Accor, the world`s largest hotel and tourism group, has just launched its first national derivative network of the global accor.com site. accorhotels.com.au is specifically targeted at people wishing to travel within Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia, with over 110 hotels and resorts in the region to choose from, including the internationally renowned Sofitel, Novotel, All Seasons, Mercure, Ibis and Formule 1 brands.
One of the major attractions of the site is the Hot Deals section which allows visitors to obtain special internet-only offers that will make taking a holiday break not only easier but more affordable. The Hot Deals are updated regularly and include everything from one-night escapes to week-long getaways, from the city to the seaside, and from rural retreats to rugged outback adventures. People can also subscribe to the Hot Deals newsletter to be the first to know about exclusive holiday offers.
A major difference to other sites offering special deals is that web-surfers can see immediately whether the hotel has availability for its Hot Deal offer. In many other sites, visitors can waste time filling in their details only to find out that no rooms are available on the date they want. And with the faster functionality of accorhotels.com.au, bookers receive confirmation in real time rather than having to wait hours or even days for a reply.
“As the largest hotel and tourism group in Australia, Accor offers an unparelleled range of properties, no matter where you want to go,” said Accor Australia`s General Manager Sales & Marketing, Ray Stone. “In sddition to this huge choice, the immediacy, security and convenience of desktop access and the promise of competitive pricing will make our site a must for travellers.”
“Last year there was an Accor hotel room booked over the internet every 31 seconds right around the world. It`s obvious that the launch of this site will have a huge impact on our business in this region.”
The site includes information on all Accor hotels in the region, as well as information on Accor`s complementary businesses such as the Summit Restaurant, Sydney Showboats, Magistic Cruises, Delta Europcar, Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre and the Advantage Plus loyalty programme. This means that visitors can book all their holiday needs with just the click of a button. In effect, accorhotels.com.au is a one-stop travel shop for the perfect holiday experience.
The site also includes information about job opportunities with the company, media releases and gift certificates for hotel stays. The site offers a vast range of travel experiences: from Adelaide to Auckland, Brisbane to the Barossa, Canberra to Cairns or Darling Harbour to Darwin. The Australian site links directly into Accor`s global accorhotels.com website, allowing on-line bookings at more than 3500 hotels in 90 countries.
Before booking travellers can view images of each hotel, obtain tourist information about the destination, and find out about different rates - all from the convenience of home or office. Accor expects that web bookings will grow significantly over the next three years, with travellers now regularly booking both air and land content via the web. With Australians taking advantage of web-only airfare deals - often at extremely short notice - they are then looking for accommodation sites that can provide instant confirmations to complement their plane bookings.
In 2000, Accor recorded 12 million visits to its global hotel website, representing an average of 32,000 visitors per day. Since the beginning of this year, the number of visits has greatly increased to around 50,000 hits per day. The Australian site - before it has been officially launched or promoted in any way - has already attracted over 1,000 user sessions per day, with 1350 visitors subscribing to the Hot Deals newsletter. It was named “Travel Fast Mover” by independent internet research company Hitwise following its rise from 215th to 43rd most popular travel web site during the month of March.
“When one considers that Australia has one of the highest internet usages per capita, it`s not hard to see that accorhotels.com.au is going to have an enormous impact on the way Australians travel,” said Mr Stone.