Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR) awarded Evature and RentalsCombined.net$10,000 in prize money in recognition of being named the best travel apps as part of the third-annual Sabre Appy competition held recently during the 2015 Travel Technology Exchange (TTX) in Dallas.
The Sabre Appy awards are an annual developers’ competition that recognizes the best ideas for new apps to help Sabre travel agents address challenges and opportunities in their businesses. For the first time, competing apps were divided into two categories – Best Sabre Red App and Best Online B2B Travel App. In addition, a new prize debuted this year for the People’s Choice award, allowing TTX attendees to vote for the app they liked best.
“It is an honor to produce the Sabre Appy awards every year,” said Greg Webb, president of Sabre Travel Network. “I’m always inspired by the innovation, creativity and passion for travel that the winners display. This year’s entries took it to a new level as many competitors were able to leverage the Sabre Dev Studio developer toolkit and APIs as well as the Sabre Red App Centre.”
Best Red App – Evature
Evature won Best Red App for its Expert Virtual Agent (EVA). Known as Red Eva, the app allows agents to shop for flights, hotels and car rentals using natural language and voice search which it converts into the traditional commands used by travel agents. Red Evahelps new travel agents who are not as familiar with GDS commands and helps them to be more productive as they learn the system.
Best Online B2B App – RentalsCombined.net
Winner in the Online B2B category, RentalsCombined.net allows travel agents to shop business and leisure vacation rentals from around the world. They offer two ways to access their inventory – through an API that companies can integrate into their solutions or by using their Sabre Red App. The Red App operates in the background of the Sabre Red Workspace, searching for available rentals within the location, dates and number of people entered by the agent. Properties that meet the search criteria are displayed in a pop-up panel within the Red Workspace. The agent can access detailed information and book the property from the Red Workspace. In addition, the app allows agents to share a virtual walkthrough with the traveler so that they can see the property’s features before booking.
People’s Choice – Options Away
The Options Away Red App, winner of the People’s Choice award, allows agents to lock in the price of a flight for days or weeks while their customers finalize their travel plans. For a small fee, travelers can lock in their flights and price, without the usual stress associated with potential fare increases or addition of rules restrictions. If the customer decides to purchase the flight, the original or even a lower fare is confirmed and the booking then belongs to the agency, giving their customers the peace of mind that they are getting the best price, and helping agents differentiate themselves with a value-added service.
Winners in the Best Red App and Best Online B2B App categories were awarded prizes of $10,000 each and the People’s Choice winner was awarded a prize of $2,500.
Currently, the Sabre Red App Centre offers nearly 200 different apps with many more in development from 80 certified Red App providers. Agents in 122 countries have used the Red App Centre, generating more than 1.5 million app downloads. The Red App Centre connects travel buyers, including travel agencies, travel management companies and leisure operators, with application providers from around the world.