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Travelocity flies business class

The online travel agency extends its services to let U.S. companies create booking sites for their international offices.

    Online travel company on Tuesday introduced global booking options for U.S. companies.

    Multinational businesses can create online booking sites for their international offices using local language, currency and other options, Travelocity said. The service will also be available to small and midsize companies.

    Travelocity said it will offer blanket discounts, in addition to special cuts, as a result of deals it has stuck with hotel properties in major destinations worldwide for both economy and deluxe accommodations. Flight deals, Web fares, hotel discounts and service fee savings would mean an average savings of $100 per trip, or 20 percent overall per trip, the company said. Customers will save an average of 26 percent per airline ticket.

    The Internet has revolutionized the airline business, helping low-fare carriers cut costs and turning travelers into do-it-yourself travel agents. Online booking revenue is forecast to rise to more than 11 percent of the total in Europe by 2008, from just more than 4 percent last year, according to technology consultancy Jupiter Research. But the business could be threatened, if security concerns make identity requirements mandatory.

    "Most large and medium-sized companies have offices outside the U.S.," Ellen Keszler, president of Travelocity Business, said in a statement.

    "In the past, companies have often had completely different travel solutions for each of those regions," Keszler added. "Travelocity Business is allowing companies to create a truly global travel program that helps companies create the greatest efficiencies by providing the broadest set of options to travelers worldwide in one online program but with localized service, as needed."