Amadeus raises bar on search

Amadeus is to offer UK-based portals access to the same distribution tools which have seen conversion rates on package holiday sales increase by “typically 40%” for its 250 customers operating in the German market.

Andrew Owen-Jones told Travolution that bringing three leisure technology businesses together as ‘TravelTainment – The Amadeus Leisure Group’ was the culmination of a four-year plan.

Owen-Jones has moved from developing the unit as part of the corporate strategy team to take a hands-on role as head of international content and connectivity. He is in charge of establishing TravelTainment in the UK.

TravelTainment currently powers the package holiday bookings channels on, and, as well as other less well-known portals.

The tools will also be available to UK high street travel agents – over 6000 leisure agents in Germany use the desktop version, Bistro.

Building up a critical mass of UK-specific user generated content is one of its first aims.

Current UK subscribers using low-profile beta versions include the Co-op and Expedia.

Comvel, owner of Germany’s fourth biggest online portal, has launched using a simplified version the TravelTainment engine.

Owen-Jones explained that inventory can be searched using a number of fields, merging user generated contents such as reviews and holiday snaps  with professional photographs which forms part of TravelTainment’s established library.

The system also employs fuzzy logic to ensure that if no hotel matches all the fields, the customer will get the closest possible match. Inventory and media is also geo-coded.

He also mentioned the systems ability to bring up dynamic packages as well as fixed inventory on the same screen.

It accesses charter and low-cost carriers. GDS content – namely scheduled carriers – would be integrated within six months, Owen-Jones said

‘Average selling price has also gone up for customers, because users can find exactly what they want,’ he added.

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