Travelocity Turns to Japan

It’s no wonder Sabre Holdings wants to own all of Travelocity – the Fort
Worth, Texas-based online travel operation is keeping up a relentless
expansion, this time developing a site in Japan in conjunction with 17
domestic and international airlines serving that country.


Travelocity is in the midst of trying to fend off a
semi-hostile takeover bid
at $23 a share from its majority owner and
founder, Sabre .


The problem is, the market has valued Travelocity stock significantly higher
than the offer, and announcements like today’s launch in Japan are likely to
send the stock higher. It was at $26.48 in mid-day trading, up 18 cents in a
generally down market.


In any case, Travelocity said the new Japanese site, to be called tabini.com, would bolster its global efforts
in Europe and elsewhere in Asia.


Tabini, a new company, is a joint venture between Travelocity, Japan Airlin
es, All Nippon Airways and Japan Air Systems, along with 14 other U.S. and
Asian airlines.


The competition, of course, includes a host of smaller, Asia-focused travel
operations, such as AsiaTravel.com and others like it. And the
Japanese airlines have their own sites, of course.


Rival Expedia has a variety of international sites,
but Japan is not among them.


Powered by Travelocity technology, tabini will offer booking on virtually all
international airlines serving Japan, along with more than 55,000 hotels and
more than 50 car rental companies in Japan and internationally.


“We think it is a prime opportunity to bring our experience and innovation
… to create a powerful brand in the Japanese travel industry,” said Terrell
B. Jones, president
and CEO of Travelocity.com.


Separately, Travelocity bolstered its marketing partnership with Delta Air
Lines, signing an agreement to for joint promotions, advertising and e-mail
campaigns. Delta will also participate in Travelocity.com vacation package
offerings. Financial arrangements were not disclosed.

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