|By Richard N. Velotta, Las Vegas
SunMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Oct. 19, 2012--With the marketers of Las Vegas stepping up their games to attract more visitors to the city from overseas, the hospitality industry needs to sharpen its hosting skills to keep customers happy and turn them into repeat customers, a panel of industry experts said.
Nancy Murphy, director of venues, housing and travel at Advanstar Communications, said the most important thing industry professionals can do is find some way to say yes to customers who make a request.
Murphy was one of four panelists who discussed how to do business with Las Vegas in an event presented by the Las Vegas Hospitality Association on Thursday at the Rio.
Panelists also concurred that level of service often is measured by how quickly a host responds to a request.
Resorts are broadening their use of technology to be proactive in efforts to reach out to customers, and it's paying off for those with active social media programs, panelists said.
Another technological move in tourism will occur next month when the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority adopts LasVegas.com as its primary consumer branding website.
Panelist Bryan Allison, chief operating officer of VEGAS.com, said a 10-year agreement the company signed with the LVCVA this year will enable customers to buy hotel rooms through the LasVegas.com website.
VEGAS.com and LasVegas.com are owned by the Greenspun family, which also operates the Las Vegas Sun, Vegas Inc. and their websites.
The system is the first of its kind to allow LasVegas.com, the LVCVA and resorts to share revenue on transactions made through the site. VEGAS.com is managing the e-commerce of the site, which includes the company's shopping cart technology.
Participation by resorts and tourism enterprises is voluntary. In each transaction, LasVegas.com would receive the lesser of $10 per room night or an 8.5 percent commission. The LVCVA will get 50 cents per transaction and shows will get a 97-cent rebate for every show ticket sold.
The site will make its public debut in mid-November. Currently, the LVCVA uses VisitLasVegas.com as its primary branding site.
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