Cendant Corporation’s Hotel Group today reported that advance bookings for its nine hotel brands are up 11 percent for the period Dec. 19 through Jan. 3 based on same-store sales, attributing much of the gain to increased sales through its brand Web sites.
Steven A. Rudnitsky, Hotel Group chairman and chief executive officer, said the booking trend represents “the best evidence to date” that leisure travel is rebounding following two soft years.ÊÊ He said bookings through Cendant’s nine hotel brand Web sites are up more than 40 percent to date, year over year.
“When you consider that Cendant’s hotel brands constitute a large share of the economy lodging segment, our business growth represents a significant industry trend,” he said.Ê “Not only are people traveling again, they are looking for hotel rooms that represent a great value, which they get with our brands.”
Rudnitsky credited the bookings pace, in part, to the Hotel Group’s “aggressive efforts” to solicit repeat business this year from former Ramada®, Days Inn®, Super 8®, Travelodge®, Howard Johnson®, Wingate Inn®, AmeriHost Inn®, Knights Inn® and Villager customers.
“Customers are finding value and deals through our e-mail messages and on our hotel Web sites,” he said.Ê “We have invested significantly more on interactive marketing this year and worked closely with Cendant’s Galileo, CheapTickets and Lodging.com units to drive more business to our hotel franchisees.”
Consumer confidence in the brand Web sites increased significantly after Cendant introduced its Best Available Rate guarantee last year, guaranteeing Internet bookers that the rates posted on the brand sites are the lowest offered anywhere else on the Web, he said.Ê Cendant will match lower rates found on the Web and add a 10 percent discount.
Rudnitsky also credited the success to the improved quality of Cendant’s franchised hotels and the company’s “unprecedented” efforts this year to educate hotel owners and operators about enhancing customer satisfaction and boosting yield by utilizing revenue-management techniques.
Cendant Corporation’s Hotel Group, based in Parsippany, N.J., is the world’s largest lodging franchisor with 6,443 open hotels representing 523,493 rooms on five continents under the Super 8®, Days Inn®, Ramada®, Travelodge®, Howard Johnson®, Knights Inn®, Villager, Wingate Inn® and AmeriHost Inn® brands.Ê Cendant’s franchised hotels sell one out of every four economy and midpriced room-nights in the United States, and Cendant franchises 11.8 percent of the entire U.S. hotel room supply, according to Smith Travel Research.Ê All hotels are individually owned and operated under franchise agreements with Cendant subsidiaries.