Sabre 'Virtually There' Web Site Creates Personal Travel Domain for Travelers Expected to Reach Up to 30 Million Travelers on Sabre System

Nov 08, 1999, 00:00 ET from Sabre

    FORT WORTH, Texas, Nov. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Sabre (NYSE:   TSG) today
 announced Virtually There Web site, an innovative personal travel domain that
 provides travelers with up-to-the-minute, itinerary and destination
 information via the Internet.  Harnessing the power of the Sabre system and
 Internet technology, the site offers information tailored to individual
 traveler preferences and focused on a specific trip already booked through the
 Sabre system.  Virtually There has the potential to reach 30 million unique
 travelers who book reservations through Sabre connected travel agents and
 corporate travel offices each year.  The Sabre system handles 350 million
 bookings per year or nearly 40 percent of all reservations booked through
 travel agencies throughout the world.
     Once a booking is confirmed through the Sabre system, a secure personal
 travel domain is created specifically for the traveler's trip.  The custom
 site contains the trip itinerary, gate and flight information, and destination
 information such as weather and maps.  By year-end, the site will provide
 access to selected city overviews, which includes information on restaurants,
 shopping, events and attractions.  By mid-2000, travelers will be able to
 create a personal profile, which will customize information and offers to
 their areas of interest.  For example, by mid-2000 an individual who is
 traveling to New York City and has created a Virtually There profile
 indicating an interest in the arts could receive information on an opera that
 is playing at the Met during his/her trip-stored within an itinerary housed by
 all of the details of the trip.
     Next year, travelers will receive e-mails from their travel agents
 containing text-format itineraries as well as hot links to their Virtually
 There personal travel domain, where they can access graphical itineraries and
 customized destination information.  Additionally, travelers can forward the
 itinerary that is housed on the Virtually There Web site to others in need of
 the information and download it to a variety of handheld devices.  The
 itinerary is currently available in three languages -- English, French, and
 Spanish -- and is instantly updated with any changes made.
     The site, which is password protected to ensure privacy, can be accessed
 today at  To reach their personal site,
 travelers would then type in their Sabre reservation number, available from
 Sabre connected travel agents, corporate travel offices or via the Sabre
 online travel expert,, and Sabre Business Travel Solutions.  A
 sample trip is also available for review.
     "We're very enthusiastic about this new offering.  It not only gives
 travelers a convenient and easy way to manage their travel plans, but also
 gives travel suppliers new avenues for responding to the needs of their
 customers and building loyalty among them," said Eric J. Speck, Sabre
 executive vice president for marketing and sales.  "We'll continue to take the
 pulse of travelers and the travel community to ensure we are meeting their
 needs and to identify new applications and services that we can add to
 Virtually There to create even greater customer satisfaction."
     Another Sabre E-Business
     Virtually There is another example of Sabre's ability to incubate new
 businesses using its travel industry and technology expertise.  Sabre launched, the online travel expert, in 1996.  Since that time, has grown to be one of the leaders in online travel.
 Virtually There joins in the growing suite of Sabre e-business
 solutions for travel and transportation.
     By reflecting the individual preferences of each traveler, Virtually There
 offers a true one-to-one-marketing opportunity for travel-related businesses
 -- travel agents, travel suppliers and merchants -- and a potential
 marketplace up to 30 million travelers.  Virtually There represents a multi-
 million dollar business opportunity for Sabre, with a variety of revenue
 sources including commissions from online affiliates such as,
 travel supplier messages, advertising fees and sponsorship of specific
 sections within the itineraries.
     According to research conducted for Sabre by Roper Starch Worldwide,
 40 percent of leisure travel in the last 12 months was to a new destination.
 First-time travelers are prime targets for receiving the content and offerings
 made available through Virtually There.  The research also concludes that a
 large segment of travelers, both business and leisure, have a desire to be
 involved in and in touch with their plans.  Virtually There responds to those
 needs by enabling the traveler to tailor the information they receive and by
 providing 24 hour-a-day access to that information via a secure web site.
     Key Site Features
     When fully functional next year, Virtually There Version 2.0 will provide
 one-stop, real-time electronic access to a full complement of information and
 services including:
     *Alternate flight options             *Additional language availability
     *Personalized content driven          *Personalized messages from
      by their user profile                  travel-related vendors integrated
     *Destination information                with a traveler's itinerary
     *Ability to download, in any          *Premium membership privileges
       format, the destination               for first-class services
       information including weather,        and information
       maps and driving directions,        *Customized online coupons
       to a computer or PDA                  for discounts from vendors based
                                             at the traveler's origination,
                                             connection and destination points
                                           *Special offers/discounts regularly
                                           *A summary of all trips booked with
                                             detailed itineraries
     Benefits To Travel Agencies and Travel Suppliers
     Virtually There is a value-added product for travel agencies and suppliers
 providing unique cross-selling opportunities and a means of potentially
 increasing their revenue streams.  These cross-selling opportunities arise
 when a traveler is offered a promotion for a component of travel not already
 booked such as a rental car or hotel room.
     Sabre connected travel agents will also benefit from the brand identity
 garnered from their travel agency logo and marketing messages being
 prominently displayed to their customers in both e-mail messages and within
 each customer's personal travel domain.  In 2000, travel agents will be able
 to send customized marketing messages targeted to their customers in order to
 stimulate additional bookings.
     Another key benefit for travel agencies is Sabre, via Virtually There,
 will e-mail itineraries to passengers, upon request, in a format that includes
 the agency name, logo, e-mail address and marketing message.  This capability
 reduces the operational cost associated with printing, faxing, and e-mailing
 itineraries.  Additionally, this service will increase agency productivity by
 minimizing the number of non-booking calls and requests.
     Travel suppliers will benefit from point-of-sale opportunities, premium
 vendor listings, itinerary sponsorship opportunities and the option to offer
 coupons.  Merchants will be able to integrate their sites with Virtually
 There, reaching nearly 30 million unique travelers as well as 42,000 travel
 agencies in 112 countries through the Sabre reservation system.
     About Sabre
     Sabre is the global leader in applying information technology to meet the
 needs of the travel and transportation industries with advanced and innovative
 technology skills to deliver progressive solutions.  Headquartered in
 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, the company has more than 10,000 employees worldwide
 who span 45 countries.  Sabre reported 1998 revenues of $2.3 billion, up
 29 percent from 1997.  Net earnings were $232 million, up 16 percent from the
 prior year.  More information on Sabre is available on the World Wide Web at  Sabre and the Sabre logo are registered trademarks of
 an affiliate of Sabre Inc.