August 04, 2004

With its integration of Rosenbluth International complete, American Express on Monday announced it was relaunching its corporate travel organization with a new name: American Express Business Travel. "The completed Rosenbluth integration has allowed us to choose industry-leading hybrid product offerings and business practices from both organizations, further strengthening our position as the worldwide leader in business travel," said Charles Petruccelli, president of AEBT. Highlights of the completed merger include procurement consulting services, a personalized travel portal, corporate meeting management tools and technology for tracking lost or unused tickets.

Technology in the news: GetThere, a provider of online corporate travel services, will be integrated with two online meetings management services: SeeUthere Technologies and StarCite. The partnerships allow attendees registering for meetings through SeeUthere and StarCite to book their travel at the same time. SeeUthere also will be offering the Cliqbook travel-booking tools from Outtask. To be available in the fall, the integration "leads the traveler right from the registration screens into the travel-booking tool," said Stanley Chin, COO of SeeUthere. In another sector, CEO Software, makers of Scheduler Plus and Scheduler Plus ii, has released version 8.7 of both products. The company also has signed an agreement with MeetingMatrix International to distribute the MeetingMatrix room-diagramming software to users of CEO Software products. In other news, EventRebels, a provider of registration technology and services, has spun off a new company called Epsilon Registration to market its EReg software to planners of conferences and trade shows.

The Convention Industry Council has released the fifth and six panels of the Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX) initiative, dealing with meeting and site profiles, and requests for proposal. Planners are encouraged to read the documents at and give suggestions for improvement. The final panel of the report, dealing with contracts, should be out by mid-December, according to CIC president Mary Power. APEX still has to raise $600,000 to reach its $1.9 million goal. To that end, Oct. 14 will be APEX Day, to promote awareness about the project and help raise the remaining funds. Debuting in that month, a selection of hotels and restaurants will create special dishes and drinks called The APEX; each item purchased will bring in one dollar to the fund (the list of participating properties will be available in October on CIC's website). Also, a cookbook will be available of the top recipes, with all proceeds benefiting the project.

The 400-room Movenpick Dream Castle Hotel has opened at the Disneyland Resort Paris. The property, Movenpick Hotels & Resorts' first in France, has seven meeting rooms.