Hotel Online  Special Report


E-Z Rent A Car Perfects Internet Strategy
to Boost Reservations 20% in 2003

Spurs Bookings with Daily Rate Management; Updates Direct Rates Real-Time through VIP International

September 9, 2003 - E-Z Rent A Car is a 10-year-old success story that opened it doors with nine cars, and emerged as an industry star with over 3,500 vehicles in its fleet. With offices in Orlando, Miami, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, and St. Petersburg as well as airport locations at Dallas DFW, Atlanta, Tampa/St. Petersburg, and Orlando, E-Zís sales are expected to grow by more than 40 percent in 2003. 

"We are growing because we offer solid value -- in our industry that means new cars at affordable rates -- and we have learned how to use all the available online channels as a major source of business," said E-Z Rent A Car Vice President, Dan Spindler, who joined the company less than a year ago and made immediate changes to the companyís Internet strategy. "Since 9/11, more of the traveling public is evaluating options and booking cars on the Web. Until recently, we relied on more traditional booking sources, such as our voice center and walk-up traffic; a year ago we began working more closely with VIP International, our channel marketing provider. Before, VIP was a vendor; now they are a partner. They were able to align our rates with competitorsí, real-time, and I had my team adjust our rate management strategy daily instead of weekly. Both moves have proven to be good decisions; in the past year we pulled 60% of our reservations from the Internet."

E-Z Rent A Carís Internet bookings and reservation counts are managed by its provider, which also supervises all of E-Zís GDS (Global Distribution System) sources -Sabre, Worldspan, and Galileo. In addition, their channel marketing partner oversees its Orbitz relationship, researches travel booking engines that will give the company more exposure, and audits a wide number of Web sites to see if they are a good fit. Spindler notes he works closely with VIPís Productivity Manager for Cars to stay focused on the emerging Internet business potential provided by the huge number of travel booking sites. 

E-Z Rent A Car Concentrates on Core Business, Outsources Internet Expertise

Spindler met with his channel marketing vendor in its Calgary offices and together they put in place a well thought-out Ďbest practicesí strategy for increasing E-Zís bookings and rates, step by step. As part of the plan Spindlerís team will use more of VIPís services, including its Direct Rate Updating system to oversee rates posted on the Web and ensure they are aligned with competitorsí fee strategies. DRU allows E-Z to instantly and globally update the rates they offer over the Internet in real-time instead of waiting until close of day, which was the norm. This gives the company an edge in responding immediately to competitive strategies. In the past, E-Zís staff performed online rate management weekly; now they monitor and adjust their Web rates every day. "Our booking growth reflects a conscious emphasis on controlling rates and raising revenue," said Spindler, who observed he is now free to focus more on E-Zís core business Ė offering new cars at affordable rates, while their Internet partner concentrates on Web marketing opportunities. 

For example, E-Zís channel marketing provider recently uncovered a new Federal policy that specifies how car rental agencies must structure pricing when bidding for government business, and worked with E-Z to implement the new guidelines. "We learned the government needs a whole rate - $25 instead of $25.95," explained Spindler. "VIP also discovered a new government SATO (Scheduled Airlines Travel Office) surcharge of $5 per day that car rental companies may charge government drivers. It makes doing business with government travelers much more attractive. All of this helps E-Z build its relationship with SATO and develop the government segment." 

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August 2003 Booking Increase over August 2002

Another innovation E-Z Rent A Car will soon be taking advantage of is a ĎTotal Pricing Modelí service that provides details on regional taxes and fees. VIP will supply itemized information on local fees, duties, airport surcharges, and taxes at E-Zís rental locations for them to make available to customers. In some airport locations taxes and other fees associated with car reservations are over 60 percent of the rental price. By providing this surcharge information, E-Z will be able to offer more complete rate comparisons to its customers. The Total Pricing Model follows on the heels of a recent innovative VIP agreement with Worldspan that could result in new incremental reservations for mid-sized car rental companies. Terms of the contract allow VIP to help travel agents make rate bookings that include unlimited mileage, LDW, theft protection for European locations only, mandatory coverage, airport surcharge, all local taxes and surcharges, and vehicle license fees.

"It is VIP Internationalís element of innovation that adds the most value to our revenue growth," concluded Spindler. 

About E-Z Rent A Car

E-Z Rent A Car, one of the fastest growing car rental corporations in the United States, expanded its fleet from nine to 3,500 vehicles in 10 years by focusing on providing customers with the industryís best value: new cars at affordable rates. Founded in 1994, E-Z Rent-A-Car offers the latest model vehicles from economy to luxury, as well as minivans and SUVs. E-Zís locations throughout Florida, Georgia, and Texas guarantee clients the best rates among the major national car rental chains, and the right vehicle for each clientís needs. For more information visit www.e-zrentacar.com.
 

About VIP International Corporation

VIP International (www.vipintcorp.com) is a channel marketing organization that drives revenue for hoteliers and car rental owners 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 clientís 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, Amadeus, WorldRes, Pegasus, 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.

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Contact:

E-Z Rent A Car
Contact: Dan Spindler
Vice President
1777 McCoy Road
Orlando, Florida 32809
407-888-0504
www.e-zrentacar.com

VIP International
Contact: Rita Emmer
Vice President, Sales
VIP International Corp.
(303) 674-1176
[email protected]



 
Also See WorldRes Agreement Gives VIP International Hotels Second ĎLow-Feeí Merchant Model Program / Aug 2003
Top Channel Marketing Provider VIP International Taps Industry Veteran to Power Marketing Efforts, Funnel 158% Growth  / Aug 2003
VIP International Cements Reputation as Leading GDS and Channel Marketing Provider for Asia Pacific / Aug 2003
Hotel Owner/Operators Disclose Secrets of Web Booking Success / June 2003
Dave Crawford Appointed Director of Airline and Auto Rental Business Development for VIP International / June 2003
Hotel Company Sharpens Channel Management for 22% Increase in Average Length of Stay for GDS Bookings, 14% Jump in ADR / June 2003
Interstate Hotels, Candlewood Suites, Regal Hotels, Canadian North Airlines Shift Call Center Responsibility to VIP: Interstate To Pass Along 8% to 10% Savings to Properties; Regal Hotels up 26% / May 2003
Zero Transaction Fees: Independent Hotels, Chains Profit from Landmark Agreement; Manage Discounted Rooms Through Central Res Systems at No Cost / May 2003
Interstate Hotels & Resorts Signs Five-Year Agreement with VIP International to Outsource Call Center; Expects to Pass Along 8 Percent to 10 Percent Savings, Increased Revenue to Hotels / April 2003
Hong Kongís 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 ĎEnhanced Limited-Serviceí 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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