviors and preferences. This customer insight will help agents predict which travel products certain groups of shoppers within their own customer base are most likely to buy. The database offering will be integrated at the agent's desktop and will also incorporate online shopping data to identify sales and shopping trends. The market intelligence, travel products and booking capabilities will all be integrated into a single, easy-to-use desktop booking tool that interfaces with any GDS or booking interface. "Jurni Network offers a new leisure travel sales model that will offer significant revenue opportunities to travel agency members, preferred suppliers and Sabre Travel Network," continued Speck. "It will offer member agencies a means to conduct customized marketing efforts they've never been able to do before. It will provide a limited group of preferred suppliers a new channel to merchandise their products effectively through sales tools that preference their products on the agent's desktops. And it will offer travelers the opportunity to work with agents who can anticipate their desires and match them immediately with great travel deals." Jurni Network Enters Market with Industry Firsts -- Market Intelligence -- First agency network to offer in-depth, sophisticated traveler segmentation data from offline and online sources coupled with highly targeted marketing programs that will enable agents at their desktop to sell the right product to the right person. -- Technology -- First consortium to provide a desktop application that provides preferenced merchandising opportunities on a GDS-independent platform. -- Unmatched travel products -- access to products sourced from multiple acquired and existing Sabre Holdings travel products, in addition to negotiated products from preferred suppliers. Jurni Network Leadership Chris Kroeger will serve as general manager of Jurni Network. He most recently held the position of senior vice president of Sabre Travel Network, Europe, Middle East and Africa. Kroeger began his career with Sabre Holdings in 1989 in the market research department. Subsequent positions have included product marketing for airline distribution services, regional sales manager in the western U.S. and national agency accounts divisions, and leadership roles responsible for the accounts of international travel agency customers in Latin America and the Caribbean, and Europe, Middle East and Africa. "Chris has a unique skill set of understanding agencies, both small and large, building solutions based on customer needs, and delivering value to travel suppliers," said Speck. "This is what Jurni Network is all about." Jurni Network Benefits Industry-leading benefits of the Jurni Network will include: -- Travel agencies -- Unique market intelligence and highly targeted marketing programs -- One-of-a-kind desktop booking tool integrated with any GDS and database information -- Dedicated customer service team and training -- Access to exceptional travel products -- Suppliers -- Valuable agency network for efficient, highly targeted retailing of their travel product -- Access to real-time reporting mechanisms -- Technology capabilities and travel merchandising expertise from across Sabre Holdings -- Travelers -- Opportunity to work with agencies who can provide a great shopping experience through knowledge about their preferences More information on Jurni Network can be found at www.jurni.com . About Sabre Travel Network Sabre Travel Network, a Sabre Holdings company, offers products and solutions for travel agencies who serve both business and leisure travelers. It provides access to the world's leading global distribution system (GDS) and products and services enabling agents at more than 53,000 agency locations worldwide to be travel experts. Originally developed in 1960, the Sabre GDS was the first system to connect the buyers and sellers of travel. Today the system includes more than 400 airlines, approximately 60,000 hotels, 53 car rental companies, nine cruise lines, 36 railroads and 232 tour operators. Jurni Network, a Sabre Travel Network business, is a leisure travel consortium that enables offline agencies to increase revenue by using sophisticated market intelligence and preferred suppliers to increase sales through preferenced merchandising at the agent's desktop. Sabre Holdings Corporation (NYSE: TSG) 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/ Statements in this release which are not purely historical facts, including statements about future plans, events, forecasted performance of the Jurni Network, the expected benefits to Sabre Holdings Corporation, or other statements about anticipations, beliefs, expectations, hopes, intentions or strategies for the future, may be forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are based upon information available to Sabre Holdings Corporation on the date this report was submitted. Sabre Holdings Corporation undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Any forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from the events or results described in the forward-looking statements, including risks or uncertainties related to: the computer reservation system rules proposed by the Department of Transportation, other legal and regulatory issues, the integration of any acquired assets, such as acquired technology, into Sabre Holdings Corporation, and Sabre Holdings Corporation's revenues being highly dependent on the travel and transportation industries. Sabre Holdings Corporation may not succeed in addressing these and other risks. Further information regarding factors that could affect our financial and other results can be found in the risk factors section of Sabre Holdings Corporation's most recent filing on Form 10-Q with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
SOURCE Sabre Travel Network