Visa International, Visa USA and Galileo International, a worldwide leader of electronic global distribution services for the travel industry, announced Friday a multi-faceted marketing alliance designed to deliver valuable benefits to travel agencies through the Visa payment card and Galileo’s travel booking software, Viewpoint. Under the new marketing agreement, Visa becomes the preferred payment system on Viewpoint and travel agents booking through Viewpoint will receive merchandise incentives.
Earlier this year, Galileo launched Viewpoint to help increase travel agents’ productivity for its approximately 40,000 travel agency locations. Viewpoint’s point-and-click environment, with drop-down menus, is easier to learn and use, creating the potential for reduced training costs and increased productivity. Traditional formats and screen displays required extensive training before an agent could become proficient.
“Travel agents can now book airlines, hotels and cars with just a few mouse clicks,” said Terry Rolecek, vice president, Marketing and Sales Programs for Galileo. “Agents are freed from memorizing cryptic codes. They can get information quickly for the traveling public and provide better customer service while achieving benefits themselves.”
“Agents who are members of the Visa Preferred Program can immediately recognize the added benefits they can accrue from this partnership,” said Rob Robins, executive vice president of Merchant Sales and Integrated Solutions for Visa USA “The automatic prompt on Viewpoint asking for the client’s Visa card will help them earn additional points toward valuable rewards.”
First introduced in the fall of 1996, the Visa Preferred Program was established to help travel agencies build business by offering incentives to front-line agents. Participating agents using the Galileo(R) and Apollo(R) systems can earn valuable points redeemable for awards such as mileage certificates for free flights and car rentals and gift certificates for major retailers, entertainment centers and hotel accommodations.
Apollo serves subscribers in North America, Mexico and Japan, while Galileo is marketed in all other areas. Although the Galileo and Apollo systems are marketed separately, they share a number of products and databases such as Viewpoint.
The companies announced this joint initiative here at a press conference at the American Society of Travel Agents’ (ASTA) annual conference. Future plans for the Visa-Galileo partnership include developing incentive-based marketing programs for travel agents and their customers.
For more information about the 1999 Visa Preferred Program, including information on how to join, travel agents may call the Visa Preferred Service Center at 1-800-511-VISA.
Galileo International is one of the world’s leading providers of electronic global distribution services for the travel industry. The company provides travel agencies at approximately 40,000 locations, as well as other subscribers, with the ability to access schedule and fare information, book reservations and issue tickets for more than 500 airlines. Galileo International also provides subscribers with information and booking capabilities covering all major hotel chains, car rental companies, cruise lines and numerous tour operators throughout the world. Further information about the company is available on Galileo’s web site: [http://www.galileo.com].
As the “World’s Best Way to Pay,” Visa is the leading payment brand and the largest payment system in the world with more volume than all other major payment cards combined. Visa plays a pivotal role in advancing new payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 member financial institutions and their cardholders. Visa has more than 70 smart card programs in 33 countries and on the Internet, with 23 million Visa chip cards, including 8 million Visa Cash cards. Visa is pioneering SET Secure Electronic Transaction(TM) programs to enable and advance Internet commerce. There are over 850 million Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink, PLUS and Visa Cash cards, which generate more than US $1.4 trillion in annual volume. Visa-branded cards are accepted at over 17 million worldwide locations, including at more than 500,000 ATMs in the Visa Global ATM Network. Visa’s Internet address is [http://www.visa.com].