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Group Travel News


Article Editor: Christopher Simmons

Former CEO of ResortQuest International, Inc. and COO of Promus Hotel Corporation to Chair® Board

PIGEON FORGE, TN - June 17, 2004 /Send2Press Newswire/ --®, the travel industry's first and leading online group-booking engine for the past four years, is pleased to announce the appointment of David Sullivan as Chairman of its Board of Directors. Sullivan, who has 35 years of experience in the hospitality industry, will focus on building long term value for the company and provide the strong, veteran leadership necessary as the company moves into a new phase with its cutting edge second-generation technology. The new technology completely automates the entire group-booking process and enables tour operators and group leaders to not only book their group trips online, but also manage every aspect of them up until the time they take the trip.

"We are honored to have David Sullivan join our company as Board Chairman," says Scott Harness, President and CEO,®. "His extensive knowledge of the industry and firm understanding of Internet travel companies will be a tremendous asset to our company, especially as we enter our most aggressive growth phase yet. We are very excited about our new technology and are elated to have a man of David's caliber on board who has the vision and experience to help us realize our full market potential."

Sullivan's career in the hospitality industry began with American Express Company where he eventually served as Vice President and General Manager for Europe and later Mexico. He then spent 15 years with Holiday Inns, Inc., where as Senior Vice President, Administration, he had responsibility for reservations, marketing, worldwide sales, and franchising. As Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer for the Promus Hotel Company, he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of over 1,000 Hampton Inns, Homewood Suites and Embassy Suites hotels.

In 1997, Sullivan co-founded ResortQuest International, the first brand name and online booking service in vacation rentals, property management and resort real estate sales in premier resort destinations in North America. Sullivan, who served as the first Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, led ResortQuest International in acquiring a resort management software company and 33 operating companies, which represented over 17,000 units in 40 resort locations and a successful IPO in 1998 where the company was listed on the NYSE. In November 2003, ResortQuest International was acquired by Gaylord Entertainment. At the time of its acquisition, the company held the leading market position in the vacation rental property management industry, with an approximate market share of 4% of a market, which in the United States is estimated to be worth $10 billion.

"This is an opportunity for me to assist with the advancement of technology within a unique travel market segment," says Sullivan. "® has used its technology to shape and change an industry that has historically been slow to keep up with technological advances. The company has matched suppliers' needs with the needs of tour operators and group leaders and created technology that meets the needs of both groups.® is uniquely positioned to dominate an entire segment of the travel industry. It is an exciting company and I am very happy to be a part of it."

Since March 2000,® has established itself as the travel industry's leading online group-booking engine, enabling tour operators and group leaders to plan all aspects of their group trips online "faster & easier." The launch of its second-generation technology revolutionized online travel booking by being the first system to fully automate the entire online booking process. It is also the only online group-booking system that allows users to not only plan and book, but also manage every aspect of their trip from the time they book until they take the trip. That means, users can add or cancel rooms, make deposits and payments, and create and edit rooming lists all online, 24 hours a day, at their convenience.

logo (c)® currently has 2,700-plus professional tour operator and over 22,000 group leader members. In addition, the company boasts over 11,000 supplier members, with 9,200 being hotels throughout North America that provide inventory and net rates through its robust extranet. The company also has agreements with several travel web sites to provide group inventory as well as power those web sites with its buy-now group-booking engine. Last year, the company recorded online bookings of $38 million.

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