News for the Hospitality Executive
Impact of Rich Visual Media On Hotel Bookings
|Toronto (October 5, 2007) -- VFM Interactive
and Omni Hotels announced today the completion of the first comprehensive
study on the impact of hotel online rich visual content on consumer hotel
booking decisions. The purpose of the study was to determine
whether consumers who view a hotel’s online rich visual content such as
hotel 360 degree “virtual tours” and videos are more likely to book that
hotel. The study was also designed to compare the effectiveness of
different types of media in increasing online look-to-book conversion rates.
As part of the study, VFM created virtual tours and different types of videos for ten Omni hotels and then tracked consumers who viewed the media on both the Omni website as well as VFM’s network of third-party distribution partners, including major online travel agencies and travel research websites. Four of the Omni properties involved only had virtual tour images while the remaining six properties had both videos and virtual tours. Among the six video properties, three had full-motion videos while the other three had a VFM “photomontage” video (a more cost-effective video production created using a property’s existing still images).
The study tracked nearly 130,000 unique consumers
over a period of 34 days. Importantly, the study included a blind
control group for comparison purposes. Specifically, consumers who
visited the Omni website were randomly divided into a study group and a
control group. Consumers in the study group (50%) were presented
with links to the hotels’ rich media on various Omni website pages and
where therefore able to view the media if they so chose. Consumers
in the control group were not shown any links to the videos and virtual
tours and were therefore not given the ability to view any hotel rich media
other than the hotels’ photos.
The study also demonstrated the value of having a hotel’s rich media distributed to third-party websites as a key customer acquisition tool. Close to 30% of consumers who viewed an Omni hotel’s rich media on a third-party website to which the media was distributed by VFM then visited the Omni website, with a significant percentage of those consumers then making a booking there.
These results of the clearly demonstrate the value of rich media and its impact on the decision making process for those who are researching and/or shopping online. For more information of this study, or how VFM’s services could assist your hotel, please contact Randy Lyons (firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-263-5672) or visit us at www.vfmii.com.
About VFM Interactive
VFM Interactive is the leading end-to-end provider of online media management, production and distribution for the hotel and travel industry. VFM helps travel companies maximize brand penetration online through the power of rich media marketing that includes still images, rich media videos, 360º virtual tours and Flash productions. VFM offers clients access to the largest and fastest-growing distribution network of more than 25,000 distribution points where consumers most often research and purchase travel products. These distributors include online travel agencies, travel suppliers, search portals and Global Distribution Systems such as Travelocity, Orbitz, Priceline, TripAdvisor, American Airlines, Yahoo!, SideStep, Galileo and Worldspan. VFM’s clients include more than 10,000 hotels and resorts from brands and management companies such as Best Western, Carlson Hotels, Choice, Crowne Plaza, Hilton, Holiday Inn, Interstate, Le Meridien, Marriott, Outrigger, Radisson, Regent, Sheraton, Sol Meliá, Westin and Wyndham. For more information, visit www.vfmii.com.
About Omni Hotels
Omni Hotels creates compelling, memorable guest experiences by tempting the senses in innovative ways, surrounding them with a balanced blend of scents, sounds, sights, textures and tastes. Omni Hotels offers luxury accommodations at 45 hotels and resorts in leading business gateways and leisure destinations across North America. From exceptional golf and spa retreats to dynamic business settings, each location features four-diamond services, including award-winning signature restaurants, Wi-Fi connectivity and unique fitness options. Omni's mission for total customer service is further supported by its "Power of One" program that empowers associates to make on-the-spot decisions to meet or exceed guest expectations. Guests can locate hotels and book accommodations by visiting http://www.omnihotels.com/ or by calling 1-800-THE-OMNI. http://www.omnihotels.com/
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