Numbers Jump 26 Percent In First 10 Months of 2002,
Increases Global Presence with New Reservation
February 4, 2003 - Hong Kong-based Regal Hotels International had a problem last year: their corporate clients came from all across the world to do business in China, but Regal was unable to fully employ its universal international toll free reservations number (UIFN), a critical part of its marketing program. Regal acquired its UITF several years before, but their reservation service provider had not been able to implement total international 1-800 services for them.
“We secured our international toll free number through AT&T, but it was not until this year that we were able to gain the full benefit from it. Our previous reservation channel provider was unsuccessful in getting it to work; they told us it was impossible,” said G. Paul LeBlanc, Regal Hotels’ Senior Director of Sales and Marketing for the Regal Airport Hotel. “We tried several other channel providers, then last year we asked VIP International to take over Regal’s electronic reservation distribution, voice center and central reservation responsibility. Within 45 days VIP had resolved our UIFN problem and was using the 1-800 line to receive toll free reservations from 28 countries. They refused to take ‘no’ for an answer from our phone carrier. Now VIP provides all Regal Hotels’ toll free voice reservation services internationally and handles our electronic channel distribution as well. Working with VIP our reservation numbers are up by 26 percent over last year.”
When most hotels and markets worldwide are experiencing a downturn, Regal Hotels is rocking. With seven independent hotels in Asia Pacific, Regal is one of the strongest hotel companies in the region, and its 3,500 rooms in Hong Kong make it the largest hotel operator in that city. What separates Regal from most Asia Pacific hotel companies is its effective use of the Internet and other electronic booking channels to sell rooms internationally. Regal learned the value of the Internet early and, with the help of VIP International as its reservation sales partner, is building on its knowledge to attract a growing number of international corporate business travelers.
LeBlanc explained, “We use VIP’s Book-A-Rez™ for Internet reservations and their voice center for our international phone reservations. VIP handles all of our toll free reservation calls from its Calgary, Canada voice center. They answer calls from Tokyo in Japanese, handle reservations originating from China in Mandarin, and they do a great job. Our 10-month October reservations have exceeded performance for all Regal hotels for the entire year of 2001.”
VIP uses an advanced automatic call distribution (ACD) system to distribute Regal’s incoming reservation calls internally to the appropriate language specialists. VIP’s voice center also handles Regal’s European reservation requests, and has racked up a 33 percent conversion rate for Regal Hotels’ reservation calls.
VIP implements Regal Hotels’ travel agent consortia
strategies as well. Regal has always been knowledgeable and effective
in marketing to travel agent consortia. Now, with VIP’s electronic
channel capability, Regal is maximizing its brand awareness in the Asia
Pacific region through VIP’s state of the art technology to leverage Regal’s
programs. VIP uses its on-line database to track Internet consortia
participation, bids, acceptance letters, and rates to compare the attractiveness
of Regal’s programs among more than a dozen consortia like American Express,
Calson, and Wagonlit. Since their partnering, VIP has delivered a
100 percent success rate in consortia programs for Regal.
China’s economic growth has fueled fierce competition in the Asia Pacific region. Although tourism is down globally, business travel to Hong Kong and Mainland China continues to build, and hotel companies offering rooms through electronic channels have an advantage in the global marketplace. “VIP is an excellent reservation service partner. They have a thorough knowledge of the market and current technology issues, and maintain offices in Hong Kong to provide local service and training. They follow through on rate loading, mapping, corporate account and consortia issues, and guarantee that all windows and doors are open to ensure that if the hotel is available with a rate to sell that is good for the market, the connectivity is there,” concluded LeBlanc.
Book-A-Rez™ is a registered trademark of SynXis Corporation
G. Paul LeBlanc, Vice President of Sales
Regal Airport Hotel
9 Cheong Tat Road
Hong Kong International Airport
Chek Lap Kok
Phone: (852) 2286-6800
International Reservations: (800) 222-88888
Fax: (852) 2286-8662
Email: [email protected]
VIP International Corporation
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