PRESS RELEASE: Signs Partnership Deal with SideStep

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Group-Booking Engine Partners with Traveler's Search Engine to Offer Online Group Travel Planning

PIGEON FORGE, TN /Send2Press Newswire/ -- Group Travel Planet, LLC ( and SideStep ( have entered into a business development partnership that will allow SideStep customers to book and manage their group hotel rooms of five rooms or more directly online, saving them valuable time and money.

Group Travel Planet and its primary web sites, and, provide group consumers a fully-automated group-booking engine that enables them to plan, book and manage all aspects of their group trips online, including their group hotel rooms. SideStep customers will have access to negotiated group inventory and discounted group rates at over 14,000 hotels throughout North America that are part of the Group Travel Planet Network, as-well-as have the ability to request group rates from thousands of additional hotels.

"SideStep has been the ultimate search engine for individual travelers and we believe our partnership will allow them to achieve the same status with group travel planner customers as well," says Scott Harness, President and CEO, Group Travel Planet, LLC.

"We're excited that soon millions of SideStep customers will have the ability to search live group inventory, receive instant online confirmations, and have the use of our online tools for managing their entire booking online - from adding and dropping rooms to making deposits and payments to submitting their rooming list and allowing individual group members to reserve rooms directly from the group leader's block - all without having to ever make one phone call."

The partnership allows SideStep to tap into the small leisure group market, estimated at between $12 and $15 billion annually in US hotel revenue. Integration of technologies is currently underway and is expected to be released to the public in Q1 2005.

About Group Travel Planet

Group Travel Planet, which has been operating as since March 2000, was the first to pioneer online group travel booking and, with the recent launch of its 2nd generation web technology, the company continues to break new barriers by being the first to fully-automate the entire group-booking process from start to finish. Under the new parent name Group Travel Planet, LLC, the company currently has 2,700-plus professional tour operator and over 30,000 group leader members.

In addition, the company boasts over 13,000 supplier members, with 14,000-plus being hotels throughout North America that provide group inventory and net group rates through its robust extranet. For more information, visit or call (865) 428-8878.

About SideStep

SideStep - the traveler's search engine - brings compelling offers from numerous travel providers to more than three million consumers each month. The company has forged alliances with leading travel marketers such as JetBlue Airways, Continental Airlines, Hyatt Corporation, Orbitz, Best Western and Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group. SideStep is privately held and has raised more than $17M in funding from Trident Capital and individual investors. For more information, visit

Contact: Angela Brady, Director of Corporate Relations, Group Travel Planet, LLC, +1-865-428-8878,

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