Hotel Online
News for the Hospitality Executive

Starwood Hawaii Resorts First To Appear in New ResortPort™ Program
,
Starwood Hawaii Content Now Available on Thousands of
Agency Websites Reaching Millions of Consumers
.


BEAVERTON, OR:  September 8, 2008 — The 12 properties that comprise the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Hawaii portfolio are the first to debut their rich content on thousands of travel agency’s consumer facing websites through ResortPort — the newest product from Passport Online, Inc.

Passport Online is the leading provider of e-commerce solutions to leisure travel agents. In addition to websites, email programs and other tools, Passport provides the updated content from major cruise lines, tour companies and wholesalers to well over 10,000 consumer facing websites. ResortPort extends that opportunity to the hotel and resort community. Currently, well over 1 million unique consumers each month are shopping for their next vacation on a website with content powered by Passport Online.

“In an effort to enhance the shopping experience for these consumers and to provide an even stronger and more effective online marketing program for the travel agents, Passport Online developed ResortPort to enable hotels and resorts to control the presentation of their properties within any offer or promotion that includes their resort,” said Randy Goodrich, Senior Vice President, Passport Online Inc. “Properties will be presented to consumers in a number of ways on travel agency websites, including in their own dedicated online presentation and in relevant tour operator and wholesaler offers. For our tour operator and wholesaler partners, ResortPort helps to solve one of their tremendous challenges – acquiring and maintaining hotel content.”

For Starwood Hawaii, accessing these valuable consumers and enhancing presentation within their wholesaler and tour operator offers was the key. “We truly value the power of the travel agent/consumer relationship and we know the wholesaler community is a strong part of the Hawaii sales process. With ResortPort, we are able to help enhance the online shopping experience and highlight our properties at so many agency distribution points,” said Michael Troy, Director of Advertising & Promotions, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Hawaii.
 
Through ResortPort, properties can: 

  • Ensure consistent brand messaging in the travel agency sales channel
  • Connect their rich media to thousands of travel agency websites
  • Ensure that rich media, messaging, and promotions can be viewed by, and influence the purchase decisions of millions of higher-yield clients whenever they are shopping their agent’s website
  • Stand out on a travel agency website and in wholesaler and tour operator offers  
  • Increase bookings with higher ADRs generated by the travel agency channel
Over the past five years, Passport Online has seen a spike in consumer shopping sessions on travel agency websites.  In fact, according to Passport user statistics, consumer views of offers on travel agency websites have risen by six million in just the last five years. With more than 7.2 million offers viewed on Passport generated websites in 2007, that number is expected to continue to rise in double digits each year. Increasingly, consumers are shopping their agent’s sites, but still calling or coming in to book, desiring that personal connection to their trusted travel professional.  Recent studies by PhoCusWright and eMarketer indicate a consumer shift from online travel agencies to traditional travel agents. Sales of hotels and tours through traditional travel agents are forecasted to grow from $13.3 billion to $17.2 billion.

ResortPort enhances websites of travel agents currently using VacationPort or NexCite from Passport Online.  Steve Tracas, President of Vacation.com said, “We know that consumers are increasingly visiting our member agent’s websites to shop for their next vacation. ResortPort is a great way for Vacation.com members to better communicate hotel offers to their clients. Starwood Hotels is a key strategic partner with Vacation.com, and we’re particularly excited about their participation.  We believe the addition of ResortPort for our many members who use VacationPort or NexCite will enhance the hotel product presentation for today’s consumer.”

For travel agencies to participate in ResortPort, they need to subscribe to either the NexCite or VacationPort products offered by Passport Online. ResortPort is included with NexCite and VacationPort at no extra charge to agencies.  For further information, agents can go to www.passportonlineinc.com.

For hoteliers interested in accessing these thousands of websites and millions of unique travel agency consumers, contact Randy Goodrich at randyg@passportonlineinc.com.

About Starwood Hawaii:
Starwood Hawaii Hotels and Resorts include 12 premier properties under the recognized brands that include St. Regis (2009) Sheraton, The Luxury Collection, Westin and W Hotels. As the only hotel/resort company to have properties on all 4 of the major Hawaiian islands (Oahu, Big Island, Maui, and Kauai), Starwood Hawaii provides a full range of experiences for visitors seeking the ultimate Hawaiian escape. Each of the hotels and resorts offer a host of activities, dining and entertainment options, children's programs, fitness facilities, and meeting/function spaces.  

About Passport Online:
Passport Online is a leading supplier of Internet tools that help the leisure travel industry reach the travel agency consumer. Millions of unique travel agency consumers used Passport Online's shopping engine on travel agency websites to search for their next vacation experience. Each day, unique consumers are on those sites, seeking the product advice and opportunities offered by their trusted travel agent. Passport Online's key products are VacationPort and NexCite. Passport Online also offers complete email design and delivery services that integrate with the VacationPort and NexCite systems.  For more information on ResortPort, go to www.getresortport.com

.
Contact:

Greg Kott, 
President and CEO of Passport Online, Inc.
Phone: (503) 626-7766, Ext. 3020 
Email: gregk@passportonlineinc.com
 

.
.

To search Hotel Online data base of News and Trends Go to Hotel.OnlineSearch
Home | Welcome| Hospitality News | Classifieds| One-on-One |
Viewpoint Forum | Industry Resources | Press Releases
Please contact Hotel.Onlinewith your comments and suggestions.