Reservations can now be booked at any of more than 45 vacation resorts included on Bluegreen Vacation Rentals` web site.
The online system will generate real-time responses, so clients will know instantaneously whether their request has been met. The new service is a partnership effort with Houston-based Webvertising, whose iHotelier reservation system is used by hotels throughout the United States, Central America and Asia to book guest reservations. Webvertising spent the past few months working closely with Bluegreen, customising iHotelier to meet the unique requirements of Bluegreen Vacation Rentals` properties. Unlike conventional hotel online reservation systems, which are designed to book single night accommodations, Bluegreen`s various rental properties have unique and inconsistent needs. Minimum overnight commitments range from one or two nights to a week, depending on the resort`s specific location and the time of year. Industry statistics indicate that half of all Americans, more than 100 million adults, say they use travel media to plan their vacations.
According to the lodging, gaming and leisure research group of Bear Stearns, “The Internet is the best thing to happen to the hotel industry since the toll-free phone number.” According to the investment firm, hotel bookings via the Internet should generate $3.1 billion in revenues by 2002, up from less than $100 million in 1997.