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Technology Innovation at WTM 2001

New and innovative products were on display at World Travel Market 2001 (WTM<.>), where some presented to the travel trade for the first time…

New and innovative products were on display at World Travel Market 2001 (WTM<.>), where some presented to the travel trade for the first time.

A self-service foreign exchange machine introduced by UK-based EKSI, which has imported the product from Germany and Scandinavia, where it is already being used.

EKSI business development manager Penny Walsh said the machines could be used at airports or in large travel agencies as an alternative to manned bureau de change kiosks.

"With the arrival of the euro in most European countries next year, they are most likely to be used to exchange sterling into either euros or US dollars," she said.

Galor Systems and Software Development of Israel launched a travel management system that allows agents automatically to transfer information from their databases to clients using the web, making it easier for them to take bookings online.

"This is a unique product because there is one database with both a Windows and an Internet interface, so the agent can see what the customer is doing at home on the Net," said a spokesman.

A new web-based reservations system presented for the first time by UK-based

Dolphin Dynamics. Aimed at retailers with multiple locations, Dolphin Anywhere automatically downloads data from global distribution systems.

Another UK based company, Modcomp showcased two products for independent media publishing, which allow operators to take data for brochures and transfer it straight to the web, where users can make bookings.

Spokesman Arthur McCann said the ViewMax products are aimed at large operators or specialists with niche products.

Another UK-based technology company, Open Destinations, unveiled a brand new web-based selling tool, Travel Aggregator, currently on trial with specialist operator Abercrombie & Kent. "We will be marketing this to inbound and outbound operators who want to update their systems, or to those who want to make the most of the web," said product manager Andy Blackwell.

Hand-held satellite phones and satellite pay phones displayed at Earls Court. Applied Satellite Technology said it is marketing the products specifically to safari operators, especially those in Africa.

"These phones are useful anywhere there are no communications, making them ideal for safaris," said company spokesman Chris Wood. "They are being used by governments and aid agencies working in remote locations."

Partners Software of Germany announced new British customers who have signed up for its tailormade mid-office system. These include Gold Medal Travel, The Destination Group, Journey Latin America and TILS in Ireland.