|WASHINGTON--June 7, 2002--BridgeStreet Corporate Housing Worldwide, a leading international provider of corporate housing to business travelers, today announced that it will offer on the Global Distribution Systems (GDS), its full, North American corporate housing inventory in 18 cities, plus the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
It is the first time that a global corporate housing company has made its full inventory available on GDS, including Sabre, Galileo, Worldspan and Amadeus.
Travel agents will now have online access to BridgeStreet's inventory of thousands of fully furnished corporate apartments, townhouses and condominium units and may book reservations in real time, under the code "BK." Travel agents typically book corporate housing as an alternative to a traditional hotel room for business travelers planning to stay several weeks, a month or longer during a relocation, assignment or training program and who also want a more spacious, home-like environment. All GDS bookings are fully commissionable.
"Historically, the travel agent community has not had quick and easy access to corporate housing options," said Thomas Vincent, president, BridgeStreet Corporate Housing Worldwide. "We believe this important step will open up a significant new revenue stream for travel agents.
"As the first and only corporate housing provider to offer its national and international inventory on the GDS, we believe BridgeStreet has a significant competitive advantage," he noted. "There are over 450,000 travel agents worldwide utilizing the GDS, and we expect our online inventory to create new marketing opportunities and travel industry partnerships. We see this as a major breakthrough that could revolutionize the way our corporate housing industry does business."
BridgeStreet's availability on the GDS enables travel agents and travel service providers to market and sell to corporate and consumer end-users in the United States and 38 other countries. With access to live inventory, travel agents can quickly and easily identify BridgeStreet's corporate housing opportunities, desired amenities and associated costs, and availability, significantly speeding up and simplifying the entire booking process. Benefits to corporate travelers include detailed information that will help them make more informed decisions.
Corporate travel managers also benefit from BridgeStreet's new online inventory. "Corporate housing gives corporations a better way to control costs on lengthy assignments. From the business travelers' vantage point, BridgeStreet's larger, more comfortable and spacious fully furnished apartments can help increase productivity during extended-stay assignments."
Vincent noted that BridgeStreet's inventory also will be available on popular consumer sites that have GDS inventory, such as Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz.
"Business travelers also may research our available inventory worldwide and book reservations through BridgeLink, our client-specific extranet service," Vincent said. "The BridgeLink program allows us to customize a client's Web site based on the company's temporary housing needs, for the exclusive use of their business travelers, complete with corporate logo, online booking capabilities and company-specific information, like preferred vendors, travel policies, preferred communities, etc."
BridgeStreet, a wholly owned subsidiary of MeriStar Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: MMH), is an industry leader in providing worldwide corporate housing accommodations to business travelers. With corporate apartments throughout the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, and 39 countries around the world, BridgeStreet properties meet uncompromising standards of quality, comfort and service. BridgeStreet is headquartered in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.bridgestreet.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, about MeriStar Hotels & Resorts, Inc., including those statements regarding future operating results and the timing and composition of revenues, among others. Except for historical information, the matters discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially, including the following: the ability of MeriStar Hotels & Resorts to successfully implement its acquisition and operating strategies; the company's ability to manage rapid expansion; significant leverage; changes in economic cycles; competition from other hospitality companies; and changes in the laws and government regulations applicable to the company. For a more detailed description of some of those risks and uncertainties, please read the section titled "Risk Factors" and "Forward-Looking Information" in the annual report on Form 10-K of MeriStar Hotels & Resorts for the year ended December 31, 2001.