Hotel CRS and distribution provider Trust International, headquartered in Frankfurt, is putting new focus on the U.S. market, where it hopes to better compete against Pegasus Solutions and Sabre Hospitality's SynXis.
Founded in 1989, Trust International for many years has had a U.S. operations center responsible for call center and GDS functions in Orlando, Fla., but the company's focus has been on Europe, Asia and more recently in the Middle East.
Competing against U.S.-based rivals on their home turf can be a daunting proposition.
But Heinrich Kessler, a Pegasus veteran who now serves as Trust International's vice president of sales and marketing for Europe, Middle East, Africa and the Americas, says Trust is throwing additional resources into the U.S. as it hires additional operations staff, and spends more on marketing and development.
Trust International has always taken a back seat to Pegasus and SynXis in the U.S. market.
Part of U.S.-based Cendant Hospitality Group until 2006, Trust International transitioned to Travelport when The Blackstone Group bought it after Cendant's various divisions got spun off or sold.
Private equity firm KPC of London acquired the shares of Trust International from Blackstone in 2007.
Kessler says Trust International differentiates itself from the competition by targeting hotel chains and groups with its CRS services -- and leaving independents to others.
The company also doesn't attempt to sign contracts with individual properties, and thus doesn't have a conflict with the chains or groups themselves, Kessler says.
Trust International is not a property management system provider "and will stick to its core competency, CRS," Kessler says.
In late 2009, the company upgraded its CRS offering, introducing yourVoyager, and says it transitioned 60 international hotel groups to the new product mid-way through 2010.
Clients of Trust solutions include Leading Hotels of the World, Small Luxury Hotels and Four Seasons, with Trust boasting of ties to 680 properties in the U.S. and Canada.
That's a small toe-hold compared with Pegasus Solutions and SynXis, but Kessler believes Trust International proved its success in addressing under-served markets with recent marketshare gains in the Middle East.