Travel Service Hitches Wireless Ride

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Travel service eXitSource last week launched its service via the wireless Web through an agreement with wireless service provider Verizon Wireless, New York.


eXitSource previously provided travelers with information about interstate roadside services via paper-based directories, CD-ROMs and the Internet. The service initially was marketed to trucking companies, tour buses and RV owners.


"The advent of wireless technology allows us to provide traveling information on a real-time basis. If somebody is on the road and has a weak ticker and needs emergency assistance, they can find out where the closest hospital is with their wireless Web device," said Ron Peterson, CEO of eXitSource, Norcross, GA.


Consumers using eXitSource can search the wireless Web site, www.exitsource.com, by category, including emergency services, lodging, restaurants and gas stations. After the consumer enters the name of the interstate he is traveling on, the service can search for any type of location desired by interstate exit number.


The eXitSource site is also listed under the travel category on the Verizon portal. Peterson said eXitSource is talking with other WSPs, but could not disclose specifics about pending deals.


eXitSource is negotiating advertising and e-commerce arrangements with undisclosed hotels and restaurants in order to monetize the site. Peterson said the company expects to facilitate hotel reservations and other travel-related purchases and provide information about rebates and other offers for its potential e-commerce partners.


He would not disclose any further details of expected advertising and e-commerce arrangements, but said advertising will be on the site by the end of the month and e-commerce deals will be finalized by year-end.


The eXitSource Web site registers approximately 2 million impressions per year. In addition to its core services, eXitSource provides data content for automobile navigation systems.
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