in Unprecedented Rich Media Strategy
|TORONTO, CANADA, June 27, 2005 – Best Western International has selected
VFM as its exclusive North American provider of rich media production and
distribution services in order to roll out a rich media strategy at a scale
the travel industry has not previously seen. VFM will be producing rich
media for more than 2,400 Best Western properties across North America,
including 360s, videos and Photoflicks®.
Additionally, Best Western will be utilizing VFM’s recently-announced Vscape®, a comprehensive online media management and distribution system that will allow the hotel chain’s properties to better store, manage and selectively distribute all still images and rich media across all electronic channels.
“With more than 60 percent of our web bookings originating from the bestwestern.com site this year, it’s important that we implement the most innovative technology available to provide our customers with the highest quality online experience,” said Dorothy Dowling, SVP of Marketing for Best Western International. “Rich media offers so much more than photographs alone, giving Best Western customers the tools with which to book in complete confidence.”
The addition of rich media is part of Best Western’s ambitious electronic distribution strategy, which,in the first five months of 2005, has resulted in a 61 percent increase in worldwide revenue via the bestwestern.com site from the same period a year ago. New online features such as rich media are expected to support the continued growth of the company’s own website bookings.
The new Vscape system will allow Best Western to develop its electronic strategy with even more confidence and reliability. It offers hotels one simple point of contact for online distribution of all still images and rich media, replacing the existing distribution model that requires hotels to deal with multiple points of input. VFM’s vast distribution network also enables hotels to market to a much wider online audience, including thousands of travel and travel-related sites as well as primary portals and search engines – all through one, single point of contact. In addition, VFM’s daily technology-driven relationships with distribution partners ensures Best Western’s images seen anywhere online will always be absolutely current and reliable.
“VFM offered us the most comprehensive solution, from excellent production services to impressive rich media management, to an extensive distribution network,” said Dowling.
The project is estimated to take 7 to 9 months to complete and will include production of 360° images and digital photography for each Best Western property, along with other rich media for selected properties. In order to meet the aggressive timeline, VFM will be leveraging an existing partnership with VR National, known for high-quality, affordable virtual tours.
“We are tremendously excited to have been chosen by Best Western,” said Paolo Boni, president and CEO of VFM. “This commitment to rich media at the corporate brand level indicates how critical rich media has become in having a strong marketing presence online.”
About Best Western International
About VFM Interactive
Director of Communications
|Also See:||VFM Interactive Launches Vscape® – a Rich Media Distribution Solution Providing Unprecedented Control to Hotels / June 2005|
|After Seeing Tremendous Response to Pilot Online Videos, W Hotels Partners with VFM Interactive to Add Online Video Tours to All its Properties / March 2005|
|VFM Interactive releases PhotoFlicks®; Innovative Rich Media Turns Still Photographs into Audio-enhanced Slide Shows to Increase Hotel Bookings Online / November 2004|
|Vantis Partners with VFM Interactive to offer Hotel Clients Rich Media Solutions / October 2004|
|Rich Content Such as Internet Videos, Virtual Tours and Flash Presentations Significantly Impact the Buying Decision of Consumers Researching and Booking Hotels Online / December 2003|
|Online Rich Content Is an Important Branding Asset as Well as a Compelling Marketing Tool for Hotel Franchisees to Drive Revenues Through All Online Channels, Both Direct and Indirect / January 2004|