Thomas Technology Solutions, Inc. has developed a new electronic composition process for Northstar Travel Media's Hotel & Travel Index (HTI), a directory of more than 41,000 hotels around the world.

Considered the world's most widely used hotel directory, the HTI is a heavily illustrated, quarterly index used by travel agents, corporate travel planners and meeting planners. ThomasTech will be implementing an XML-enabled solution that will eliminate manual workflow steps, accelerating pre-press production and approval processes.

"ThomasTech's expertise in working with the latest composition technology will help us achieve our goals of implementing a new process for producing our Hotel and Travel Index, which we anticipate will have an immediate return on our investment," said Roberta Bianchi-Muller, Internet Production Director at Northstar Travel Media. "Northstar has realized production efficiencies and reduced cost with the introduction of an automated process. Another advantage is the XML output that will be used for our electronic products"

ThomasTech's electronic approach allows HTI staff to review, edit and return composed pages in PDF format via FTP. Content extracted from HTI's database using the new process will be converted automatically to XML to support Web products and other electronic formats. Along with print-ready PDFs, Web-ready PDFs will be produced for advertiser approvals--eliminating the manual tear-sheet process previously in place and speeding time to market for the HTI.

"Our work with Northstar is another example of how XML-enabled production offers many advantages over traditional processes that directly impact top- and bottom-line performance. As we work with directory publishers, we are pleased to be able to offer real solutions that save them time and money." said Jeff Catt, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, ThomasTech.