SAN MATEO, CA, November 13 -- The California Trade and Commerce Agency's
Division of Tourism announced it has chosen two regional firms to implement
a new Internet-based reservation system that will allow
potential visitors to book California hotels through its Web site (http://gocalif.ca.gov) or through its toll-free number (1-800-GO-CALIF). The Web site and call center travel counselors will provide real-time confirmed reservations by the end of the year. Both the Web site and call center will be prominently featured as part of the
State's $4 million tourism marketing and advertising campaign slated to begin early next year.
The call center will be operated by Bay Area Seating Service (BASS), through its Destination Marketing Services division (DMS). BASS has contracted with WorldRes, Inc. to provide real-time online booking capability to both the call center travel counselors and visitors to the California Division of Tourism Web site.
Using WorldRes technology, any hotel, resort, inn or bed and breakfast in the State with Internet access will be eligible to participate in the program without any fixed costs-the property will pay a simple transaction fee on confirmed reservations only. WorldRes currently enables hundreds of lodging properties throughout California to receive reservations from numerous sources, including individual hotel Web sites, WorldRes' own consumer Web site, Places To Stay (www.placestostay.com), and other WorldRes partner sites.
The WorldRes system enables both call center travel counselors and visitors to the Web site to search by arrival date and other visitor preferences. Participating properties benefit from a built-in system of equitable rotation. In addition, visitors can register to receive notification of special promotions from participating properties in their favorite areas.
"Competition for tourist dollars is fierce," said John Poimiroo, deputy secretary for tourism, California Trade and Commerce Agency. "By having a real-time reservation service, we provide a superior product for consumers, and are able to close the sale at the moment travelers contact us for travel information."
"Every major tourist destination that spends money on marketing and advertising should follow California's example," said Eric Christensen, WorldRes chief executive officer. "Instead of just sending out a brochure, destinations can now help drive sales and reduce distribution costs for their lodging properties, as well as implement online database marketing programs to increase visitation."
Jean Johnstone, vice president of business development at BASS said, "California-bound travelers will truly have a one-stop-shopping experience. They can receive a travel packet, immediate faxed information, tickets to events and now confirmed lodging reservations, all in one call."
DMS by BASS provides extensive call-center and lodging services for destinations. Premier destinations using DMS include the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority and Monterey's "Time to Coast" program.
WorldRes, Inc., founded in 1995, provides Internet sales and marketing services to over 1,200 properties around the world, as well as online hotel booking capability to travel and destination Web sites. Other WorldRes partner sites include SABRE's Travelocity, NetChannel, Fujitsu's WildBird site in Japan and the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau.
California lodging properties interested in participating in the new reservation service may call WorldRes toll-free at 1-888-431-2739 or apply online at http:\\www.worldres.com.
WorldRes and Places To Stay are trademarks of WorldRes, Inc. All other trademarks are recognized as the property of their respective holders.