TravelCLICK Advises Hotels to Face Challenging Budget Period Head-On

TravelCLICK, the leading provider of digital
media and data solutions to the travel industry, has released advice to
hotels for facing the challenging budget period head on, providing a list of
marketing “must-do`s” for every hotelier.


(Caption: Bruce W. Mainzer, senior vice president of marketing for
TravelCLICK)

“The sluggish economy and lowered occupancies are especially challenging for
hoteliers as they are tasked with streamlining their marketing budgets for
2003,” said Bruce W. Mainzer, senior vice president of marketing for
TravelCLICK. “We are advising our clients that regardless of their funding
levels for next year`s marketing and advertising budgets, there are
opportunities to increase their hotels` competitiveness and revenue.”


TravelCLICK provides the following recommendations.


1. Review Your Presence in All Electronic Channels. Many hoteliers have
never viewed their property`s appearance on the GDS or on key Internet
travel sites. Often, the information is outdated, incorrect, or doesn`t list
recent improvements made to the hotel.

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Since these are point-of-sale mediums, providing correct information
translates immediately into new bookings. Do your annual GDS/Internet
checkup and ensure that your hotel is properly referenced to key locations
in the area (such as distances to attractions and airports), and that your
property description is current. TravelCLICK local sales experts are
available to assist properties in fixing listings on the GDS and on the
Internet. 

2.  Move Traditional Print Dollars to Electronic Marketing.  You can
re-allocate dollars traditionally spent on print ads, brochures, and sales
kits to electronic venues such as Web sites, email campaigns and GDS media;
and yield greater results at a fraction of the cost. TravelCLICK research
shows that more than 50% of all transient hotel customers are now using the
Internet or the GDS to research and gather information about hotels.
Moreover, e-commerce channels are continuing to grow in importance for
determining hotel choices as well as for booking hotel rooms.

3.  Take Advantage of Lowered Marketing Costs to Attract Groups.  Meeting
planners and Fortune 1000 corporations are quickly adopting Web-based tools,
and electronic group bookings are increasing at a rapid pace. Meeting
planners prefer the ease of online research and RFP management that Web
sites like StarCite.com offer. Hoteliers who have been proactive in these
electronic marketing channels have increased RFPs four-fold versus hoteliers
who are passive.

4.  Know What Your Competition is Doing.  With the vast amount of
information available through the e-commerce channels, consumers are boss -
and they know it.  Staying on top of your competitor`s pricing and
availability gives you one more edge.

In addition to competitive benchmarking data at the property level,
TravelCLICK offers hoteliers free market-level information on their Web
site, www.travelclick.net
. This information is always updated with
the most recent booking data for each local market.


5.  Acknowledge Your Customers` Online Savvy.  There will be an estimated
320 million Web users by year end - nearly fives times more than there were
in 1997 - and travel is the largest revenue category on the Internet. Hotels
are the fastest growing segment in this category.

“Make all of your retail inventory available on the Internet and the GDS.
You`ll get better yields and surprise yourself at how much more retail
inventory you can sell through your own Web site, GDSs, and third party Web
sites,” said Mainzer. “Whatever you do - don`t restrict your Web presence to
your net rate inventory. This will only further erode your yield, and
encourage your customers to book with net rate wholesalers, instead of
buying from you directly through electronic channels.” 


“These simple actions will help boost revenue share for the majority of
hotels who pay attention and respond to consumer demands,” said Mainzer.
“The good news is that there are budget-conscious resources available for
hoteliers who want to work to get solutions and maximize their revenue
performance, while at the same time control their marketing costs.” 


TravelCLICK
consultants are poised to offer guidance in each of these areas.
More information, including case studies and examples of how these
strategies have worked in your market, is available on www.travelclick.net,
or by calling (866) 674-4553 (toll-free).


Related stories on ITN:

(11/07/2002) TravelCLICK Develops Next Generation Tool with AgentWare

(08/07/2002) TravelCLICK Electronic Marketing Products Endorsed by Grupo Posadas
(19/06/2002)TravelCLICK Releases Top Ten Destination Results

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