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Lodging Interactive Teams with InnLink to Offer Booking Engine, GDS/OTA Connectivity

Hotels using Lodging Interactive for online marketing services, including website design and development, search engine marketing, social media marketing, and online reputation management, can now benefit from the industry-leading InnLink Central Reservation System powered by Travlynx. Through this integration partnership, Lodging Interactive has added a booking engine and connectivity to the Global Distribution Systems (GDS) and Online Travel Agents (OTA) to its long list of award-winning, interactive and social media marketing services.

InnLink, powered by TravLynx CRS technology, has been delivering comprehensive reservations and revenue management solutions with award-winning customer service in the hospitality and travel industries for more than 20 years. The company powers more than 6,000 independent hotels, chain properties, resorts and destinations worldwide. Lodging Interactive is comprised of a team of more than 50 highly skilled web experts. Since 2001, the company has provided more than 650 hotels, resorts, spas and restaurants in more than 35 countries with proven ROI-driven online marketing services.

"Lodging Interactive continues to go above and beyond its full-service web design and management services by partnering with the industry's best-of-breed solutions providers with whom we have uncanny synergies," said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive Founder and President. "InnLink was created for hoteliers, by hoteliers, as a way to deliver easy-to-use, intuitive management tools to hotels that have limited resources or that desire competitive support in their local market. Likewise, Lodging Interactive was formed to assist hotel operators who are struggling with finding the internal resources needed to implement online marketing strategies, manage social networks and establish effective social media marketing campaigns.

"Together, Lodging Interactive and TravLynx are leveraging their years of expertise to deliver the best possible results for our customers, including maximizing incremental net revenues and increasing visibility for mid-tier, limited-service hotel chains and independent properties," Vallauri said. "Our customers benefit by receiving an abundance of proven services, from seamless connectivity via InnLink to the GDSs and placement with the OTAs, to easy-to-use and understand analytics and a full-service call center based exclusively in the United States."

Kristin Intress, CEO of InnLink, said customers too will see immediate benefits from enlisting Lodging Interactive's expertise.

"Through this partnership, our customers have direct access to expert hotel marketing services that deliver results and win awards," Intress said. "Not only will Lodging Interactive's website design and management services be extended to TravLynx users, but customers will also benefit from expanded services, including website audits, website hosting and server management, a robust content management system, an optional Guest Review System, lead capture and reporting, social media analytics, social network engagement, mobile website development and more.

"Like Lodging Interactive, we only partner with the best," she said. "We are thrilled to be adding more services to drive net reservation revenue for our clients via Lodging Interactive; true leaders in their field and a good match for InnLink."

InnLink provides Lodging Interactive customers with access to:

• Seamless connectivity to the Global Distribution Systems (GDSs)
• Improved placement with the Online Travel Agencies (OTAs)
• Direct Connect, Net Rate and Merchant model programs
• Fully customizable booking engine with easy to use/understand analytics
• Complete integration of packages and up sells to increase ADR and RevPAR
• Mobile booking engine through smartphones and social media (Facebook)
• Personalized, full-service call center based exclusively in the U.S.
• Group and Tour Reservation Desk with no additional fees
• Independent and after hours/overflow answering
• 24/7/365 reservation services

Via Lodging Interactive, InnLink customers, and those using any of the InnLink solutions, can receive:

• Website Design and Management
• Social Media Marketing
• Reputation Management
• Guest Review System
• Email newsletter marketing
• Video production
• Hotel gift certificates marketing
• Full advertising agency services
• Measurement and accountability services

Lodging Interactive More Than Doubles its Growth and Service Offering in 2012

The adage "You can never have too much of a good thing" is ringing true to hundreds of hoteliers worldwide who received extraordinary Internet marketing services from Lodging Interactive and its subsidiary CoMMingle this year. Over the last 12 months, the interactive and social media marketing agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry racked up an unprecedented list of accomplishments. 

