Sabre Travel Network brings to Europe its Sabre Exclusives hotels program, which was launched in the U.S. last year. The company will negotiate discounted rates with participating hotels and make these available through the Sabre global distribution system to its network of travel agency customers.
Sabre signed an agreement with Manchester-based hotel booking agency NIS Europe to provide marketing and infrastructure support for the region.
It says this is the first merchant-model program available in any global distribution system and that more than 1,700 North American properties are already contracted to it. Sabre expects 300 to 500 properties to form the nucleus of the European product, and these were available to North American travel agents during August. European agents will start to have access to the full program in the fourth quarter of this year.
Through the program, participating hotels agree to a specially negotiated rate with Sabre for a specific number of rooms booked through the program, and Sabre pays these guaranteed commissions twice a month. The company says this will eliminate delay and currency exchange issues often experienced by agents when selling commissions directly with hotels.
Saber Exclusives will be marketed as among the best leisure rates available and are backed by a low rate guarantee. They are displayed primarily for bookings to specific leisure destinations, or for weekend visits. The company says it did not want to inadvertently undercut corporate negotiated deals for business travel.
It said the objective is to sell more leisure beds and harness the terrific power of its travel agency network so as to put it to work for hotel customers. Hotels, it said, benefit because this product gives them an additional chance to market empty rooms, and agents benefit because it expands their booking options and gives them access to some of the best rates on the market.