Marriott International (MAR/NYSE) announced that its 1998 on-line internet sales reached over $50 million in booked reservations, an increase of more than 200 percent over the previous year. The company registered nearly 10 million visitors to its Web site, www.marriott.com at year-end, smashing previous site records set in 1997 of just over two million visitors.
Rich Hanks, executive vice president of sales for Marriott International, noted that the dramatic increase in Marriott`s on-line revenue is attributable to increased trends in overall internet usage, as well as the strength and familiarity of Marriott and its lodging brands. More than 80 percent of all of Marriott International`s on-line reservations were generated from www.marriott.com. The internet is truly revolutionizing how our customers plan and buy travel.
Marriott International`s Web site enables visitors to efficiently access information on its breadth of products. The site features 10 lodging brands representing property information on more than 1,700 hotels worldwide. In addition to providing customers with the ability to book hotel reservations, the site features:
* A search and navigation tool for all individual properties
* The hospitality industry`s first interactive mapping tool and locator system providing users with detailed maps, directions and destination information from a database of 16 million businesses and points of interest in the U.S.
* Individual hotel pages that are updated nightly
* Meeting planning database with search capabilities by space available or number of attendees
* Press, financial and recruiting information
* Continually updated information for Marriott Rewards members who wish to check balances and much more
Marriott Interactive Group`s goal is to provide those customers who prefer to do their travel planning and purchasing on-line with the best Web site experience possible, said Bruce Wolfe, vice president, distribution sales and marketing at Marriott International.
Added Hanks, Since its launch in 1996, marriott.com has been much more than an electronic brochure. It has become an important information and booking tool for travel agents, meeting planners and consumers interested in our hotels.
The company is well-positioned to capitalize on the expected continued growth in internet usage. We will continue to enhance marriott.com in order to attract new visitors to the site and to ensure our current users remain interested. We are just beginning to tap into the potential of the internet as a communications and sales tool, said Hanks.