Hilton Offers Calendaring & Sees Great Results

Hilton Hotels Corporation expects more than $2.5 billion in revenues
generated from bookings on its proprietary websites for the full-year
2006 compared to $709 million five years ago, in 2002.

Bookings through its websites have increased at a steady 30 percent
year over year since 2002, and accelerated to a 39 percent increase in
the third quarter of 2006 versus the third quarter of 2005. This
represents a 60 percent increase in revenues and a 43 percent increase
in room nights for third quarter 2006 vs. prior year, according to the
company.

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Yahoo! Search Marketing Launches New BLOG

This blog is intended to be a holistic marketing resource for online businesses, in which you’ll find the latest information on the upgrade, tools and tips–but also, in-depth how-to’s, advertiser interviews, industry trends, links to articles, and other news and information you can use.

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Major Chains Report Internet Bookings Growth

Consumers continue a three-year upward trend
of shopping for hotels online and booking electronically, according to
TravelCLICK’s consolidated second quarter eTRAK results, released today.
The data shows the Internet contributed 37.3 percent, or 7,605,440 reservations,
of the total Central Reservation Office (CRO) reservations at major hotel
brands, a 19.9 percent increase compared to the same period in 2005.

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Internet Sales & Marketing Fundamentals For Hoteliers (Part 2 of 2)

The first element in part one of Internet Sales & Marketing
Fundamentals for Hoteliers was Internet marketing. Taking those basics
into consideration you will realize better distribution of your
property information, optimization will increased the search engine
rankings of your website, drive more traffic to your brand web pages
and enable better tracking of your results to evaluate your ROI.

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2003 to 2005 Reflects Highest Two-year Increase since 1996

International Guest Room Nights Represent 10.3 Percent of the U.S. Lodging Demand
International travelers to the U.S increased by 6.7 percent in 2005,
according to research from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Excluding
travelers from Canada and Mexico. During 2004 and 2005 international
travelers to the U.S. increased by 20.3 percent, the largest two-year
increase since 1996, but below 2000 and 2001 levels, the firm found.

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Lodging Interactive Leverages Google & Yahoo with XML Site Map Technologies

Lodging Interactive, a leading provider of Internet Sales &
Marketing Services to the hospitality industry, announced that it is
providing its clients the latest in XML site map technologies to ensure
maximum search engine rankings on Google, Yahoo and other major search
engines.

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Internet Sales & Marketing Fundamentals For Hoteliers (Part 1 of 2)

All hoteliers, whether yours is a branded property or an independent,
these fundamentals should be considered when developing an effective
strategy, implementing your plan and carrying out the daily sales
activities. How you invest your Internet marketing dollars and what
your sales expectations are should be determined by realistic truths
about your property, your brand and your market. A strong marketing
program is as important as the quality of your beds, the air in your
rooms and the smile at the front desk.

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TripAdvisors Launches Hotel Mashups

NEEDHAM, Mass., October 18, 2006 – TripAdvisor™, just made
finding the perfect hotel, at the right price, in exactly the right
location, incredibly simple. TripAdvisor today launched a new mashup*
combining hotel popularity, price and availability with a dynamic
mapping tool.

Click here to read the full press release

Travelocity Announces Customer Loyalty Program

Travelocity has
unveiled a travel loyalty program that aims to put the ‘v,’ ‘i,’ and
‘p’ back into "VIP" by giving its most loyal customers automatic
access to a range of perks minus the fine print and red tape of
traditional loyalty programs. Because a simple ‘thank you for your
business’ is often lost in today’s competitive travel market,
Travelocity is formally recognizing the company’s most loyal customers
with priority customer service, exclusive discounts and additional
perks that are relevant and easy to use.

Click here to read the full press release

Marriott Challenges GDS Economics

News from Travel Technology Update: Distribution has become
"a very significant strategic issue for us," Shafiq Khan, senior vice
president of e-commerce for Marriott International, said.

Now
that airlines have addressed their distribution costs through new deals
with the GDSs and by eliminating travel agency commissions, hotels
"have become the biggest payer of commissions and a big revenue source
for the GDSs," Khan said. "We need to get to "more rational economics"
with the GDS companies.

Khan fired the shot across the GDS
industry’s bow at EyeforTravel’s Travel Distribution Summit in Chicago,
just as the major U.S. airlines had concluded a round of GDS contract
negotiations that locked down their distribution costs for at least
five years.

Like the airlines, hotels view the GDS economic model as "very odd," Khan said.

Hotels pay GDSs for bookings and GDSs pass some of that money on to their subscribers, the travel management companies.

Hotels also pay those same subscribers commissions for those bookings, which often are passed on to agencies’ customers.

"Byzantine is a nice word for it," Khan said.

Khan also was critical of third-party online distributors.

"Offline
agencies do a lot of things we can’t do for our corporate customers,"
he said. "There is value added. It’s questionable whether value is
being added on the other side — yet."

An exception, he said, is
Priceline, which "provides value rather than leverage. It has been less
an intermediary than a partner."

He also challenged the prevailing folk wisdom that third-party sites have leveled the playing field for independent hotels.

"Independents are dropping like flies," he said. "For independents, the economics of online travel agencies is abysmal."