"2012 was a very good year for Lodging Interactive and CoMMingle, but it was even more impactful for our customers," said Founder and President DJ Vallauri. "We planned to introduce a few new services and robust business models, but once we got rolling, ideas for even more breakthrough services were proposed. Thanks to the creativity and expertise of the Lodging Interactive and CoMMingle teams, we provided more new services to hotels in 2012 than in the last 10 years combined. From limited-time FREE audits to full-service website design and management, social media marketing, mobile marketing, and measurement and accountability services, 2012 was truly a banner year for Lodging Interactive."

Since 2001, Lodging Interactive has provided hotels, resorts, spas and restaurants in over 35 countries with proven ROI-driven online services, including: website design and development, search engine marketing, social media marketing, and online reputation management. In 2012 alone, the company achieved a 85% increase in growth, a 40% increase in staffing, and more than doubled the number of services it now offers to hotels — some of which are absolutely FREE of charge to its customers.

In 2012, Lodging Interactive earned the following for website design:

• Three Interactive Media Awards™ for Outstanding Achievement in the Hotels/Resorts category for its website design of the Marriott Burlington in Massachusetts, the Denver Renaissance in Colorado and the Doubletree Oak Brook in Illinois by the Interactive Media Council Inc. This was the third consecutive year that Lodging Interactive and CoMMingle was recognized by the IMC for its aptitude in designing, developing, managing, supporting and promoting hotel websites.

• The Silver Magellan Award from Travel Weekly for the Courtyard by Marriott Ft. Lauderdale Beach, Fla.

• Two Web Awards / Hotel and Lodging Standard of Excellence from the Web Marketing Assn. for the Courtyard by Marriott Ft. Lauderdale Beach and the Marriott Burlington in Massachusetts.

• The 2012 Silver Award / Creative Excellence in Hotel and Lodging from the International Academy of the Visual Arts for the Courtyard by Marriott Ft. Lauderdale Beach.

Like its coveted website design service, Lodging Interactive's Guest Review System also was in high demand in 2012. The hotel-based guest comment system enables guests to post comments about their hotel experience and provides hotel management with the ability to respond in real time when reviews are received. The Guest Review System ensures there are no delays in communication, and the appropriate staff can immediately fix any pending problems before the customer leaves the property or has the opportunity to post negative reviews on third-party websites. Additionally, travelers can share their guest reviews on their Facebook wall and to their network of friends.

The success of the Guest Review System spurred Lodging Interactive and CoMMingle to develop and introduced the following new Internet marketing services this year:

• HotelWebShows — A service enabling hotel marketers to add a personal touch to their websites by using crisp HD Video. All video produced through HotelWebShows by Lodging Interactive are 1080i quality and delivered in TV, Web and Mobile formats. Videos are available in 30 second, 60 second and 90 second lengths, and will include music and graphics.

• CoMMingle Social + — A service for hoteliers managing their own Facebook and Twitter accounts but who also want to get involved in the new, emerging social engagement channels such as Google+ Business Page and Pinterest, but do not have the resources in-house to handle it. CoMMingle Social+ adds weekly postings on Facebook and Twitter for hotels that have pages but find it hard to consistently post during the week.

• InnterACT Performance Portal — A website analytics and social service providing real-time website analytics, key performance metrics, and the latest social media monitoring tools. The InnterACT online client portal was made available to existing customers at no cost.

• Hotel Website Solutions — A service offering online marketing services at a low, monthly fee with all upfront costs removed. The service includes website design and management, reputation management, search engine marketing, real-time analytics and accountability, PLUS Lodging Interactive's Content Management System and its coveted Guest Review System.

• Mobile Website Development — A FREE service made available to all new customers contracting full agency services, including website design and development, search engine marketing, social media marketing, and online reputation management. Through this service, hotels received up to 10 static pages of their online website in a mobile format, with an option to purchase more.

To help its customers stay competitive, Lodging Interactive and CoMMingle also offered the following FREE services:

• FREE Website Audit — Determines if a website is performing properly and achieving rankings
• FREE Social Media Analytics Reporting Tool — Delivers weekly analytics about a hotel's activity on the top social media networks, including: Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Google+ and blogs.
• FREE Content Management Systems + FREE Mobile Website.

