ABC Global Services to Launch Hotel Booking Engine for Travel Agents
By Mimi Kmet
September 07, 2012 11:59 PM
ABC Global Services is introducing ezBook, a business-to-business, commissionable hotel booking engine for travel agents, on Sept. 10. Representatives of the company, which offers support services to hotels and travel agents, were on hand at ASTA’s Travel Retailing and Destination Expo in Los Angeles over the weekend to preview the product and provide attendees with “keys to better commissions,” including thumb drives that they can plug into their computers to access ezBook and register. Representatives also gave a presentation of the product at the NACTA meeting, which took place on Sept. 6, the before the ASTA show commenced.
ABC Global Services’ hotel booking engine is designed to provide travel advisors with access to a global inventory of more than 200,000 hotels, offering multiple rates and commission options, according to Patricia Free, ABC’s vice president of business development. The Internet-based “cloud application” pulls its inventory from GDSs, online travel agencies (including Priceline, Expedia and HotelBeds.com, wholesalers (including GTA) and net rate inventory, according to Cynthia Kropp, ABC’s executive vice president, marketing and business development.
In addition, the company has built its ABC Premier Hotel Program, Premier Privileges luxury hotel program and ABC ezXtras, which provide additional perks for clients, such as free Wi-Fi or breakfast, into the booking engine. Room rates are flexible in that they are unrestricted, with no penalties to change or cancel reservations, a practice some hotels engage in if guests cancel or change within 24 hours of arrival.
The booking engine is free for agents, who can select a commission rate up to 15 percent or book at a posted net rate and add their own mark-ups, which they will receive earlier than a commission. In addition, they can add a service fee. ABC collects commissions and other payments and forwards them to the agents when the hotel stay is completed. Besides booking capability, ezBook offers content (text, photos and maps) for the hotels, as well as an online reporting function that can be exported to an Excel sheet.
ABC Global Services’ booking engine is targeted to smaller agencies and home-based agents, whom a hotel might not recognize, Free said. The hotel might, however, recognize ABC Global Services and provide the perks offered through the company’s premier programs. Hotels are searchable a number of ways, including city, landmark, price and distance. Agents also can find a choice of properties in a designated area. ABC Global Services is planning on expanding ezBook to include other travel products, according to Kropp.