WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. & PHILADELPHIA, May 23, 2002 (BUSINESS WIRE)—StarCite, Inc., a provider of innovative Web-based technologies and services for the $300 billion global meetings and events industry, today announced that it signed an agreement with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) to build new technologies to power the group meetings and events section of www.Starwood.com.
StarCite technologies will enable new meeting planner search capabilities, a RapidRFP(TM), competitive opportunities, and other tools into a new Starwood Meeting Solution on Web sites of Starwood and each of its six hotel brands - St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, and W - by this summer.
Using StarCite technologies on the Starwood sites, meeting planners will be able to search for Starwood properties by location, quantities of sleeping rooms, meeting room capacities, or other criteria.
They also will be able to search special offers and incentives and electronically send their space and availability requests using the fast and easy, StarCite RapidRFP(TM) customized for Starwood properties.
Logging into a single supplier site, Starwood`s local and national sales representatives - already trained on StarCite and CompetitiveIQ(TM) - will be able to respond electronically to all leads generated from the brand site, as well as from the StarCite Online Marketplace.
This streamlined online process can significantly improve efficiencies for both planners and suppliers as it reduces turnaround delays now common with fax, phone or mail.
“In powering our next generation sites for meeting planners, StarCite`s integrated technologies help us build brand loyalty, gain new customers and provide much-needed efficiencies to our customers and sales executives,” said Bob Moore, EVP, sales and marketing for North America and SVP, global sales for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., White Plains, N.Y.
“StarCite`s value proposition - already known to planners and suppliers who visit the StarCite Online Marketplace to source and plan meetings or respond to leads - now extends to all meeting planners who visit the Starwood brand sites,” said John Pino, chairman and CEO of StarCite, Inc., Philadelphia. “This is a really big win and great validation of our technology and the return on investment it offers to suppliers, meeting planners and the industry.”
This latest technology agreement significantly expands a relationship the two companies forged last year as StarCite developed a robust sales tool called CompetitiveIQ(TM). This tool gives both local and national sales executives quick access to competitive data and resources to help them properly position their properties to meeting planners.
In late 2001, StarCite worked with Starwood in deploying an opportunity date module to help Starwood fill hotel meeting space after Sept. 11.
About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 740 properties in more than 80 countries and 110,000 employees at its owned and managed properties.
With internationally renowned brands, Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchiser of hotels and resorts including: St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, W brands, as well as Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts.