Hotel Online  Special Report

Luxury Cambridge Suites Toronto Chooses Viz-it
Rich Media Solutions from Vantis
to Increase Internet Sales
"Show – Don’t Just Tell’ Internet Marketing
will Attract Guests with Visual Storytelling

June 21, 2005 - Competing against the major chains can be tough for an independent city-center hotel – unless it has a few competitive tricks up its sleeve to level the playing field. With more than 40 percent of all reservations beginning with an online search, knowing the most effective Internet strategies and how to use them is a great equalizer. So is having a reputation as the most respected business property in Toronto’s downtown core.

Cambridge Suites Toronto, located in the heart of the city’s financial district, has developed corporate agreements with many financial institutions, investment firms, and insurance, legal, pharmaceutical and health companies, and is now aggressively establishing an Internet presence for an even greater market reach. 

“We have a unique, high-quality property with a story to tell, but words alone are not enough,” said Mark Schwass, the hotel’s general manager. “It is more effective, particularly on the Internet, to use pictures and video to show what we have to offer. To gain that capability we signed an agreement with Vantis to upgrade our website with Viz-it, their suite of rich media solutions. Specifically, we will use a Premium Video Tour to increase our visibility online, to give us a competitive advantage by lifting us above the chains, and to help optimize our profitable revenue." 

Independent operators leverage Web video

PhoCusWright reports that travelers who research hotels online are visiting up to seven sites before they make a decision. This makes it essential that properties, especially independent hotels, display their most enticing content on their websites and distribute it to as many travel portals as possible. Especially since, unlike chain properties, independent hotels often provide unique lodgings and facilities, and the Internet is the perfect place to display them. 

“Our accommodations meet the needs of both the corporate road warrior and the leisure traveler,” stated Kimberly Whitnell, director of sales and marketing with Cambridge Suites. “We offer 226 two-room suites, as well as three penthouse-level suites, which feature single and bi-level floor plans. Our food and beverage services are extraordinary and our meeting spaces and public areas are beautifully appointed.

“We believe the best tool in communicating our services electronically is through a show, don’t just tell approach, and rich media enables us to display our unique story through superior aesthetics,” Whitnell added.

Vantis’ extensive distribution network of more than 5,000 travel websites, including Travelocity, Orbitz and Yahoo Travel, ensures the property’s message reaches a large number of shoppers. The more shoppers can see of a property on the Internet, the longer they stay on the booking site and the more likely they are to make reservations.

The Viz-it full suite of rich media products is tailored to suit any property and budget, from luxury to economy. Premium Video Tours walk potential guests through a hotel’s property, inside and out. Photovideo Tours look remarkably close to a full-motion video but use existing photographs with narration and music, saving hotels the expense and work of an actual video shoot. Virtual Tours capture stunning 360-degree views of the property, and PhotoFlicks is the most cost-effective way to influence consumers with rich media by offering a condensed version of a Photovideo. 

A successful Vantis partnership

“We have been working with Vantis for more than five years,” Schwass explained. “Vantis is our link to Internet consumers and travel agents worldwide, and the relationship has been very successful.” 

Schwass believes most consumer segments, including groups, use the Internet to book rooms. Cambridge Suites Toronto already works with Vantis to target customers in a variety of third-party electronic channels, so when rich media was presented to them, they welcomed it. 

“We immediately recognized the advantages of using Viz-it and presenting prospective guests with a movie clip,” Kimberly Whitnell said. “Quite simply, it is a powerful tool that gives consumers visual support when making their travel decisions. 

“Third-party sites usually focus on price discounting to sell rooms, and that can significantly lower a property’s revenue,” Schwass continued. “Viz-it reverses that trend by displaying our property’s quality to shoppers and lifting their focus to the value of staying with us, as opposed to the cost of a room. It is impossible to do this with traditional print or online marketing.” 

A Premium Video Tour, the Viz-it product selected by Cambridge Suites Toronto, consists of a one-minute, full-motion video with voice-over narration and music that showcases a property’s key selling features. Vantis offers hosting, distribution and delivery of unlimited playback to a hotel’s website or a third-party site where the video is displayed. Viz-it presentations are displayed through a custom viewer that automatically determines a shopper’s connection speed and media player to make watching a property’s video seamless, even for users who are still on dial-up connections. Vantis also provides a real-time reporting tool that allows properties to check the number of playbacks their video receives and which websites receive the most views.

“We are selling a unique guest experience at the Cambridge Suites Toronto,” Schwass commented. “We are a very refined property located steps away from the financial district, theaters and signature shopping. The way to be most successful in our niche is by marketing persuasively to the right guest segments. Vantis has been the perfect partner to help us do this and out perform the big flags.”

To learn more about Vantis and how the company helps clients such
as Cambridge Suites Toronto optimize their profitable revenue,
visit Vantis at HITEC, Booth #427, in
Los Angeles, California, June 20-23.

About Cambridge Suites Toronto 

The Cambridge Suites Hotel Toronto is centrally located in the heart of downtown, where guests enjoy the special added comfort and spaciousness of two-room suites in friendly, intimate and secure surroundings. The hotel’s professional employee team is available to serve guests with attentive, personalized service and the finest hotel amenities. The luxury Cambridge Suites Toronto hotel is a place where guests feel equally at home conducting business, enjoying downtown entertainment and attractions, or taking a break from life’s responsibilities during an extended stay. With elegant public spaces, guest rooms, meeting facilities and professional staff, the Cambridge Suites Toronto recently earned the ‘Best Hotel in Toronto’ status from Trip Advisor.

About Vantis
Vantis is a marketing and revenue management consulting organization for hotels, car rental companies and airlines. Founded in 1979, the privately held Calgary, Alberta-based firm partners with its clients to optimize their profitable revenue. Vantis offers clients a range of products and services in areas such as revenue management, marketing, channel management, website solutions and voice reservations to ensure they consistently use their most profitable business mix. The company helps clients sell the right hotel room, rental car or airplane seat to the right person at the right price for optimum profitability. With more than 5,000 clients worldwide, Vantis is a world leader of reservation sales services. The organization is a central distribution point to every viable Internet booking site and to all of the major GDS, including Sabre, Galileo, Pegasus, WorldRes, Amadeus and Worldspan. Vantis has U.S. headquarters in Dallas, Texas and significant development office presence in a number of cities around the world, including Denver, London, Berlin, Sydney and Hong Kong.



Rick Shaum 
Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing
Tel: 719-487-0789

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