SOUTHLAKE, Texas, July 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sabre Travel Network, a Sabre Holdings (NYSE: TSG) company, today announced the roll out of its Sabre Web Services offering. This new offering provides travel agents easier, faster and more flexible access to the Sabre global distribution system (GDS) using industry-accepted OpenTravel(TM) Alliance (OTA) standards. It enables agencies to reduce development time for new and enhanced offerings, thereby cutting costs, speeding time to market for new sources of revenue, improving customer loyalty and assuring competitive advantage. In the past, customers gained access to the Sabre GDS and those of other travel providers in a variety of ways using multiple languages and forms of connectivity. Now Sabre Web Services (making use of leading-edge XML and SOAP technologies) streamlines that process, offering developers a single standards-based access to the GDS. This eliminates the need for agents and Web developers to understand proprietary codes and programming languages to connect their systems to the disparate data sources needed to create bookable Web-based travel offerings. "We were able to link our dynamic packaging engine to the Sabre Web Services platform with ease," said Rakesh Mishra, president of HyperTech Solutions, a Sabre Travel Network customer which provides dynamic packaging and remote connectivity technology to the travel industry. "Sabre Web Services' features are fantastic, and the rapid development cycle brought our revised product to market 30 percent faster, while allowing us to price our products even more competitively. It's been 'win-win-win' -- for Sabre Travel Network, for HyperTech and for our tour operator customers!" HyperTech develops Internet booking engines and Web-based solutions for tour operators and air consolidators. "When machines talk to each other using Internet technology and full- featured Web services capabilities, agencies can drastically cut time to market for new Web-based booking and search tools," said John Stow, president of Sabre Travel Network. "Sabre Web Services drives efficiencies by better integrating all of a customer's systems and software tools, reducing costs and time spent in hiring developers or training their agents to troubleshoot complex technologies." An agency planning to build a Web site with travel booking capabilities can easily access the Sabre GDS via Sabre Web Services and select specific services to meet their individual business needs. For example, one agency may use geographic displays of available hotels, while another may opt for a more streamlined text view of available hotels. By selecting Sabre Web Services, rather than off-the-shelf booking tools, agencies gain maximum control over the creation of their customer-facing booking tools. Sabre Web Services takes advantage of parent company Sabre Holdings' thrust to offer a services-oriented technology architecture to serve its Sabre Holdings companies and clients alike. This new architecture and its accompanying technology infrastructure will enable Sabre Web Services to become the single access point for Sabre Holdings customers and the primary mechanism for accessing and distributing Sabre Holdings products and services. The result will be more efficient and cost-effective systems and products. "Other companies talk about Web services," Stow continued, "but we are the first to offer a comprehensive, OTA-based, fully developed suite of tools ready to begin generating return on investment for agents today. The most important thing we can do for our customers is to provide them with a single, standards-based way to access our system, and Sabre Web Services does just that. Web services is truly the way forward for Sabre Travel Network and our agency customers." The 22 services available in the first release of the product encompass the full functionality needed to shop and book air, car and hotel accommodations and to create and manage Passenger Name Records (PNRs) for travelers. Sabre Web Services is currently available to Sabre Connected agencies in North America and Latin America. The offering is available for a license fee and fees on a pay-per-use basis. It will be rolled out to EMEA customers in Quarter 1, 2004. Additional Web services offerings will be introduced through other Sabre Holdings companies over the next few months. About Sabre Travel Network Sabre Travel Network, a Sabre Holdings company, provides access to the world's leading global distribution system (GDS) and products and services enabling agents at more than 56,000 locations worldwide to be travel experts. About 35 percent of the world's travel is booked through the Sabre GDS. Originally developed in 1960, it 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. 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/ . Sabre and Sabre Web Services are trademarks of Sabre, Inc. or an affiliate of Sabre, Inc.
SOURCE Sabre Travel Network