Hotel Online  Special Report


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VFM Interactives Innovation and Expansion Delivers Strong Client and
Distribution Growth Reinforcing VFM Market Leadership Position

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  • Hotel Clients Soar More than 1000% in last year
  • Average Number of Image Views Increase Three-fold 
  • Growing Distribution Network tops 5,000 with Yahoo!, Travelocity, Orbitz, Priceline, CheapTickets.com and first GDS Worldspan
TORONTO, CANADA, September 26, 2005 VFM Interactive, the leader in online media management, production and distribution for the travel industry, today announced its continued expansion and innovation have spurred significant growth that places the company on an upward trajectory to make 2005 a banner year for the five year-old-firm.  The across-the-board growth in services, clients, and distribution partners squarely positions VFM as the unrivaled leader in the market for the range of services, number of active hotel clients and breadth of distribution reaching the most consumer touch points. 

VFM helps travel and hospitality companies connect with highly sophisticated online travelers through the power of rich media and the companys growing travel distribution network.  As consumer demand for online travel services and bookings have grown so has demand from global travel companies for VFMs services, which combines rich media production videos, virtual tours, 360° images, and flash ads with the fastest growing and broadest online media distribution networks in the travel industry.

In the last year alone, VFM hospitality clients have grown more than 1,000 percent from 800 hotel properties to more than 8,000, which is expected to top 10,000 by the end of the year.  At the same time, VFM has expanded its distribution network to more than 5,000 points, representing the most expansive network available to hoteliers today, including major travel sites, portals and search engines, and GDSs.  This network includes some of the notable names in search and travel: AOL, Travelocity, Orbitz and recent additions Yahoo!, Priceline, CheapTickets.com and its first GDS, Worldspan.  These third-party distributors are able to easily link to VFMs feed of still images and rich media for thousands of hotel properties at no cost.  The increase in VFMs distribution network has fueled an increase in average monthly hotel image views by more than 300 percent, helping hotels reach more consumers with compelling rich media images and marketing pieces. 

We are extremely pleased with our progress, but even more excited about the opportunities in the future as broadband penetration climbs and travel companies continue to look at more creative and interactive ways to engage consumers and convert sales, said Paolo Boni, president and chief executive officer of VFM.  VFM offers our hotel clients and distribution partners the convenience of working with one company to satisfy all image and rich media needs that helps all of our partners in the supply chain increase consumer online views and sales. 

A key driver of the companys growth is Vscape®, VFMs proprietary management and distribution platform, which recently added free still image distribution to its portfolio making VFM the only company that offers media production, management and distribution services for both still images and rich media. Through Vscape, hotel clients can now distribute up to 20 still images simultaneously across VFMs network of travel sites and portals. Using a new online management tool, Vscape also allows hotel representatives to manage their photographs in real time while providing unparalleled control in selecting where and when their images will appear.  Le Meridien and Best Western were early adopters of the still image distribution, and VFM expects to make the free service available to more hotels this month. 
 

VFM intends to augment its recent North American growth by broadening its presence and network in key international markets, particularly in Europe and Asia to take advantage of the continued shift to online travel sales. 

We see incredible opportunity for our existing and new hotel clients and distribution partners in rich media emergence in key markets around the world, adds Boni. I expect well see more travel brands embrace the power of rich media to efficiently market products and services to reach the growing universe of sophisticated travel consumers who expect better information and material online.

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-related distribution points 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 like Yahoo! and GDSs, including Worldspan.  VFM also produces a variety of media marketing content including still images, rich media videos, 360° virtual tours and Flash productions. VFMs clients include more than 8,000 hotels and resorts from brands and management companies such as Best Western, Choice, Crowne Plaza, Hilton, Holiday Inn, Interstate, Le Meridien, Marriott, MGM, Outrigger, Radisson, Regent, Sheraton, W, Westin, and Wyndham. 


 
Contact:

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

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Also See: VFM Interactive Expands Board of Directors Amid Record Growth; Appoints 20-year Veteran Michael W. McCormick to New Seat / September 2005
Worldspan Becomes First GDS to Use VFM to Distribute Stills & Rich Media / August 2005
Le Méridien Adopts VFM's Vscape for Photo & Rich Media Distribution / July 2005
Sol Meliá Partners with VFM to Use Videos to Market Resorts Online / July 2005
Best Western Partners with VFM Interactive in Unprecedented Rich Media Strategy / June 2005
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


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