US Franchise Systems, parent company of the franchisors of the Microtel Inns & Suites, Hawthorn and Best Inns & Suites hotel brands, has teamed with Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Vicinity Corporation to integrate a hotel locator on each of its brand Web sites at www.microtelinn.com, www.hawthorn.com and www.bestinn.com. Vicinity enables USFS` online travelers to easily locate hotels within a specific mile radius and attain door-to-door driving directions.
According to Steve Jacobs, acting CIO of USFS, ``Vicinity has a proven track record in the hospitality industry for providing a level of service unmatched by any other location-based service.`` Vicinity`s accuracy is the highest in the industry at more than 95 percent. In addition, the search engine tolerates spelling errors and overcomes boundaries such as zip codes and county lines that often trip up other search engines.
USFS and each of its hotel brands are now also part of Vicinity`s Web and wireless distribution network, which includes distribution on PalmVII, OmniSky, AT&T PocketNet, Verizon, Nextel, Lycos, Excite, AltaVista, and Vicinity`s MapBlast!
``Being part of Vicinity`s Web and wireless distribution network allows for our hotels to have increased exposure,`` added Jacobs. ``Now, when users search for a hotel in a certain area, all Microtel, Hawthorn and Best properties will be displayed as well.``