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BookIT: Emergency Alert Service Protects Travelers at Vancouver Olympics
[February 25, 2010]

BookIT: Emergency Alert Service Protects Travelers at Vancouver Olympics

CHARLOTTEVILLE, Va. --(Business Wire)-- Anyone attending the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta will remember the chaos and confusion that was created when a bomb exploded at a crowded concert in Centennial Olympic Park, killing two people and injuring 111 others. As a precaution to any such occurrence during the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver B.C., the Finnish travel agency Suomen Matkatoimisto a subsidiary of Finnair, offered travelers an emergency text message alert and communication service. In the event of a crisis situation such as a terrorist attack, natural disaster, or disruption to transportation systems, the travel agency will use text messaging to communicate directly with their customers and help see them to safety.

The patented iSMS® messaging service, provided by Finnish firm BookIT, has long been in use by Finnair for pre-flight notifications and mobile check-in. Majority of Finnair business customers now use this service. What sets the service apart is that it automatically works with any network and it allows secure two-way dialogues without requiring users to type-in keywords. This translates to easy usability and a massive increase in user adoption. When Finnair transferred their mobile check-in from a keyword-based service to iSMS® one button response, the adoption rate went from 1% to 76% almost overnight.

Suomen Matkatoimisto decided to take iSMS® text messaging services as the next logical step by extending communications and special offers through the full duration of travel. In addition to emergency alerts, travelers were periodically sent alerts offering a variety of services including discounted meals, special day trips, and VIP bus service.

For travelers, text notifications and special offers provide piece of mind and convenience. In the event that crisis situations or irregularities arise, iSMS® text messaging provides a reliable means of direct two-way communication that could save lives.

For more information about the use of iSMS® text message alerts for traveler safety and other travel related offers contact: Bob Batz, U.S. Account Manager, BookIT, [email protected]

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