ETravnet, partners, implement REZconnect tool (8/20/2001)

By Michele San Filippo

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. --
ETravnet.com, parent firm of agency franchiser Travel Network, partnered with Abotel and Hostotel to implement REZconnect, its Net-to-phone-to-Net reservations tool, at their more than 500 hotels.

REZconnect delivers Web-generated reservations through phone systems. When a digital reservation form is submitted, the information is converted into a phone call.

A recorded voice requests the reservation, prompting the res agent to
accept/decline and, if the reservation is available, enter a confirmation
number via the phone keypad.

The Web user then sees a confirmation message and reservation summary on their computer screen. Reconfirmation e-mails are sent to both parties as reminders.

A demo of the entire process can be found at www.rezconnect.com.

Michael Brent, eTravnet's president and chief executive officer, said
REZconnect gives "boutique and independent properties instant connectivity to Internet buyers" and provides hotels with reservation functionality from their Web sites. ETravnet also plans additional marketing from its retail division, Travel Network.

ETravnet also recently teamed with Zagat Survey to offer Zagat.com users online reservations at restaurants affiliated with REZconnect via a cobranded Web site.

Restaurants use their Touch-Tone phone to receive Web-generated
reservations. Zagat.com users choose restaurants by location, cuisine,
atmosphere and other features.

According to Stephanie Abrams, executive vice president of eTravnet, "Our goal is to turn quality content into quantifiable clients by bridging the gap between the Web-enabled guest and hospitality providers whose business is done by telephone."

She said the firm is trying to attract many of the 100,000 restaurants in
Restaurant Row's database to Rezconnect.

Abrams added that eTravnet provides its partners with the power of its
bricks-and-clicks divisions.

"Travel Network agencies are located in prime retail space," she said. "Our partners benefit from exposure through our locations and agencies' Web sites."

Prior to these agreements, eTravnet signed partnerships with Kmart to place Travel Network agencies inside Super Kmart stores, and Worldspan to provide Web-based reservations for niche cruise lines, hotels and tour operators for Worldspan's network of agency subscribers.

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