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Marriott Joins With Online Booker WorldRes

June 23, 2003|From Reuters

Marriott International Inc., the largest U.S. hotel company, has connected its reservation system to Web distributor WorldRes.com Inc., executives from the companies said Sunday.

An official announcement is scheduled for today. The deal, which is expected to lead to sharper competition among travel Web sites, is an early step in a move to adopt open computer systems that easily communicate complicated reservation data to replace widely used custom-built systems that have given Web vendors a strong hand by locking in hotel owners.

To join their systems, Bethesda, Md.-based Marriott and privately held WorldRes, headquartered in San Mateo, Calif., used a new common communication standard that is also open to others in the industry.

The deal also allows Marriott hotel owners, who typically must master a different system from each Web vendor they work with, to use Marriott's single reservation system to manage room inventory available to WorldRes, the Web vendor said.

WorldRes, which books about $300 million in room revenue annually, charges $3 to $5 per reservation.

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