First Free Travel Agent CRM Technology Unveiled

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The first free, all-inclusive software for travel agents was introduced today at ASTA's The Trade Show in Las Vegas. Called OpenTravel CRM™, this web- based software handles all aspects of customer relationship management and bundles that with e-marketing, trip planning, custom itineraries, commission tracking and reporting and accounting-interface functions. It is also the first to deliver integrated social networking relationship management into a travel agent business application, which brings customer relationship building to a new level through active online community presence and interaction.

The first free, all-inclusive software for travel agents was introduced at ASTA's The Trade Show in Las Vegas. Called OpenTravel CRM™, this web- based software handles all aspects of customer relationship management and bundles that with e-marketing, trip planning, custom itineraries, commission tracking and reporting and accounting-interface functions. It is also the first to deliver integrated social networking relationship management into a travel agent business application, which brings customer relationship building to a new level through active online community presence and interaction.

According to Joseph Mazzarella, president and CEO of Travel Sciences, which developed Open Travel CRM, "Our survey research indicates that less than half of all travel agents have access to any CRM or contact management solution for their businesses. Open Travel CRM was designed to reach out to the agent community and help organize, maintain and grow their businesses," he explained. "It helps facilitate the growth of existing and new customer relationships by knowing those customers better, understanding what they like, and bringing them products that they want. It also has a set of easy to use marketing and selling tools that can be used everyday to grow the business. Best of all, OpenTravel CRM is a first rate, web-based application offered for free," he continued.

It is ideal for smaller agencies and home-based agents as well as larger agencies and consortia who either currently have no access to good quality technology or who have expensive, outdated technology they want to upgrade without taking on additional financial risk.

OTC breaks new ground with the first Web 2.0 based business management tool for the travel professional community. OpenTravel CRM is super-scalable. It was built from the ground up with the newest web technologies available. "This is not outdated technology resurrected and repackaged around a pretty web front-end. This is brand new, best of breed, enterprise level software," says Mazzarella. Commercial paid license versions of the software with no advertising are available for larger travel agencies, tour operators and other organizations.    

The core functions complemented by advanced Web 2.0 features include an integrated RSS reader, instant messaging and online presence monitoring, Skype and interactive mapping. Also, online community networking technologies, such as integrated blogging and publishing, and online forums, are meshed into and part of the business solution.

All that travel agents need to do to get up and running on this robust, new platform is log onto http://www.opentravelcrm.com and enter a user ID and password and their account will be created. Among the features and benefits that will be immediately available to them:

  • An advanced customer relationship management module that enables agents to dynamically maintain and update customer and prospect profiles
  • A visual trip planner and custom-branded itineraries
  • Integrated web e-mail that can be linked to their personal and business email services, including services like Hotmail or Yahoo!
  • A bulk email delivery service which will handle large out-bound email campaign management and also click through response reporting
  • A marketing campaign tool with list building capabilities and editable templates
  • Supplier Web Site connections with automated booking information capture, a Supplier web directory with links, and direct electronic supplier connections
  • There are no restrictions on use or availability of suppliers, and OTC does not charge suppliers connection or transaction fees
  • Numerous business productivity and customer service tools, including enabling agents to send updates on airline delays and cancellations directly to client e-mail addresses or PDAs

"It's highly functional and fun," comments Mazzarella. He adds "and we're only getting started."

Formed in 2001, the Hartford-based Travel Sciences is a leading developer of intelligent, web-based software solutions for the travel industry. It offers reservations, distribution and business automation solutions for cruise lines, tour operators and retail travel business.

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Beth Preddy
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