Apex Hotels targets web for growth

Apex Hotels has invested
over £100,000 to more than double its online business over the next three
years.The Edinburgh-based hotelier has highlighted the web as a major
factor in its growth strategy and the investment in the web operation, from
a new website and optimisation through to improvements to its online booking
experience, aims to produce over one third of hotel bookings by the end of
2009.

As well as working directly with third party sites, such as lastminute.com
and Expedia, Apex is putting increasing significance on the effectiveness of
its own website to drive on-line bookings and provide more information to
visitors. Through a partnership with Realise, one of Scotland’s leading web
designers, the Apex online booking experience is now more intuitive and
links seamlessly with system provider, Travel Click’s istay booking engine.

 


These major enhancements to the online experience means that it is now
possible to make real-time bookings via the Apex Hotels website
(www.apexhotels.co.uk) with guests able to customise their stay by choosing
from a more extensive range of hotel amenities and services than was
previously available.

 

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The new online design also closely matches the hotel chain’s values for
contemporary style and quality and is being monitored and updated by a
strengthen team. 

 

With new hotels planned and the business, leisure and events side of Apex’s
operation all expanding, the web is becoming an increasingly important
business generator to help achieve this.

 

Lorna Lee, Group Marketing Manager for Apex Hotels said,

“There is no doubt that the internet is critical to the tourism and
hospitality industry. Online sites like Expedia, Last Minute and Laterooms
steer millions of consumers toward specific airlines and hotels in a manner
that lowers prices and improves satisfaction among consumers. However, for a
business like ours to grow we have to harness the web in a way that enhances
our premium business. Putting more emphasis on our own website and building
the brand and consumer experience from this first point of contact is going
to be increasingly important for us to grow the business in the future.”

Web expert, Fiona Proudler at Realise, the web design agency behind the
new-look Apex site, commented,

 

“Hotels are now the fastest growing product segment online and the move by
Apex is right on the mark. Last year, figures from Merrill Lynch showed that
29% all hotel bookings were generated online with another third influenced
by the internet and then completed offline.

 

“Hoteliers have to see their websites as a commercial tool, to extend their
customer reach and drive bookings. In an increasingly sophisticated market,
Apex’s new site pays proper respect to the customer experience and brand
reputation with an easy to navigate and contemporary look and feel.”


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