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March 19, 2002

Ibart Offering Online Hotel Booking System

Ibart, a Chicago-based online barter platform, looks to help the beleaguered travel industry move its excess inventory. Its online barter booking travel application was designed specifically for hotels and resorts, and was launched on March 6 during the Comdex show in Chicago.

Reportedly, the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association has already offered Ibart 4.0 to all 1,200 of its members. In April the company will launch a program designed specifically to help Las Vegas fill 1 million empty rooms in 2002.


Our Challenging World

According to Brent Scowcroft, a former Air Force general who has advised presidents for 30 years and served as national-security adviser to Gerald Ford and the first George Bush, the world is growing more fractured...not less. And economics and technology are exacerbating tensions in some respects.

"For 20 or 30 countries, globalization offers the promise of greater integration and greater prosperity. However, for the rest," he contends, "it means the approach of a world that is just beyond their belief. And they don't even know how to cope with it."

The answer is for the U.S., and the more fortunate others, to become actively engaged in helping the world develop in an increasingly healthy way. It's a monumental challenge given that about 1.2 billion people around the world live on less than $1 a day, including more than 200 million in China.


BexB of Italy Moves Forward

Corporate barter in Europe continues to grow as evidenced by Business eXchange Business of Italy, founded in the spring of 2001. It has published a list of the company's shareholders, as well as the built an integrated platform for the management of corporate barter in Europe.

The company was funded, including pre-startup funds, at close to one million Euros. For more information see their web site at www.bexb.it.


IRTA Makes Enticing Offer For New Members

Michael Mercier, IRTA membership chairman, is making an unusual offer to the commercial barter industry. According to Mercier, IRTA's membership was hurt badly by the September 11th attack...just one week before their annual Barter Congress (convention).

"We have an incredible membership opportunity for first-time IRTA members--$250 cash and 100 Universal Currency," Mercier announced. For further information call: 1-888-LetsTrade.


Here And There. . .

  • A Texas-based strategic marketing firm, VisionEdge Marketing of Austin, reports that many companies will fail to achieve their sales objectives for the first six months of 2002. Not because of a soft economy, but because they did not plan adequately to deal with lengthening sales cycles and sales lead pipelines.

    VisionEdge also stated that companies appear to be hoping for miracles in 2002, in that 52% of the companies surveyed are attempting to achieve higher revenue goals with the same or less marketing budget than last year.

    Of equal concern is how companies are planning to generate sales leads. The two most frequently mentioned methods were cold calling by field sales forces and trade shows--both of which are costly and time consuming.

    The focus after the middle of last year was on reducing expenses, which meant slashing marketing budgets and headcount as well as closing deals already in the pipeline. So, for many companies, the marketing engine is getting cold, and restarting up the engines will require time that many companies haven't factored into their forecasts.

  • A group of law professors are urging the Securities and Exchange Commission to adopt tougher rules requiring corporate lawyers to expose clients involved in financial frauds. Current ethics rules give lawyers discretion when it comes to notifying boards about frauds as long as they act in the company's overall best interests.

  • The end of commissions to travel agents by the airlines will mean upwards of $3 billion in annual savings for the U.S. airline industry, which paid more than $3.5 billion in commissions last year.

  • The fear of terrorism has taken an enormous bite out of tourism in the Big Apple...five million fewer visitors went to NYC in 2001 than in 2000! And the city isn't expecting much of an increase from that level for this year, especially among international travelers.

    There is a big push underway to bring both the Super Bowl to New York in 2007 and the political conventions in 2004. In the meantime, barter accommodations/availabilities, heretofore nearly impossible in NYC, are available.

  • Central bankers of the world's major economies are more optimistic about the prospects for a global recovery, but are cautious about the strength and sustainability of a rebound.

    The Bush administration is proposing that as much as 50% of future World Bank assistance to the world's poorest countries be in the form of grants that won't have to be repaid....as loading these underdeveloped countries down with debt creates additional problems.

  • Now, more than ever, promoting barter will pay off. Trade exchange owners looking for a proven way to motivate their client base and stimulate more trading activity can obtain a copy of the 16-year-old, proven, informational marketing tool: The Competitive Edge newsletter.

    The Competitive Edge is designed to be mailed to clients and prospects because research among the exchange owners shows that only a third of their members receive e-mail. Now available in PDF (Acrobat) format.

    E-mail bmeyer@barternews.com for a sample copy and details. (Be sure to include your complete mailing address and phone number in your e-mail.)

We welcome your comments, questions, and observations.
� Copyright BarterNews 2003. Redistribution of BarterNews content expressly prohibited without the prior written permission of BarterNews.