Pegasus Tapped for New Japanese Travel Site

Pegasus Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:PEGS), a Dallas, Texas-based company which specializes in online hotel reservations, announced Thursday that it was chosen to provide its services to a newly-launched Japanese travel site that is featured on that country’s second-largest Web portal.

Launched this week, Isize Travel Company, Ltd. includes online hotel reservation capabilities for some 30,000 hotels in 165 countries, airline reservations services, the ever-popular rail passes and 40,000 package tours. The site will be Japan’s largest tour database, according to the company.

Isize Travel will translate information from English to Japanese for 3,000 of the hotels in the Pegasus database.

“Our TravelWeb.com site has always done well in Japan, even though the site is in English. By being accessible on Japan’s second-largest Web portal site while providing virtually the same online hotel database and booking capabilities as TravelWeb.com, Isize Travel should prove to be even more popular,” said Pegasus CEO, John F. Davis III.

Expanding Japanese Market

While their economy has been battered of late, Japanese consumers have long been known as avid travelers. The new site was launched by Recruit Co. Ltd., a $3 billion (US$) classified magazine publisher familiar to Japanese travelers.

The company has a significant presence in the Japanese travel market. It publishes a 1000-page biweekly magazine chock-full of advertisements for package tours, airline tickets and hotel rooms. According to Recruit, some 19% of all Japanese overseas leisure travelers – over two million in all – use the company’s travel publications when planning a trip.

Recruit is hoping that a new generation of Japanese travelers will sit down at the computer and make their plans. No doubt, e-commerce is growing in Japan. The eight million Japanese Internet users in 1998 are expected to quadruple to 32 million by 2003, and revenues generated by e-commerce are expected to grow from $1.9 billion to $44.9 billion, according to an International Data Corp. study.

Pegasus Gallops Along

Pegasus is doing some growing of its own. The travel industry’s largest single provider of hotel reservations, the company saw first quarter room reservations on its properties increase to 360,000, with a worth of $72 million. In 1998 alone, Pegasus processed 750,000 Internet transactions with a value of $150 million.

A recent study pegged Internet hotel reservations as a $1.1 billion industry this year, with the potential to increase to $4 billion by 2001.

TravelWeb.com accounts for the company’s own consumer reservation site. Pegasus provides booking capabilities to 41 other Web sites, including MSN Expedia and Preview Travel and Budget Rent A Car’s Web site.

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