New connectivity product ExpediaQuickConnect to be launched soon
05/22/2007|6:00:00 PM|Eyefortravel
Recognising that some hotels will benefit from a streamlined connectivity option, Expedia has been working on a new connectivity product called ExpediaQuickConnect and is gearing up for the full launch of the same before the end of June. (5/17/2007)

Benefits of Expedia QuickConnect are as follows:

· Easy to develop and fast to implement.
· Automates the exchange of booking information -- allows partners to retrieve bookings and booking updates and inserts them automatically into the CRS/PMS.
· Automates process of exchanging rate and inventory information, using current extranet functionalities (The extranet is the fallback mechanism to Expedia QuickConnect).
· Uses a simple form of XML communication.
· Requires few resources to develop and maintain.
· Adapts to a variety of hotel partners’ needs.

Sharing more on the same, Murad Hajeebhoy, VP Lodging & Destination Sevices EMEA, Expedia said, “Whilst Expedia Connect has made fantastic progress, we recognise that it is not necessarily the solution for all our hotel partners, especially in the independent segment which prevails in the European market. Over the last year, we have looked at our partners’ needs and are close to launching a new connectivity product called ExpediaQuickConnect. Currently in beta with selected hotel partners, the interface is performing well and we expect full launch before the end of June. By delivering an easy to develop and manage interface, we will ensure all our partners have access to the benefits of connectivity.”

According to Expedia, connectivity allows for the electronic exchange of rates, inventory and booking data between Expedia and its hotel partners. Partner hotels are saved the costly resource required to maintain rates and on two separate systems and manually input reservations received via fax from Expedia.

Expedia had rolled out its `direct connect’ (PMS connectivity) strategy in Europe for larger hotels / chains, following its success in the US last year.

On the progress in the last year or so, Hajeebhoy said, “Connectivity is invaluable for our hotel partners since it greatly simplifies their lives by replacing the manual tasks of maintaining rates and inventory and entering reservations with a seamless interface that automates these functions between the Expedia platform and their system.”

“We began 2006 with more than 7,000 hotels on Expedia Connect including most global brands and key third party CRSs. During 2006, we implemented a further 3,700 hotels worldwide including several key European brands. We now have over 13,000 hotels connected with plans to implement about 2,500 more chain properties,” he said. “Our connectivity has proven to be extremely successful and, as the leader in this field, we continue to enhance the product in order to facilitate the daily lives of our hotel partners, including, for example, the automatic suppression of invalid rates which previously represented a significant commercial risk to them.”