Brazil's Universo Online invests in tourism portal

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SAO PAULO--Universo Online, a leading Brazilian Internet portal, has joined Latin American travel group Flytour, publisher Panrotas and technology company Voxel to offer travel services on the Web.

The new service, to be branded TurismoNet, will be backed by a $6 million investment. Recently, the airlines Varig and TAM announced plans for online services.

Starting July 3, TurismoNet will offer more than 2,000 travel packages. It will use a sophisticated flight reservation tool developed by Galileo International, covering more than 500 airlines, 50 car rental companies and 45,000 hotels around the world. The project has been nine months in gestation, having sprung from, the Web site previously operated by Panrotas and Voxel.

"It's a very significant market and should represent a huge stake in e-commerce", says Marcos Magalhaes, investment director at Universo Online.

The new portal will contain 800 pages of editorial, including special sections for senior and gay consumers.

Copyright June 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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