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Big developments flow from JTG over the weekend

November 18, 2013 Corporate, Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

egtmedia59Jetset Travelworld Group agents gathered in Melbourne at the weekend for the group’s owners and managers conference, bringing together owners, managers and staff from across the JTG network.

The agency group, soon to rebrand as helloworld (welding Harvey World Travel, Travelscene, Jetset and Travelworld into a single brand), lost no time in announcing a couple of major strategic alignments.

It has signed a 10-year strategic alliance agreement with Orbitz Worldwide to power helloworld.com.au. Chicago-based Orbitz Worldwide operates the consumer travel planning sites Orbitz (www.orbitz.com), ebookers (www.ebookers.com), HotelClub (www.hotelclub.com) and CheapTickets (www.cheaptickets.com).

And, in a parallel initiative, JTG confirmed at the conference it has entered into a brand master licence agreement with American Express which will enable franchisees and members of helloworld to trade as a ‘Member of helloworld American Express.’ Travelscene had a similar relationship with Amex.

Commenting on the Orbitz deal, JTG chief executive Rob Gurney said the long-term strategic alliance would bring world-class technology and content to the Australian market.

“Our alliance with Orbitz Worldwide is a key component in helloworld’s multichannel strategy. helloworld.com.au will provide customers with access to a new, best-in-class online shopping and booking experience, backed by Orbitz Worldwide’s proven global technology.

“helloworld.com.au will feature a comprehensive range of air, land, cruise and car options at launch. The site will launch in late 2013 and will continue to evolve throughout 2014, with mobile applications, travel insurance and dynamic packaging functionality to be introduced in the coming months.”

Gurney said helloworld would allow customers to search and transact via the channel they found most convenient and comfortable.

“It’s our goal to provide options for customers to search online and transact both offline and online. helloworld.com.au combines the convenience of researching and booking online with the knowledge, support and advice of our dedicated and experienced agents,” he said.

helloworld Agents will be able to view a customer’s online bookings and provide expert guidance and assistance, or book additional products and services to enhance the customer’s travel experience.

Gurney added that customers would also be able to quickly and easily consult the helloworld.com.au Agent Finder to find their nearest helloworld agent and their field of expertise.

“helloworld aims to reshape the Australian travel landscape by uniting the dedication and experience of our full-service agencies with an industry-leading online offering,” Gurney said. “As a result, helloworld agents will be provided with a share in the earnings from the online site.”

Speaking of the American Express deal, head of strategic partnerships at JTG, Mike Thompson, said it was “very positive news for helloworld.

“We are evolving our business to successfully compete in the travel industry of the future and, in doing so, securing relationships with our most trusted partners, chief among them American Express.  American Express and Travelscene have had a longstanding relationship for more than ten years, and we look forward to building even closer alliances going forward.”

“Our aim is to ensure that helloworld franchisees and members have everything they need to maximise business opportunities. The continuation of the relationship with American Express will be an important contributor to the success of those travel agents who choose to adopt the American Express co-branding and other opportunities that come along with that.”

Lizzie Massey, vice president and general manager of American Express Travel Partner Network, said the new agreement built on the strong partnership that already exists between the businesses, harnessing the strength of American Express along with the local expertise and knowledge of the helloworld network.

Written by Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. sting says:

    ….the first thing agents should learn when booking online is the cancellation policy of the product…cancellation policy online differs greatly from contracted wholesale program…so be very careful….don’t tell me i didn’t warn you…

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