An Interview By: Joanie Ogg, Co-Founder and Editor – Travel Professional NEWSInterviewing: Eric Altschul, Chief Executive Officer – ABC Global Services / ezBookPro.com First and foremost, thank you for your time and insight! Can you share some background and company information about ABC Global Services?ABC Global Services is a leading supplier of services and technology for travel management companies, advisors and professionals. Founded in 1978, ABC now provides services for nearly 11,000 agency locations of all sizes, covering 76 countries around the world. Through decades of cultivating relationships with hotels and other industry suppliers, ABC offers an ever-growing roster of services, including the ABC Premier Hotel Program™, the leading hotel consortia program featuring nearly 50,000 hotels around the world, all commissionable and many with deep discounts off BAR. ezBookPro is our award-winning hotel booking engine exclusively for travel professionals, which aggregates inventory across multiple distribution sources to consolidate rates and commission levels for more than 800,000 hotels worldwide. We also have two wholly-owned subsidiaries: GMI – Global Meetings & Incentives – a leading provider of end-to-end meeting solutions and logistic services; and hotelCONNEX which provides customized strategic hotel sourcing for corporations. With 2019 in full swing, is there anything new and noteworthy on the radar with ABC Global Services?Yes, we are very excited to announce the launch of an upgraded and enhanced version of ezBOOK using the latest technology, “ezBookPro.com”. Why a new version?We are always evolving and upgrading to meet and exceed the needs and expectations of travel professionals. We pro-actively sought their input and listened to their feedback on what they liked, what they didn’t like, as well as what features and enhancements they wanted to see. We then designed ezBookPro around them. How many advisors does ezBookPro have?We currently have tens of thousands of registered travel advisors. Please tell us more about ezBookPro?ezBookPro has a completely new user-friendly intuitive design that we believe is the easiest in the industry to navigate and book hotels. With great features and functionalities that make the travel advisors job even easier, saving them time and giving them the ability to offer their clients the best hotel options and rates – including rates their clients can’t get anywhere else. The new site design is completely responsive to view and book on any device, including mobile. Highlights of the features and functionality include:More Choices – Over 800,000 hotels worldwide including apartments, homes and villasMore Rate Options – GDS rates, Web Rates, Booking.com and Net RatesezSEARCH – ezBookPro aggregates all rate inventories in one single displayEasy navigation and intuitive design to display properties and pricing optionsAbility to book up to 8 persons per roomAbility to have Multiple bookings/destinations on one reservationEasy Add-ons – Ability to add bookings to an existing reservationComparison Tool – compare multiple properties in one displayGroup Booking Tool – 9 or more roomsSave Your Favorites – save your favorite hotels for easy access in future bookingsDisplay and book multiple currencies (USD, CAD, GBP, EUR) – no credit card foreign transaction fees in those currenciesCustomize vouchers with agency or agent logoNew reporting features to view and manage bookings at agency and agent levelSend client proposals, comparing hotels – coming soon! Do all bookings have to be prepaid?No. Payment varies by rate type. One of the great benefits of ezBookPro is by aggregating multiple rate types we are offer both pay-at-hotel and prepaid options. Are prepaid rates refundable?Yes, most of our prepaid rates are refundable, typically up to a week or so before arrival. What Commission can travel advisors earn?Commission levels are based on the rate type. “Set Your Own” agent add their own commission mark-up on our Net Rates. Often Net Rates are much lower than retail, providing agents the opportunity to maximize their commission, while at the same time providing their clients with the lowest rate available.GDS rates pay up to 8% Web rates 10% Booking.com 3% – provides agents the ability to remain competitive with consumer site pricing and not risk losing clients to book direct Service Fees can be always added to any booking. Our ezCOMMISSION Guarantee pays commission twice monthly Does ezBookPro offer any booking incentives or rewards program for advisors?Yes, we frequently run booking promotions and incentives and will be announcing a new loyalty program in the near future. What kind of support or training does ezbookpro offer to agents?We are very committed to supporting our travel advisors. Our goal is to help agents do their job more efficiently and succeed in growing their business. We recognize that experience and skill levels vary greatly across our members, so we make sure to provide as much support as needed for new travel advisors or the seasoned professional by offering several types of support and training. LIVE AGENT PHONE SUPPORT is available 24/7 to handle any questions or provide assistance when needed.Live Weekly Training Webinars – on how to use ezBookPro and get the most out of our powerful booking tool – these live webinars also provide an opportunity for Q&A.ezTIPs – these are short 10-15 minute live webinars that are destination focused on how to select the ideal location in popular cities like, Rome, Venice, London, Paris, Greek Islands, New York and more.Partner Webinar series, these are live webinars each featuring one of our preferred hotel partners and our agents love these as they provide agents with in-depth product knowledge on the various brands and hotel chains.Video Tutorials will be available soon on the site. These are brief “How-To” video snippets demonstrating all the different features and functionalities of ezBookPro.UpClose with ABC – live events giving agents the opportunity to meet and network with over 30 of our preferred hotel suppliers. This year we are hosting UpClose in Chicago, Boston and San Francisco. Details of all our training and webinar programs are posted on ezBookPro.com. What makes ezBookPro different than other hotel booking tools available to travel professionals?The aggregation of multiple rate types viewed in a single display, the overall ease-of-use, the ability to earn more commission and our outstanding agent support which is unmatched in the industry. How does a Travel Professional join ezBookPro?Just go to ezBookPro.com if you are a member of a host agency or an employee of a travel agency, then click to “Register as an Agent”. Owner/Managers, need to register their agency. Simply go to ezBookPro.com and click “Register as an Agency”. Do you require an Agency ID# such as CLIA, ARC etc.Yes, all agents must be registered under their agency using a valid, CLIA, ARC/IATA or TRUE ID. Is there any cost or fee to Join ezBookPro?No, it is completely free to join! We can’t thank you enough for your time, expertise and information about what’s new with ezBookPro! Do you have any last words you may like to share with the readers of Travel Professional NEWS?Thanks Joanie. We would like to invite all travel professionals to join ezBookPro and experience the fastest, easiest way to book hotels and earn more commission.