Hotels in 2003; Seeks to Increase Internet Bookings
by 20% in 2004
|NEW YORK – (February 11, 2004) – Frankfurt, Germany-based SRS-WORLDHOTELS
held its 2004 Hotelier Conference at the Ria Park Hotel in the Portuguese
town of Almancil, near Faro, January 31 to February 2. A record 300 delegates
from over 38 countries, representing more than 75 percent of the hotel
group’s 450 members, gathered for the three-day conference.
Under the conference theme Be Connected, SRS-WORLDHOTELS unveiled its
2003 results, as well as its goals and strategies for 2004. CEO Michael
Ball announced a 9 percent increase in room nights over the previous year,
together with increases in yield, and an 11 percent increase in revenues
delivered by its reservation systems for the organization’s hotel portfolio.
Roland Jegge, vice president for Asia/Pacific, announced the successful opening of a new office in Shanghai to spearhead SRS-WORLDHOTELS’ expansion in that region. His counterpart in the Americas, Tom Griffiths, reported that the company will open a new office in Miami and that new marketing partnerships have been formed with American Airlines and other partners in the U.S.
Unveiling the company’s new “Capturing Demand” strategy, Claudia Hammerstein, vice president of operations, also highlighted several new technology-based “firsts” for the company. These include: a new web site that incorporates a booking engine in English, Spanish, Italian, French, German and Japanese; increased connections to worldwide online retailers; a suite of new CRM customer tracking and reporting capabilities for both internal and hotel customers; and new group and corporate RFP products from the company-owned subsidiary Nexus World Services.
Hammerstein said that SRS-WORLDHOTELS has set a goal to increase the number of room nights booked via the Internet by more than 20 percent by the end of 2004. She added that while the company was committed to rapidly expanding its distribution, and had signed a range of new agreements with online retailers in the past few months, hoteliers must nevertheless remain watchful that yield does not suffer by over-reliance on the specialized “Internet discounters.”
The theme of managing yield effectively was also taken up by one of the conference’s guest speakers, David Scwosill, CEO of Opodo, the Pan-European online travel company. Other guest speakers included Per Lydmar, founder of the famous Lydmar Hotel in Stockholm, who encouraged the audience to incorporate ideas of innovation and branding from other industries into the hotel sector in an inspiring presentation. The conference’s workshops, seminars and exhibition Tech Tank also included featured presentations from Sabre/Travel Network Galileo, Amadeus, iHamms and CNN. Vodafone also provided delegates with full wireless Internet connections throughout the hotel.
In his closing remarks, Michael Ball commented again on the positive outlook for the industry and the company, and in particular how international hotel sales, marketing and distribution industries were increasing both in complexity and scope. He pointed out that this works to the advantage of independent hotels who increasingly can -- and should --“celebrate their character, individuality and independence,” harnessing an ever-widening number of channels and opportunities offered by SRS-WORLDHOTELS.
SRS-WORLDHOTELS represents over 450 member properties in 65 countries spanning all continents. Unique in its approach, SRS-WORLDHOTELS meets the requirements of business travelers and vacationers alike by providing three different hotel categories: the exclusive Deluxe Collection, the First Class Collection, ideal for the discerning guest, and the Comfort Collection, renowned for offering excellent value for money.
|Also See:||Tom Griffiths, Former Carlson Hotels Executive, Brings New Vision, Infrastructure to SRS-WORLDHOTELS / January 2004|