Utell announced today that it has become the most popular hotel group booked through Orbitz since the site launched hotel reservations capabilities in June 2001.
Utell, a subsidiary of Pegasus Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq: PEGS), is the world`s largest hotel representation company(1).
As one of the approximately 200 hotel brands available on Orbitz, Utell comprises nearly 5,500 independent and small chain hotels located in 150 countries. From June through December 2001, Utell generated net reservations through the site totaling more than $3 million in room revenues, which is nearly $1 million more than any other single hotel brand received through Orbitz during the same time period.
For the month of December, Utell was Orbitz`s top producer in terms of volume of reservation transactions, number of room nights booked, as well as total value of net reservations booked, which hit nearly $1 million during that month alone.
“We believe Utell`s popularity stems from the fact that we offer an unrivaled variety of quality hotels in city centers and popular destinations, such as Las Vegas, London and Paris,” said Mark Wells, president of Utell.
“It`s phenomenal to see how online travelers are no longer only booking the major hotel chains,” said Jeff Thomas, Orbitz` manager of hotel partnerships. “Utell`s success on Orbitz proves that consumers do have a great interest in booking independent hotels, and that their confidence in online property content and booking capabilities has increased substantially over the last couple of years.”
Utell`s Wells commented, “Our success on Orbitz is validation that we provide smaller chains and independent hotels with the means to compete on an equal level with the larger, well-known brands. We arm our hotel customers with the ability to present rich, up-to-date online property content and photos that give smart shoppers the confidence to book the less recognized, but more unique, independent hotels.”
Utell`s recent rate promotions, Late Getaways and Great Rate Winter, which includes discounts of up to 74 percent for select Utell hotels, were popular among Orbitz online customers. Examples of Great Rate Winter rates include $225 at Ian Schrager`s Royalton in New York City and 195 pounds at the St. Martin Lane hotel in London, also an Ian Schrager hotel.
Created in 1930, Utell is the hotel industry`s largest third-party marketing and reservations provider. Utell`s reservations, sales and marketing services are designed to help hotels generate additional room revenues, and are beneficial to virtually every type of hotel, from deluxe to economy, from independent properties such as the Ritz in London and the Paris Las Vegas hotel and casino in Las Vegas, to hotel chains such as Warwick International, Helmsley Hotels and SuperClubs. Utell hotel customers benefit from sophisticated technology and systems, combined with a network of sales and marketing services and support. As a member of Utell, independent hotels and small chains receive worldwide representation, which enables them to be electronically bookable via the global distribution systems (GDSs) that travel agencies around the world use to book travel, and via the Internet through Utell`s extensive distribution network, which includes Orbitz, TravelWeb.com, Hotwire.com, ContinentalAirlines.com, Priceline.com, ebookers.com, as well as Utell`s proprietary sites, Utell.com and Hotelbook.com. Through Utell`s extensive voice reservation call center network, hotel members receive voice reservations representation in 41 countries.
According to Forrester Research, the number of Americans making online travel purchases increased nearly 17 percent in 2001, to 17.8 million U.S. households. Forrester also predicts that online leisure travel sales will total $14.2 billion in 2001, despite a 20 percent drop in overall travel industry revenues for the year.