New Features on Make It Faster and Easier to Book Group Hotels

Technology From Group Travel Planet Allows Consumers to Book Hotel Rooms for Groups of Five or More

CHICAGO and PIGEON FORGE, Tenn., May 24 /PRNewswire/ — When it comes to leisure travel, the more the merrier is best, especially since group travel continues to grow as a $36 billion a year industry in the U.S.* Orbitz, the site that makes travel faster and easier to find and Group Travel Planet, LLC, the pioneer of online group travel booking, today announced new group booking features on that will help travelers take the hassle out of coordinating group trips or gatherings such as family reunions, destination weddings and church retreats.

Orbitz now offers its customers the ability to book discounted group hotel rates for five or more rooms at more than 10,000 “group-friendly” hotels across North America. In addition, leisure travelers booking groups on Orbitz will have access to unique, online features that make it easy to manage their group hotel booking.

“For many people who try to coordinate a wedding, family reunion, or weekend trip with friends, it can be challenging to find the right hotel and make arrangements that suit the needs of multiple travelers,” said Kurt Weinsheimer, Orbitz vice president of Hotels. “Combining Group Travel Planet’s technology with the benefits of booking on Orbitz, we are offering leisure travelers a faster and easier way to plan and book group travel, regardless of the size of the group.”

“Booking groups has typically been a manual and time-consuming process where travelers relied on their own resources, called multiple hotels for rates and availability, and had to keep track of all the details on their own,” said Scott Harness, president and CEO of Group Travel Planet. “Group Travel Planet’s group booking engine means that Orbitz customers can now plan every step of their group hotel reservation online — from reserving the rooms to receiving email reservation confirmations to providing and updating room lists.”

Orbitz’s new group booking functionality can be accessed on the site from the “Hotels” page by clicking the “Need 5 or more rooms” link. Additional features of the new group booking capabilities include:

— Ability to search group inventory and discounted group rates at
thousands of hotels across the U.S. and Canada
— Detailed hotel information including amenities that are important to
group travelers
— Online ability to assign names to each room, add or drop rooms, and
e-mail itineraries from the group reservation management tools at any
— Email updates about payments and room lists to make sure travel
planning goes smoothly
— Group customer care assistance available 24/7 at (866) 216-3010 for
groups who need to speak with a live agent

About Orbitz

Orbitz is a leading online travel company that enables travelers to search for and purchase a broad array of travel products, including airline tickets, lodging, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages. Since launching its website, , to the general public in June 2001, Orbitz has become the third largest online travel site based on gross travel bookings. On Orbitz, consumers can search more than 455 airlines, tens of thousands of lodging properties worldwide and 22 car rental companies. Orbitz was acquired by Cendant’s Travel Distribution Services division in November 2004, and is part of the Consumer Travel Americas group.

About Group Travel Planet

Group Travel Planet, which operated as, LLC from March 2000 to September 2004, is the pioneer and first company to fully-automate group booking online from start to finish. Started by industry professionals with extensive knowledge of the group travel industry, Group Travel Planet has led the way in developing and providing leisure group travelers (School Groups, Sports Teams, Family Reunions, Church Groups, and more) with an easier way to plan, book and manage all aspects of their group trips online, saving them valuable time and money. The company has one of the largest online networks of supplier partners throughout North America, including over 10,000 “group-friendly” hotels. For more information, visit or call (866) MY PLANET.

* According to the Travel Industry Association (TIA) Travel Industry Association of America’s 2002 survey in conjunction with National Tour Association, ASTA and GLAMER.

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