Cendant's consumer travel business is to focus on traditional marketing strategies to bolster its Orbitz brand even as it overhauls the technology behind Ebookers, the newly acquired UK travel website that has dragged down results for the travel conglomerate.

Mitch Truwit, chief executive of Cendant's global consumer travel unit, paints a vision of Orbitz, the number-two US online travel agency, as both a technology and marketing company in spite of having little activity outside the web so far.

"There is real benefit to bolstering offline marketing even for online performance," said Mr Truwit. "There is a complementary nature to online and offline advertising."

Orbitz launched a new print and television ad campaign in February, as well as Orbitz TLC, an initiative that highlights value-added customer services such as alerts that notify travellers of delays.

Differentiating its brand is especially important for Orbitz as the online travel sector grows more competitive. Airlines and hotels are heavily promoting their own booking websites to regain control of their inventory.

"When [online travel agencies] started, it was all about price," said Mr Truwit. "But to differentiate in a commoditised space, you have to do it on content and service."

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