|Monaker Group, Inc. (MKGI) Offers Travelers Real-Time Booking|
A shareholder update from Monaker Group, Inc. (OTCQB: MKGI) last month announced the completion of the company’s proprietary booking engine. Reaching this new milestone positions Monaker to offer its customers real-time booking, reducing the uncertainty and anxiety that often plagues making alternative lodging reservations. With its booking engine, Monaker is living up to its motto of Travel Made Easy.
Online travel bookings requiring a booking engine represent, by some accounts, a $340 billion market, as millions of travelers and holidaymakers crisscross the planet. In the early days of aviation, however, there were no frequent flyers, and reservations were usually made by phone. In the late 1940s, after World War II exposed Americans to the wider world, the resulting wanderlust drove passenger volume to levels that overwhelmed that primitive system.
American Airlines was the first to develop an automated booking system. Its esoteric name, ‘Electromechanical Reservisor’ (ER), might have puzzled the average traveler if he were allowed access to it, but he was not. Neither were travel agents. The ER could be accessed only by airline personnel.
By 1953, ER had spawned SABRE, the Semi-Automatic Business Research Environment reservation system. Like ER, this was American Airlines’ baby. Not to be outdone, United Airlines came up with Apollo. Thereafter, acronyms abounded. Delta Airlines launched DATAS. Trans World Airlines responded with PARS. These were all proprietary systems, of course, meant only to be used by the staff of the airline that had developed it.
It wasn’t long before travel agents showed how allowing them access would reduce the cost to airlines by creating less work for airline customer service reps. This gave birth to computer reservation systems (CRS), which travel agents could query and make reservations through.
While a travel agent needed access to different CRS for different airlines, the new Global Distribution Systems (GDS) offered access to the inventory of all the main airlines. The obvious next step for reservation systems was allowing access to customers, which prompted the development of booking engines. Through a booking engine, a would-be traveler can specify his or her travel requirements, such as point of departure, departure date, destination, return date and class of travel. In response, the booking engine will offer airline seats, hotel rooms, alternative accommodation and a variety of related offerings that fit the bill. This was definitely travel made easy.
Now, with the Monaker Booking Engine (MBE), which conforms to all online travel industry standards allowing for easy business-to-business integration, business travel partners and consumers will have real-time access to Monaker’s lodging products.
Monaker has contracted with dozens of lodging vendors and will soon be able to offer some two million rental properties in the U.S., Europe, Asia, South America and the Caribbean. To date, over one million of these properties have been loaded onto its MBE staging servers and the other half are now being certified and will be uploaded soon. Globally, this will give Monaker a meaningful industry presence, emulating sector leaders such as Airbnb, with its 2.5 million properties, and Expedia (NASDAQ: EXPE), with an estimated 1.2 million properties.
Monaker Group is a technology driven travel company with multiple divisions and brands, leveraging more than 60 years of operation in leisure travel. Monaker’s flagship is NextTrip.com, the industry’s first real-time booking engine featuring alternative lodging (vacation home rentals, resort residences and unused timeshares), as well as a vast array of airlines, hotels, cruises, rental cars, tours and concierge services, all combined in one platform to give customers the power of choice when booking their vacations. With key partnerships and established travel brands used as cornerstones, the company’s mission is to continue to expand its offerings in order to become the ‘one stop’ vacation center.
For more information, visit www.MonakerGroup.com
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