Demand for Online Rich Media Content
Leonardo/ICE Portal complete ‘Phase One’ Content Integration Partnership
|LONDON / MIAMI— MAY 17, 2006 — Leonardo, the leading provider of hotel
image content and online channel solutions for travel industry, announced
that Phase One of its Content Integration Partnership with Miami, Fla.-based
ICE Portal is now complete.
Content integration with ICE will enable all Leonardo customers – now more than 90 hotel brands - to provide enhanced “animated” images and virtual tours/video to more than 20,000 leading travel websites, including the four GDSs (Global-Distribution Systems), through an ICE Portal digital brochure product.
“Our partnership with ICE Portal has been in development for some time, and the initial response from the industry has been ‘very positive,’” said Leonardo CEO David Elton. “Together Leonardo and ICE Portal provide a win-win scenario for hotels, the GDSs and travel distribution sites. Any hotel that uses Leonardo to manage and distribute its static images and rich media content to the key GDSs and travel channels can now utilize our enhanced rich media channel product offered with the ICE Dynamic Brochure product. By simply linking to ICE, Leonardo’s customers can expand their online marketing reach to provide additional travel distribution channels with enhanced moving content.”
Current research indicates that moving images, such as animated images and virtual tours, generate 46 percent more bookings than still images on travel sites.
Henry Woodman, president of ICE Portal, explained that many distribution channels do not support moving content because no industry standard for receiving and displaying that content has been established. That’s why Leonardo and ICE Portal have created a way to “bundle” static and moving images together into a generic digital brochure package.
“We have now completed our system interfaces,” Woodman said. “Not only does this provide value to Leonardo customers, but it will add more channel opportunities for ICE customers as well who can benefit from the vast Leonardo distribution network.”
Woodman explained that ICE’s digital brochures with rich media, or moving content, can be included in Leonardo’s delivery to its network of GDS and travel distribution channels. ICE Portal can custom brand the digital brochures for each channel and have the content delivered with ICE’s SmartLink technology. SmartLinks verify the content exists prior to “showing” the link or image that launches the digital brochure.
Phase Two of the Leonardo / ICE Portal Content Integration Partnership is now under development. This phase will focus on increasing visibility for small to medium size hotel groups and independents who want a complete content management solution that also provides distribution of all their visuals to the distribution channels that need and want that content.
“Visual marketing is simple, effective and very inexpensive,” Woodman said. “It’s as if the Internet were designed specifically for selling travel.”
Elton added: “The Internet is becoming the most influential consumer tool for making hotel and travel decisions, both corporate and leisure. The Leonardo/ICE Portal partnership takes the burden off the shoulders of hoteliers trying to manage and distribute their rich media content – albeit still pictures or moving images. It’s synergy at its best.”
Leonardo is the world leader in travel content management, e-marketing and content distribution across the global travel chain. Its online solutions are designed to simplify the management of rich content and the automation of distribution to the global distribution systems, travel channels and their travel partners. For all travel partners, Leonardo provides the largest one-stop aggregated source of digital content for hotels, destinations and attractions in the travel industry.
Leonardo works with more than 60,000 hotels, including many global hotel companies, such as InterContinental Hotels, Carlson, Worldhotels, Raffles/Swissotel, Rosewood, Jumeirah International, Preferred Hotel Group, Kersner International, Small Luxury Hotels, Leading Hotels of the World, Le Meridien, Nikko, Peninsula, Starwood, Aston, Luxe and Destination Hotels and Resorts. Leonardo also works with more than 80 tourist boards, including Singapore, Portugal, The Hague, and Antigua and Barbuda. Major travel channel partners include Amadeus, Galileo, Sabre, Worldspan, Pegasus, WizCom, WorldRes, Lodging.com, Cheaptickets, Yahoo!, Opodo, Vista, Planetgo, Aergo, Widderoe and NorthStar Travel Media. For more information, visit www.leonardo.com.
About ICE Portal
ICE Portal specializes in production, management and delivery of moving content, such as virtual tours, streaming videos and flash, in multiple languages. This enhanced content has become more important in a world with broadband users connecting to the Internet every day. The ICE (Internet Content Exchange) Portal was designed from the ground up using proprietary technology to allow tremendous flexibility of both supplier and distributors to exchange content. All the formatting, branding and sizing is done by ICE Portal, which provides hotels with valuable performance reports that track every client click. Hoteliers using ICE Portal will know what content was viewed, on which Web sites, the number of e-mail requests generated from each Web site, the most viewed images and more.
ICE Portal partnered with Leonardo to offer clients a more complete e-commerce solution. In addition to distribution in North America and Europe, ICE Portal has partnered with PREVU Corporation in Asia Pacific to deliver its content to hundreds of the top travel sites in the region. A few distribution partners include Orbitz, tour operators such as Liberty Travel and Trisept Solutions’ VAX Vacation Access, which delivers ICE Portal’s branded content to 85,000 travel agents. Clients include Starwood, Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, Choice, Wyndham, Cendant and Sol Melia. For more information, visit www.iceportal.com.
Barb Worcester, Principal
|Also See:||Visual Marketing Turning Heads, Filling Beds; ICE Portal Says Hotels Which Audit Online Hotel Images to Accurately Represent their Facilities and Features Are the Ones Getting the Best Bookings / April 2006|
|WORLDHOTELS Selects ICE Portal for E-Marketing & Distribution / February 2006|
|Top 5 New Years Resolutions For Marketing My Hotel; Leading travel content-management and -distribution companies Leonardo and ICE Portal advise on making the Internet your best marketing tool in 2006 / January 2006|
|Cultuzz Chooses ICE Portal to Deliver Media Content for eBay Auctions / December 2005|
|New Strategic Alliance for ICE Portal / Prelude to Global E-marketing Network / November 2005|
|Starwood Selects ICE Portal To Deliver Internet Content / November 2005|
|Major Travel Industry Alliance …New Leonardo/ICE Portal Partnership Manages Rich Media Content for Over 25,000 Hotels with Distribution to 20,000+ Travel Channels! / October 2005|