Deal Increases Travel Inventory

AgentWare's agreement with CNG Travel Group should give agents what they always look for: more choices for their clients
AgentWare Inc., a supplier of search and booking tools for travel agents, said last week it will integrate private rates negotiated by CNG Travel Group plc with more than 25,000 hotels, none of which is listed in any of the global distribution systems used by agents.

The deal pushes AgentWare, which had been focused exclusively on providing airfares not listed in those distribution systems, into the hotel market for the first time. "It means that the application gets richer and more diversified in terms of content," AgentWare CEO Ivan Bekkers says. AgentWare plans to make the CNG inventory available to its travel-agency clients by midsummer.

The addition of hotel inventory to AgentWare's offering is good news for travel agents, who will be able to provide more hotel options to clients, Forrester Research analyst Henry Harteveldt says. "It allows them to say, 'Yes, I can help you,' more to their customers."

Those most likely to reap the benefits include small companies that aren't able to negotiate for business rates and larger companies whose employees are traveling to areas where a corporate rate isn't available. Harteveldt says having hotel content also should help AgentWare compete more effectively with business-travel offerings from Expedia, Orbitz, and Travelocity.

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