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By Nenad N. Bach | Published  07/31/2003 | Business | Unrated
(E) Croatia Airlines renews agreement

 

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StarCite Reports Record Q2 Growth As Use, Customers, Revenues Surge

Business Editors/Travel Writers

PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 31, 2003--StarCite, Inc., a provider of innovative Web-based technologies and services for the $300 billion global meetings and events industry, today announced another quarter of record company, customer and revenue growth for the April-June period, as it provided hotels with nearly $175 million in RFP opportunities, 62 percent more than in the first quarter, and 374 percent more than the same period a year earlier.

    From April-June, 2003, StarCite users sent 4,003 unique requests for proposals through the StarCite Online Marketplace. The RFPs providing nearly 643,000 group room night leads to databased properties, up 62 percent from the first quarter results. With these leads, the StarCite Online Marketplace provided hotels with more than $106 million in room night revenue potential and an estimated $68.9 million from food and beverage and ancillary revenues. At the current pace, StarCite projects its growing user base to deliver over $700 million in revenue opportunities and 2.6 million room nights to hotels in 2003.

Excluding its private-label sites for suppliers (StarCite powers the group RFP functionality of the Web sites of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and a number of individual hotels), the StarCite Online Marketplace on a monthly basis is delivering in excess of $58 million worth of group and meeting opportunities to suppliers. The number of gross RFPs sent through the StarCite Online Marketplace rose by 33 percent in the quarter, to 32,312.

During the second quarter, StarCite grew its buyer and supplier customer bases, adding Cephalon Inc., Vanguard Travel Unlimited, and Northwestern Incentive Services and its sister-company, Northwestern Travel Management. In addition, Northwestern Incentive Services signed on to distribute and service StarCite's Corporate Technology Products to its own customers. Through partner and its own deployments, StarCite expanded its presence in the pharmaceutical, healthcare and financial services industries. It also added several more enterprise customers that have mandated use of StarCite to source meetings as a best practice. Among StarCite's key enterprise deployments are Amgen, Cisco Systems, KPMG, Lehman Brothers, Motorola and Quaker Oats.

Recognizing the value that the StarCite channel provides, several key suppliers strengthened or forged new relationships with StarCite, including Sol Melia and Accor hotels.

Registrations using StarCite's RegWeb online applications continue to grow at almost 45 percent over the same periods last year. In the first six months, more than 250,000 meeting delegates registered for one of more than 3,000 meetings or events in RegWeb. In the quarter, the company reported 129,540 registration transactions. StarCite also recorded growth in the use of and interest in integrating RegWebPro with Group Air Booking capabilities and continues to expand its offerings in that space.

On the international front, Networld International signed representation contracts with five domestic destination management companies, and renewed agreements with several key suppliers, including Croatia Airlines. Networld is marketing the new clients - Wedgewood - Boston, Wedgewood - NY, Convention Planning Services, Deco Productions and The Meeting Manager - under a U.S. DMC Group campaign. Networld also is experiencing building interest for incentives in Europe and South America. While the resurgence hasn't extended to the Far East yet, the marketing arm booked a 350-person incentive movement to Thailand for 2005. In June, the company held its annual Travel Mart road shows to introduce international members to key corporate and incentive-house decision-makers in eight cities.

"We're excited about the level of support we are receiving in all of our product lines, and particularly with the increased activity from existing customers and the signing of new Fortune 1000 customers who have selected our technology and support to deliver results," said John Pino, StarCite's Founder and CEO. "Tough times are a catalyst for improvement. StarCite's meeting consolidation technology and services address initiatives that save money, improve processes and build better relationships with suppliers. We're delighted to see more large corporations recognize this and benefit."

About StarCite, Inc.

StarCite, Inc. delivers technology and service solutions that drive best practices, cost savings and more efficient management processes to both buyers and suppliers in the meetings and events industry. The StarCite Online Marketplace delivers RFP workflow, preferred vendor management, bid analysis and reporting; RegWeb helps corporations efficiently and cost-effectively register meeting and training delegates online; together, as part of the StarCite Integrated Meetings Platform, the company delivers a comprehensive solution to manage meetings, registration and group air. StarCite also offers suppliers innovative marketing opportunities, the ability to electronically respond to and manage leads, as well as advanced technology solutions to improve their existing business processes. Its Networld International unit offers innovative marketing and technology solutions to international suppliers and unique services to leading planners of international incentives, meetings and events. StarCite is based in Philadelphia, PA. Investors in StarCite include American Express; Internet Capital Group; Maritz Travel Company; McGettigan Partners; Mellon Ventures; Networld, Inc.; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.; Strattech Partners; and Verticalnet. For more information about StarCite, or its technologies and services, please visit www.StarCite.com.

CONTACT: StarCite, Inc., Philadelphia
Mary Ann McNulty, 630-519-4510
mmcnulty@starcite.com

Source: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/cb_headline.cgi?&story_file=bw.073103/2321

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