Hotel Online  Special Report

Travel Writer Mary Gostelow Targets Affluent
Travelers on Behalf of Luxury Hotels


New York---November 15, 2004 - A new concept in luxury travel  marketing debuts today with the launch of Conceived by  leading travel authority and editor, Mary Gostelow, this consumer advocate online magazine is designed to support the luxury sector of the global  hospitality industry by targeting sophisticated luxury travelers worldwide. Constantly updated with news of the most exciting and  exceptional travel opportunities, the site provides links to the supplier's own sites, allowing the traveler instant and direct access to a hotel's web pages and reservations service. Most importantly, helps travelers find WOW experiences that are tailor-made for them. is the brainchild of Mary Gostelow, a leading authority on the best luxury hotels and travel experiences around the world. As a traveler on the road over 300 days a year, she knows the territory - from Addis Ababa to Vladivostok. 

Emanuel Berger, managing director of the Grand Hotel  Victoria-Jungfrau, Interlaken, and HOTELS magazine "Independent Hotelier of the  Year 2003" welcomes WOW Traveler. "There is definitely a need for an  authoritative consumer advocate global website that directs affluent travelers to hotels' own websites and booking engines," he notes. "This is a  powerful tool that allows hoteliers to build strong customer relationships and lets potential travelers create their own highly personalized luxury  experiences." 

The innovative search-tool enables consumers to find  properties via destination, brand or theme. A free monthly newsletter, WOWtraveler Confidential, features Mary's WOW Top 10 list of hotel experiences. It also introduces the current WOWinsider, a travel expert or celebrity sharing  his or her "secret" vacation spot or travel tip.

Featured hotels and resorts as well as travel experiences and  cruise itineraries are exclusively chosen and personally known by Mary Gostelow,  and participation is by invitation only.  Her intimate content brings out  the unique value proposition of each property to help consumers find the  perfect experience for themselves. The selected properties have the opportunity  to drive business, and thus customer relationship marketing, directly to their  own site.  They also have the ability to feature experience packages that may be  booked directly via their own websites or reservation  centers.
Consumer marketing activities are led by a global team of  travel industry specialists;  in the USA (Anne Sweeney, president - Sweeney  Public Relations, NJ), Japan (Sam Ohta, president, Ohta Publications, Tokyo),  Germany (Carsten Hennig, publisher - Hottelling and Mediterranean Business  World, Hamburg), UK (Alistair Graham, president - Global Guest List, London),  and China/south-east Asia (Susan Field, managing director - Impact Asia, Hong  Kong & Shanghai). 

The concept is guided by a distinguished advisory board,  chaired by Jens Thraenhart, chairman of the Travel Internet Marketing  Organization (TIMO) and HSMAI Hotel Internet Marketing Committee. (For a  complete list of names, see below.)  The role of the advisory board is to  give professional input on the direction and strategy of this exciting  project. released its preview site during ITB 2004  in Berlin, and launched its fully functional hotel site in July of this year. In August was recognized by the Web Marketing Association with a 2004 Webaward for outstanding achievement in website development.  Additional travel experiences will go live when is scheduled to be announced officially to affluent consumers in early 2005.

WOWTraveler Advisory board, in alphabetical  order
Giovanni Angelini  MD/CEO   Shangri-La Hotels  & Resorts
Peter Bates,   Chairman/CEO   Strategic  Vision
Jean-Claude Baumgarten  President   World Travel &  Tourism Council
John Bell   President  IH&RA
Raymond Bickson  MD    Taj Hotels,  Resorts and Palaces
Regis Bulot   President   Relais  & Chateaux
Melinda Bush   Chairman/CEO   Insider  Collection
Chris Cahill   President/COO  Fairmont Hotels  & Resorts
Joseph Cinque   CEO    American  Academy of Hospitality Sciences
Serge Dive   CEO  International Luxury Travel Market
Kurt Fisher  President   International Food & Beverage Forum
Bob  Gilbert   President/CEO   Hospitality Sales & Marketing  Association 
Peter Greenberg   Travel editor NBC/  Discovery  Networks & Chief correspondent The Travel Channel 
Geoffrey Kent  Cchairman/CEO   Abercrombie & Kent 
JT Kuhlman  CEO    One&Only Resorts
Grace Leo-Andrieu  President/CEO   GLA International
Paul McManus  President  Leading Hotels of the World
Brian Mills  MD    Small Luxury Hotels of the World
PRS Oberoi  Chairman   Oberoi Hotels & Resorts
Sam Ohta  President/publisher  Ohta Publications Co Ltd
Georg Rafael  President   Rafael Hotels
Claus Sendlinger  President/CEO   Design Hotels
Steve Shellum  Publisher/editor   Hotel Asia-Pacific Magazine
John  Ueberroth   Chairman   Preferred Hotels & Resorts  Worldwide
Jeff Weinstein   Editor-in-chief   HOTELS  Magazine
Reto Wittwer   President/CEO   Kempinski Hotels  & Resorts
Peter Yesawich   Managing partner  Yesawich,  Pepperdine, Brown & Russell 

Mary is president of Gostelow Travel: Hottest Hospitality News  Worldwide, is a contributing editor to HOTELS magazine out of the USA and also  has her own global market intelligence, Gostelow Report, for the travel and  tourism industry.  She is also contributing editor to Air Canada's inflight  magazine "enRoute" (both hard-copy and online), and to Elite Traveler magazine  in the US.  A regular broadcaster on hotels to over 4.5 million people throughout  South America, she is also a speaker at the International Hotel and Restaurant  Association global convention in Istanbul this month and is on the planning  committees for the hotel investment conferences in Berlin next March, and in  Dubai next April. She is also chairman of the advisory board for the annual  International Luxury Travel Market in Cannes, France.

Anne Sweeney
Also See: Online Lodging Reviewer, TripAdvisor, Ranks Top Hotels Worldwide, Based on the Quantity and Quality of Information Found on the Web / February 2004
Hotel Executives Starting to Review Online Lodging Reviews; Comments Like God awful and Run away as fast as you can May or May Not Be Objective / February 2004
Consumer Hotel Reviews on the Web, Not So Easy to Find / June 2003

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