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From The Past ...
BarterNews issue #55

"Direct Connect" Model Another Area of Concern For Barter Industry

Changes come from many angles. And the barter industry isn't immune to such evolvement. A new forum that allows airlines, and others, to sell travel directly to corporations could prove to be a formidable and considerable competitor.

The new system, GetThere Inc., is a business-to-business travel marketplace and marks a significant shift in travel distribution. By selling direct, travel suppliers bypass traditional computer reservation systems which provide schedule and fare information, process bookings, and charge fees for each transaction.

Those fees can cost travel suppliers "airlines, hotels, and car-rental companies" as much as $50 to $100 a trip. Gadi Maier, CEO of Menlo Park (CA) internet travel company GetThere.com, claims selling travel directly can cut distribution costs by 80%.

The push toward more direct selling comes as corporations increasingly bargain directly with their preferred suppliers in exchange for discounts. And the more "direct and streamlined" the process becomes for Corporate America the less they'll need outside assistance, be it expansive reservation systems or the services of barter companies.