It was eight months in the making, but took only four to achieve a return on investment.
Since launching in September 2001, The Peninsula Group`s new website, featuring a powerful central booking engine, has culminated in a 128% surge at the end of March 2002 in the number of rooms booked on-line via the Internet.
Even more significant, about 90% of those bookings were from first-time guests at Peninsula hotels with The Peninsula Hong Kong, The Kowloon Hotel and The Peninsula Bangkok being the biggest beneficiaries.
A powerful central booking engine puts all of the available rooms at all Peninsula hotels on-line and in real time as opposed to allocating just a small number of rooms for sale on the Internet. “The real-time factor is important,” said Mr. Simon Pearson, General Manager, Marketing at The Peninsula Group. “If customers are told on the Internet that a hotel is full only to find out later that rooms were actually available through a different channel, they may never go back to a site. Our customers will never experience that frustration. They can make reservations 24-hours a day, regardless of what time zone they are in. They don`t have to wait for our reservations people or their own travel professionals to arrive at the office and as long as there is a room available, they can book it.”
For The Peninsula Group, redeveloping its website and enhancing the on-line booking capabilities have proven to be a lucrative investment. With the website just over six months old, The Group is already making reviews for improvement, with an aim to making even more convenient to use and in-tuned to the needs of today`s sophisticated travelers. The Peninsula Group operates luxury hotels in key gateways of Asia and the USA and is a division of The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited.