Hotel Online  Special Report


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Interstate Hotels & Resorts Signs Five-Year Agreement
with VIP International to Outsource Call Center
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Expects to Pass Along 8 Percent to 10 Percent Savings, 
Increased Revenue to Hotels
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada — April 22, 2003 — VIP International Corporation, a reservation channel marketing company, today announced that it has signed a five-year contract with Interstate Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: IHR) to take over all voice call center reservation services for the majority of Interstate’s independent properties.  Interstate is expected to transfer the voice reservation call center’s booking operations for its 25 independent and Doral-branded properties to VIP International’s state-of-the-art voice center in Calgary.

“Interstate Hotels & Resorts, with more than 370 hotels, is the United States’ largest independent hotel management company and a leader in the outsourcing trend,” said Kelly Blake, president of VIP International.  “Interstate wants high call quality at the lowest cost per reservation, plus the ability to control which agents handle reservations and inquiries.  VIP is providing Interstate with its own dedicated reservation agents to ensure that Interstate’s standard of service is maintained with the highest call quality and hotel knowledge possible.   An added bonus to the relationship is that VIP’s efficiency and specialization in reservation services will substantially lower Interstate’s cost per reservation.”  VIP will begin the first stage of managing Interstate’s reservation booking responsibility on May 22, 2003.

Hoyt Bacon, chief marketing officer for Interstate Hotels & Resorts, said, “With a company like VIP handling voice reservation services for our independent hotels, we think this is just the beginning.  We see many opportunities to outsource additional aspects of our business such as a Doral Hotels group desk and outbound telemarketing lead generation.  In looking at multiple voice call center reservation companies, we were very impressed with VIP’s call quality and professionalism.”

VIP International maintains an extensive voice reservation call center at its offices in Calgary, where experienced agents receive ongoing training in call handling and the specifics of brand reservation standards and policies.  VIP’s Kelly Blake explained, “Our reservation agents are monitored five times each week for call quality.  They are graded on how many times they use the caller’s
name, on asking for the booking, listening to the caller’s requests, using proper telephone etiquette, and thanking them for their call.  This kind of call control is critical to Interstate because providing exemplary guest service is one of the
company’s core values.” 

By outsourcing their call center activity, a growing number of hotel companies are maintaining operational control and standards and providing the same high quality of service that they have in their own offices, but at a lower cost. “Interstate will pass along to our hotels a 8 percent to 10 percent savings in overall reservation costs as well as a projected revenue increase thanks to VIP’s dedicated and highly trained voice reservation call center’s team,” said Pam Streeter, Interstate’s vice president, electronic distribution.

VIP International provides hotel companies with professionally trained dedicated agents to meet their specific reservation requirements.  VIP International, known for its intent to be “the number one producer of bookings per client,” also provides Internet reservation channel marketing, GDS services, and travel agency consortia programs.  Its clients include Candlewood Suites, Bradford HomeSuites, Clubhouse Inn and Suites, Regal Hotels and others.

About Interstate Hotels and Resorts 
Interstate Hotels & Resorts operates approximately 400 hospitality properties with nearly 86,000 rooms in 44 states, the District of Columbia, Canada and Russia, including 55 properties managed by Flagstone Hospitality Management, a subsidiary of Interstate Hotels & Resorts. BridgeStreet Corporate Housing Worldwide, an Interstate Hotels & Resorts subsidiary, is one of the world's largest corporate housing providers, offering upscale, fully furnished corporate housing throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and 39 additional countries through its network partners. For more information about Interstate Hotels & Resorts, visit the company's Web site: www.ihrco.com

About VIP International Corporation
VIP International (www.vipintcorp.com) is a channel marketing organization that drives revenue for hoteliers, car rental owners and regional airlines through a multi-channel reservation sales center, the adoption of leading-edge technology, and partnerships with clients to provide ongoing education.

Founded in 1979, the now privately held Calgary, Alberta-based firm pursues a mission of being "the number one producer of bookings per client."  This is accomplished through mastering the electronic channel marketing environment, developing and implementing strategies for each client's unique position, and educating customers about how to optimize participation in the changing electronic marketplace.  The company is a central distribution point to every viable Internet web site, and to all of the major global distribution systems including Sabre, Galileo, Pegasus, WorldRes, Amadeus, and Worldspan.  VIP International has business development offices in Denver, Colorado; Kansas City, Kansas; Toronto, Ontario; London, United Kingdom; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Hong Kong.

 

Contact:

Rita Emmer
Vice President, Sales
VIP International Corp.
(303) 674-1176
 [email protected]
http://www.vipintcorp.com

Interstate Hotels & Resorts
1010 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20007
Tel: 202.965.4455 
Fax: 202.295.2187
http://www.ihrco.com/


 
Also See Hong Kong’s Largest Hotel Operator Sees Reservation Numbers Jump 26 Percent In First 10 Months of 2002, Increases Global Presence with New Reservation Sales Provider / February 2003
Canadian North Chooses Calgary-based VIP International to Provide Voice Reservation and Support services / January 2003
Midwestern Chain Targets Value-Conscious Senior Market; Picks New Channel Marketing Provider to Power Goal of 100% Increase in Bookings / January 2003
Midwestern Management Firm Gains 69% Increase in GDS Reservations YTD at 12 ‘Enhanced Limited-Service’ Properties / Dec 2002
Texas-Based Hotel Chain Captures 104% More GDS Reservations YTD, Speeds Ahead of Economy / Dec 2002
Four Star Calgary Hotel Reports 42% Increase in Bookings During Initial Period With New Channel Marketing Provider / Nov 2002


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