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Pegasus Connect becomes the latest brand evolution at Pegasus

Pegasus Solutions continues to streamline and integrate their myriad offerings, as Utell becomes Pegasus Connect.

The new offering takes the parent company’s distribution, booking and business intelligence capability, blends it with Utell’s hotel marketing services, and serves up a slate of new combo-products for hotel clients.

Pegasus CEO David Millili shares the reasoning behind yet another brand evolution at Pegasus:

“In the time that I’ve led Pegasus, I’ve had many meetings with hotels and brands around the world. One consistent theme I’ve heard from independents, groups, and chains alike is that they all need help driving guest room demand and sales. Aligning our impressive range of hospitality solutions as logical tiered packages under Pegasus Connect benefits hotels, allowing them to identify and use only the services they need without being expected to keep track of an encyclopedia of sales solutions.”

Rather than having to navigate the various Pegasus products, such as understanding the differences between Utell, the UltraSwitch, Reservation NG, and other products, hotels can now opt-in at the level of service most useful to their current needs.

Pegasus Connect has three levels:

  1. Pegasus Connect: complete connectivity to the GDS.
  2. Pegasus Connect Gold: all of the above distribution, plus access to 1,000 online channels including China’s TravelSky, a new monthly reporting product called PegasusView Market Performance business intelligence, access to the OpenView booking engine, sales consulting and representation with the travel consortia.
  3. Pegasus Connect Premium: all of the above, plus a responsive mobile website built on Open Hospitality’s OpenFlex, and additional sales support targeting corporate travel buyers.

A hotel looking for a basket of services will be relieved at this relatively simplified selection. The Pegasus range was never easy to digest, as the company provides many services addressing a variety of needs, and hotel management had to select the individual solutions that most suited their current challenges.

A key aspect of the most successful products is simplifying complicated processes. By making their product line more accessible, Pegasus is moving towards a more elegantly defined solution to their own offerings.

Related posts:

  1. Pegasus Solutions acquires hotel marketing company Open Hospitality
  2. After Kayak and Fairmont beta, Pegasus launches hotel MetaSearch Services
  3. Pegasus Solutions shuffles CEOs

Come Again Soon: Hotel Marketers Turn to Mobile

A recent interview with La Quinta’s chief marketing officer Julie Cary revealed a lot about the mid-level hotel marketing industry and how to stay ahead of the pack. It’s no longer about free coffee, breakfast or Wi-Fi. In fact, those are becoming an industry standard. Instead, this CMO is staying ahead by investing in a mobile strategy.

Most people looking to book hotels on their mobile phones, Cary explained, are looking to book that same day. This makes mobile design of the utmost importance. The goal being to make mobile navigation user-friendly so that booking is a relatively easy decision:

If they want to call the property, we made that easy. If they wanted to call the 1-800 number, we made that easy. If they want to book it, we made that easy. We didn’t worry about only getting the booking on the mobile site. It was about all the ways you could get the customer.

One of the ways in which La Quinta made booking easy was the ability to reserve a room for four hours (via their mobile site) with just a phone number. This means no digging through your bag for a credit card and having to use your phone’s tiny keypad to enter it. As far as social media goes, La Quinta was the first to incorporate reviews from Trip Advisor and Yelp onto their mobile site. A great move considering user-generated content like reviews are proven to help in the decision-making process for most Internet users.

Data capture is also an important part of the mobile marketing industry and can prove very beneficial for hotel chains looking to turn their same-day bookers into return customers. Text, email and remarketing are all viable options for getting mobile customers to review the property and their experiences or getting them to return. With the help of data, it’s possible now more than ever to improve your business’s efficiency and engage with your customers both on and offline.

This article originally appeared on Asking Smarter Questions and has been republished with permission.

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Hotel Marketing: The Missing Link

How to Market Your Luxury Hotel Property

As we are all feeling the economy’s pinch, it’s no wonder that revenues for luxury hotel chains are on the decline. As hotel owners are struggling to meet capacity, they are now faced with a choice to either cut their prices significantly or to put their marketing hats on and think outside the box. Perhaps when broadly branding their properties with ads placed in magazines or on travel sites aren’t working like they used to, alternative marketing solutions might be the answer.

