Hotel Online  Special Report



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VFM Interactive Launches Vscape® a Rich Media
Distribution Solution Providing Unprecedented
Control to Hotels

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TORONTO, CANADA, June 20, 2005 VFM Interactive, the leader of rich media production and distribution for the travel industry, announced today the launch of Vscape® a sophisticated online tool for distributing hotel still images and rich media such as videos and virtual tours across the Internet. With Vscape, hotels can distribute their online media with one simple point of contact to thousands of travel sites, search engines and, shortly, GDSs while having complete selective control over the electronic channel and exactly which sites their images appear on.

Up till now, still image distribution has been hampered by several problems. Its been a fragmented, inconvenient process requiring multiple points of contact for hotels. Its also been patchy and inconsistent, sometimes with a good deal of lag time between the time new media becomes available and the point at which its eventually displayed online to consumers. Outdated images appear in unlikely places. And the management, control and leveraging of media assets is inefficient and difficult, particularly in large corporate structures with hundreds or thousands of properties. Vscape addresses all these problems.

Whats more, Vscape is currently available to hotels at no charge. This includes no-cost distribution of up to 20 still images per property.

Vscape answers several frustrations weve heard about repeatedly from our hotel clients, explains Paolo Boni, President and CEO of VFM. We took their cue to develop a system that is efficient and time-saving while giving hotels more control over the online channel and how they market themselves in that space.

Several leading hotel brands have not only expressed interest in Vscape at this early stage, but have already signed agreements with VFM. In the next few weeks, well be announcing several partnerships with leading hotel brands, adds Boni. Were very enthusiastic about how this service is being embraced.

VFMs network consists of more than 5,000 travel and travel-related sites where consumers are researching and purchasing travel products including 8 of the top 10 travel websites, and shortly, key meta-search engines, search portals, and GDSs. The Selective Distribution Dashboard in Vscape provides hotels with the ability to control exactly where they want their images and rich media distributed. And because of VFMs ongoing technology-driven relationships with its distribution partners, Vscape ensures prompt updating of images anytime a hotel has new photos available.

Vscape easily interfaces with a hotels internal content management system using a simple XML feed to distribute stills and rich media with one contact point. For hotels and management companies that do not yet utilize a media or content management tool for rich media, or would like to transition to the convenience of a single platform, Vscape includes the web-based Online Media Manager a tool that enables hotels to upload, store, update, manage, categorize, search, distribute and track the usage of all their digital assets and rich media from still images, 360s and videos to logos and PDF brochures. The sophisticated, intuitive interface has a number of easy-to-use tools that enable hotels to efficiently browse, add and update all media through a single access point.

Inquiries about Vscape can be made to VFM Interactive toll-free at 1-877-593-6634.

About VFM Interactive

VFM Interactive is the leading distributor and producer of rich media content for the lodging and travel industry. Operating the largest and fastest-growing distribution network, VFM enables hotels to maximize their presence online using the power of rich media on more than 5,000 travel and travel-related sites where consumers are researching and purchasing travel products. In addition to sites such as Travelocity, Orbitz, Priceline and TripAdvisor, VFMs distribution network also includes major search engines and will shortly include both meta-search and GDSs.  VFM also produces a variety of rich media marketing content including videos, 360° virtual tours and Flash productions. VFMs clients include over 3,000 hotels and resorts from brands and management companies such as Best Western, Choice, Crowne Plaza, Hilton, Holiday Inn, Interstate, Marriott, MGM, Outrigger, Radisson, Regent, Sheraton, W, Westin, and Wyndham properties.


 
Contact:
VFM Interactive
Debra Sharp
Director of Communications
416-593-6634
debra.sharp@vfmii.com
Website: www.vfmii.com
Also See: 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


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