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Pegasus Solutions European Hotel Membership Reports Resurgence in Visitors from the US

Travel News Asia 5 May 2004

Pegasus Solutions has announced hotel booking statistics confirming that Americans are returning to Europe in considerable numbers for both business and leisure. Pegasus recorded a 25 percent increase in bookings made by U.S.-based travelers at Utell by Pegasus(tm) member hotels in Europe during the first quarter of 2004, compared to the same period in 2003.

With more than 2,700 independent European hotels participating in the companys Utell by Pegasus representation service, Pegasus has the ability to monitor wide-scale lodging trends in the fragmented European hotel industry.

The United Kingdom led the pack in impressive returns of American travelers. U.K.-based properties represented by Pegasus experienced a 71 percent increase in bookings from the U.S. during the first quarter of 2004. Other notable upswings in American travelers booking at Utell member hotels were in Portugal (up 60 percent), Switzerland (up 36 percent), Austria (up 33 percent), Germany (up 32 percent), Spain (up 30 percent) and France (up 20 percent).

The increase in travel from America is evident not only in our bookings, but in the everyday conversations in our hotel lobby and restaurant, said Neil Miller-Chalk, deputy general manager for the Dolphin Square Hotel, a four-star Utell member hotel located near the River Thames in central London. The Utell by Pegasus service generated more than 1,500 room nights from the U.S. for our hotel in the first quarter, a remarkable 416 percent increase over 2003.

Pegasus analysis focused on bookings made for Utell member hotels through the global distribution systems (GDSs) generally used by travel agents. Reservation trends at Utell by Pegasus member hotels coincide with recent reports from U.S. air carriers citing notable gains in international air traffic.

Several indicators suggest that both domestic and international corporate travel is rebounding, said Bob Boles, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Pegasus Solutions. The increase in travel from America to Europe is evident in our booking data, as well as in the anecdotal exchanges we have with leading U.S. travel agencies, he said.

Independent hotels and small groups in Europe are gaining from the return of the American business traveler. Corporate travel managers in the U.S. are more open to adding independent hotels to their managed international travel programs, said Earl Foster, chief operations officer and president of Partnership Travel Consulting. With travel managers focusing more on price, independent hotels with competitive rates are well positioned to capitalize on the increase in business travel to Europe and other overseas markets.

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