A New ‘Site’ to be Seen from Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
listened to the feedback from guests and travel partners through online tools, as well as JDPower guest surveys, and now the award-winning website is even more user-friendly.  The newly-launched fairmont.com is designed to capture the true experience of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts online, with compelling visual representations of each property, an array of travel planning tools, new purchasing opportunities, and an enhanced reservation process.

The site, which is a current finalist for the Webby Business Awards (Travel Category), and this year has won awards from HSMAI (Golden Click Award), ATME (Gold Award - Most Effective Travel Website) and the World Travel Awards
(World’s Leading Hotel Website, voted by over 80,000 Travel Agencies world-wide), now offers a number of enhancements that customers directly requested. 

Jens Thraenhart, Director of Internet Strategy at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts notes, “We strive to offer the best possible value for customers to book our hotels and resorts directly on Fairmont.com - this includes exclusive packages and offers, the ability to customize a customer’s experience, a total commitment to privacy and security, information that is updated daily by the hotels themselves through a decentralized content management system, and the fact that third party online agents don’t have lower rates.”

According to TravelCLICK‘s eTRAK study of over 30 industry websites, bookings via fairmont.com increased by 165 percent during 2002, over twice the growth experienced by the average hotel brand or chain.  Thraenhart continues, “With the increasing numbers of visitors to Fairmont.com and a demonstrated growth in Internet reservations, it was appropriate to update Fairmont.com to provide an improved online experience by listening to our customers.  The new site is positioned to merchandise our product as never before, and increase booking conversions.  The redesign leverages the robust and advanced e-commerce architecture of Fairmont.com and presents it in a visually appealing, consumer-friendly way.”

One of the top items on the guest’s most-wanted list was high-impact imagery, both hotel shots that placed them in the destination and interior shots, such as rooms and public spaces.  On each page, a panoramic header of a hotel highlights the portfolio. A set of travel planning tools, that include Slideshows; Destination Guides, Maps and Vacation Planning; and Multimedia Videos, e-Postcards, as well as Fairmont’s Virtual Concierge ensure the extension of the unique Fairmont experience to the Internet.

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The second most important request was for a more streamlined booking process.  Accordingly, a new Reservation Tool allows guests to book from anywhere on the site, in as little as three clicks. The tool features the ability to search for special Internet rates, and filters the displays by bed type and smoking preferences.  The reservation process is now an experiential process featuring: hotel merchandising; package up sells; activity information; more detailed room and rate descriptions; help section; and an enhanced confirmation wrap up screen and email. Guests can also request for golf tee times, dining reservations, and select spa treatments after making a room reservation on Fairmont.com.

Booking packages is also easier, as the new site highlights B&B packages, the most popular, as well as ones by interest - such as golf, spa, and culinary.  Guests can sign in on any page, to pull up their preferences and past history.  And to ensure guests know their personal information is encrypted and secure, Fairmont’s Internet privacy policy link is located on every page the guest clicks through.

The redesigned hotel pages also feature improved imagery and newly organized sections, making it easier for the guest to find news, spa, dining and golf information.  And finally, upon completion of an online booking, the e-mail confirmation now includes hotel images and an e-postcard to send to friends and family.
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