Exclusive Interview With Bob Hertzka of Resorts Online

RESORTS OnLine is a quick, easy and unique Internet service designed for upscale travelers, travel agents, conference/meeting planners or anyone needing to access detailed information on luxury travel and the over 3200 properties featured on ROL. 
Built around the concept of finding the world`s top resort hotels, not only by location, but by the activities and amenities that make them unique, Resorts OnLine has become the leading Internet travel portal for luxury travel. 
Additionally there is a unique search engine that allows all the resorts to be accessed by any combination of keywords that would be useful in selecting a vacation or business location. Other additional features on Resorts Online include the weather, snow and ski reports and currency conversions.


Resorts Online is a wide and extensive search engine that is cleverly designed so that regardless of quite an overwhelming choice, it is logical and user-friendly.

Resorts Online Managing Director, Bob Hertzka, agreed to answer some questions regarding the success and maintenance of this unique tool.

Q. How long has Resorts Online been running for?

A. I launched ROL in June of 1996

Q. In which countries is Resorts Online accessible?

A. ROL is accessible in all areas where there is Internet access.

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Q.  Where is it most popular?

A. Out stats show that half our traffic is in the US, about 25% in Europe and the remaining spread out in Asia, Africa and some from South America.

Q. How many hits does Resorts Online receive each month?

A. It is estimated at 1500 unique visitors per day.
Q. Which sections of Resorts Online are the most used?

A. Golf, Spa and Beach are the most popular followed by Diving and Skiing

Q.Can you recall how many hotels are included in the database?

A. We have almost 3,300 properties in our database along with almost
900 additional links in our Concierge Services.

Q. How is the information regarding hotels collected before it is used?

    All the hotels are reviewed by checking out their brochure and/or
website to determine if they qualify for inclusion in terms of quality and under
which icons they would fit.

Q. A substantial investment must have been made to create and maintain
Resorts Online. How do you get revenue to maintain this web site?


A. Our revenue is provided by the hotels that pay us an annual subscription fee to be
listed with a link to their home page. Additional revenue comes from some
affiliate relationships that we have and also from advertising.

Q. Are there any plans to expand Resorts Online: Perhaps adding airlines,
or tour operators to your database?


A. Our Concierge Services include links to all the major airlines as
well as many tour operators and hundred of other useful listings for trade shows,
travel agents, publications, equipment, etc.
Q. At the moment, resortsonline.com is a search engine. Are there any plans
to add online booking facilities?


A. We currently have affiliate relationships with WorldRes and 1800
Hotels to provide online reservations for certain hotels that do not wish to
pay our annual subscription of $250.  At the moment Sheraton, Westin, Ritz
Carlton and Hilton as well as several individual hotels are listed with the possibility of direct online reservations.

Our goal is to help guests and agents find the hotels that best fit the
criteria they are looking for. We then link them to the hotels web site where
they can find the more information.

If a hotel does not wish to work with us and they do participate with either WorldRes or 1800 Hotels, then we can provide a link which will allow direct online bookings.
Q. Who are your main rivals?

A. Since our goal is to help clients find an appropriate hotel and then link them to it`s home page, we don`t really see anyone as our rivals. I think we are unique in this way, especially with our format of grouping all the hotels under the 12 icons that we feature. These are golf, skiing, diving, spa, fishing, riding, safari/ eco, beach, marina, casino, lake and chateau/castle. 

Even more unique is our keyword search engine that allows you to enter any combination of activities, amenities, or location to find exactly what you are looking for.  For example, let`s say you want to go to a Beach resort in Fiji that that offers golf, has a spa, lit tennis court as well as conference facilities. Just enter those Key-words and in seconds we will find the qualify properties.

For this reason, I think we are quite unique. Trade links to hundreds of related sites and we really don`t see any one as competition; we are happy to work with whom ever we can to direct traffic to our member hotels.

Q. I read with admiration that you have included a Red Cross donation
section on Resorts Online. I was wandering whether you have received many
donations via the site?


The Red Cross banner is linked directly to the Red Cross site. This means that while I know that it sees a lot of traffic, we have no way of knowing exactly how much revenue was generated from Resorts Online. (This was done directly with the Red Cross).

Q. Would you say that Resorts Online has achieved its goal - “To be the only
web site you will need to access information on the world`s top resort hotels
and information for the luxury traveller?”


     
I would say that we have accomplished this to some extent. There are, however some hotels that do not wish to participate with us and if we can`t link to them via one of our reservation affiliates then they will not be represented.  But in general I think we do cover the luxury hotel market under the 12 icons we feature.  A City icon is also being developed which will make us much more comprehensive, but that is still to come.

Q. Can you discuss future plans?

As I said we hope to add icons for City properties and perhaps also Villas
and Yachts.  We are always updating the site and adding new hotels as
we discover them. New links to our Concierge Services are also added when we find something that we think is appropriate. In general we make every effort to
remain as current and up to date as possible.

Click here to see for yourself www.resortsonline.com

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