"To say we were busy in 2012 is an understatement," Vallauri said. "In addition to creating a bevvy of new services to keep our customers performing successfully, we managed to show support to our brand partners and industry associations as well. In 2012, Lodging Interactive became a Best Western Preferred Vendor, and we support the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Assn. International (HSMAI) and the American Hotel & Lodging Assn. We also participated in select industry conferences and events to network with our customers.

"While being visible is important to Lodging Interactive, it's far more important for us to ensure that our customers are visible via the various online and social media channels and that their online reputations are being properly scrutinized and managed," he said. "This new year, those who partner with Lodging Interactive and CoMMingle will be well positioned to socialize and engage with their target audiences. If your hotel needs to be seen in 2013, then it's time to call Lodging Interactive."

Lodging Interactive Giving Hoteliers Control over Hotel Website Content

When it comes to online marketing, "Content is King," and the more content the better. Hoteliers are finding that fresh content translates to better search engine optimization on Google, Yahoo and Bing and other search engines. What this means to hoteliers is the more often content is refreshed, the more likely travelers will find the site, and not only will they stay longer, but they ultimately will book while there. If your hotel website is outdated but you don't have the resources to keep it maintained, Lodging Interactive has developed a Content Management System (CMS) that makes it easy for your content to reign supreme.

Lodging Interactive is an award-winning, interactive and social media marketing agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry. In addition to content management, the company offers website design and management, reputation management, search engine marketing, real-time analytics and accountability, and an online Guest Review System.

"Refreshing a website can be a tedious task unless you have the right tools in place," said DJ  Vallauri, Lodging Interactive Founder and President. "Our CMS is easy to use and extremely comprehensive, enabling hoteliers to update or add content anytime, anywhere, and without any hassle.”

Last month Lodging Interactive earned three Interactive Media Awards™ for Outstanding Achievement in the Hotels/Resorts category for its website design services. This is the third consecutive year the company was recognized by the Interactive Media Council for its aptitude in designing, developing, managing, supporting and promoting hotel websites. 

Using the Lodging Interactive Content Management System, hoteliers can:

• Manage website text content
• Add, delete and modify pages
• Manage header/footer navigation items
• Manage website images and photo gallery images
• Manage the entire site’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
• Instantly create updated XML site maps

"With our CMS tool, all updates are performed in real time," Vallauri said. "The CMS is browser-based, with no software to download and no technical skills required to operate it."

To help make online marketing easier and more affordable for all hotels across all segments, Lodging Interactive recently launched a new Hotel Website Solutions program designed to offer web-marketing services at a low, month-to-month fee with all upfront costs removed. Hotels that enroll in this program will automatically receive Lodging Interactive's CMS.

"Today a well-maintained and up-to-date website is critical to remaining competitive in the market and driving more direct bookings to your hotel," Vallauri said. "By giving hotels control over their content, it enables them to continually find new ways to redirect travelers from third-party sites to their proprietary websites. And today, direct bookings are the name of the game."

Is Your Hotel Website Ready for Summer?

With summer right around the corner and industry indexes projecting travel on the rise in the coming months, hoteliers need to have their websites looking and functioning their best in order to attract travelers and turn lookers into bookers. According to a May 2012 article titled: Forecast Optimistic For Upcoming Summer Travel, 92 percent of Americans will take a vacation this summer. To help hoteliers better plan their seasonal online marketing strategies, Lodging Interactive has developed a new Hotel Website Solutions program that delivers online marketing service and support at a low, month-to-month fee with all upfront costs removed.

Lodging Interactive is an award winning interactive agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry. The company's new Hotel Website Solutions service includes website design and management, reputation management, search engine marketing, real-time analytics and accountability, PLUS Lodging Interactive's Content Management System and its coveted Guest Review System. The program enables hoteliers to refresh their web site every two years at no additional cost.

"Website design and development, hosting, maintenance, and search engine optimization is more important today than ever before," said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive Founder and President. "Our new Hotel Website Solutions program not only delivers those services, but it makes them far more affordable. This summer, travel is projected to return to pre-recession levels. Until that happens, hoteliers can't afford to buy into a costly, full-service web-management program to remain competitive, nor should they have to. Lodging Interactive is giving hoteliers the ability to refresh their websites with no red tape or going into the red to do it."

Included in the Hotel Website Solutions package, hotels will receive:
• RFPLink group lead capture and reporting
• Homepage call-to-action tile images
• Website Hosting & Server Management
• Robust Content Management Solution
• Guest Review System
• Initial SEO research and analysis
• Creation of strategy and implementation
• InnterACT client portal real-time web analytics
• Weekly website analytics
• Monthly SEO ranking reports
• Quarterly SEO refresh (review, analysis and implementation recommendations).

Summer Survey Says:
In March, SpringHill Suites by Marriott commissioned independent research company TNS to conduct its 3rd Annual Vacation Attitude Study. The online summer survey (which polled 1,000 consumers between March 13 and March 18, 2012) indicates the following:
• 58 percent of Americans reported they will use at least one online travel site to read reviews, book accommodations, find deals or scan guidebooks.
• More than one-third of people (36 percent) expect to spend just two hours or less researching their summer vacation, with a national average of five hours’ planning.
• Travelers with children are most likely to plan their vacations quickly, with 48 percent making plans in one month or less, compared to those without kids, of whom 60 percent will take two months or more to prepare.

"At Lodging Interactive, we understand the importance of a well maintained and up-to-date website," Vallauri said. "With digital media making it possible for consumers to book travel quickly and with little advanced notice, it's critical that a hotel's website is up to date, showcasing the most relevant features that keep visitors captivated. Being able to read guest reviews directly on the hotel's website, for example, is having a positive impact on turning lookers into bookers. Hotel Website Solutions will enable hoteliers, regardless of their hotel segmentation, to keep their websites fresh with relevant content that is recognized by the various search engines, and benefit from customized programs."

Hotels interested in learning more about Hotel Website Solutions should call 877-291-4411 or visit www.LodgingInteractive.com.

Lodging Interactive Offering Free Mobile Website to NEW Customers Signing Full Agency Services

Lodging Interactive, an interactive and social media marketing agency
exclusively servicing the hospitality industry, is offering FREE Mobile
Website Development
to all new customers contracting full agency
services. Any hotel company partnering with Lodging Interactive for website
design and development, search engine marketing, social media marketing, and
online reputation management beginning May 2 with the Asian American Hotel Owners Assn. (AAHOA) Convention through the Hotel Industry Technology Exposition & Conference (HITEC) June 25-28 in Baltimore are eligible.

With a mobile website, hotels can offer mobile users a dynamic and streamlined user
experience regardless of mobile device. Up to 10 static pages will be provided
as part of the package, with an option to purchase more. Pages can detail the
property, including description of rooms, amenities, premise, packages,
restaurants, spas, recreation facilities, loyalty programs and online
reservations. Additional features may include mapping and directions,
click-to-call functionality, photo gallery, embedded video capability, convention
and/or meeting listings, social media links, guest reviews and more. Mobile
website management and hosting also is provided by Lodging Interactive.

"We understand just how important it is for hotels to have a mobile web strategy today," said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive Founder and President. "Industry analysts predict that
the mobile web will be bigger than desktop Internet use by 2015. Therefore
there's no time like the present to jump on the mobile bandwagon and start
reaching mobile savvy travelers via the channels and devices they depend on
daily."

Hotels interested in launching a new mobile website can visit Lodging Interactive at both the 2012 AAHOA Annual Convention & Trade Show in Atlanta May 2 to 5 at the Omni Hotel and the
Georgia World Congress Center in Booth No. 124 or they can call 877-291-4411
ext. 701 to get started. Deadline for the FREE service is June 28, 2012.