When tightening the belt and discounting the room rates seems like the most obvious solution, many marketing managers don’t realize that they are also damaging their brand reputation at the same time. As bargain rates become the norm in the mind of the consumer, these “luxury” hotel chains become not so luxurious after all.

Furthermore, some marketing managers will make the erroneous decision to slash their advertising budgets altogether. In an article that I wrote on February 28th, 2011 entitled, When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Do Not Cut Their Advertising Expenses, I discuss the ramifications of cutting marketing expenses during a credit crunch, as doing so opens the doors for competitors to take front stage.

You may be heavily involved in hotel marketing, and feel as though you are in a rut and not equipped with the proper resources to cut through the clutter of the more well-known hotel brands out there.

An often overlooked advertising platform is email marketing to third-party email lists to promote hotel or travel offers. Based on published statistics and industry experience, email marketing has become the simplest and most inexpensive way to broaden the reach to an audience of travelers in an effort to generate new reservations. What better way to capture the attention of your target market than to deliver your message right to their inbox?

Email Answers has an extensive opt-in database of over 3.1 MM frequent travelers that allow hotel chains to streamline their hotel and travel offers to attract visitors from locations worldwide. Given that these consumers and business decision makers have indicated an interest in travel-related offers, we are able to average between an 18%-35% open rate with CTR’s of over 5% using a well-crafted email. However, the true indicator of a successful email campaign lies in the ROI achieved from the bookings and reservations made. Part of our offering after each email deployment is to conduct a conversion study analysis to determine how many people booked at your specific hotel or resort actually came from the email campaign that was deployed. Generating an average ROI of 10 to 1 from all hotel marketing campaigns, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

OK, so what’s involved and how do you get started?

As long as you design an eye-catching HTML email, use short, relevant, and enticing subject lines, and craft a simple and focused message, you will likely reap the benefits of targeted email marketing. Your journey begins with one step. Email Answers is here to help guide your way. Find out how to get started.

Email Answers estimates that in 2012, we will have generated $10-12 million in hotel room reservation income, which does not include additional income earned from hotel guests staying at the property, from a spend of $1-1.2 million in email marketing expenses.

This article is an original contribution by Meredith Thornton.

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WIHP converts Library Hotel Collection online presence

Hotel marketing agency WIHP has been retained to optimize, host and redesign all Library Hotel Collection websites. All online properties are now built on WIHP’s industry-acclaimed website building platform, Convert.

HKHotels have recently changed their name to Library Hotel Collection, a brand repositioning move in anticipation of two new properties to open in the next three years: Aria Hotel in Budapest and Hotel X at Exhibition Place in Toronto. The boutique hotel group has aligned its corporate identity to reflect the change, rebranding all its online properties as well.

“Many factors went into deciding to partner with WIHP on the design, SEO and hosting of the new set of websites for the Library Hotel Collection,” explained Adele Gutman, Vice President of Sales, Marketing Revenue at Library Hotel Collection. “First, on an emotional level, we were moved and inspired by the sheer beauty and visually expressive quality of WIHP’s previous work. However, we know we are not creating a work of art but a work of commerce, and after speaking to other hoteliers who have worked with WIHP, we could clearly see that they had a proven track record for helping their hotels achieve an exceptionally high percentage of direct sales on the brand websites.”

All websites are built on WIHP’s Convert, an industry-acclaimed content management and website building platform that features streamlined navigation; state-of-the-art, high definition, image galleries; and user centric design. Convert is the first hotel website builder to completely integrate the SynXis booking engine flawlessly within the website, thereby reducing booking time by 44% and creating a unique sales tool for independent hotels.

“We already have success with that now, but we are confident that WIHP will work with us to take that success to the next level. Like the Library Hotel Collection, we can see that WIHP shares our belief that putting the customer first is the best form of marketing. While we have just launched the English language websites, we are eagerly awaiting the launch of our multi lingual websites which will launch over the next month. We believe it will literally open our hotels to a new world of honored guests,” added Gutman.

The immersive experience offered by the new Library Hotel Collection websites provides visitors with a closer-to-reality experience of the hotels, and a more clear overview of the amenities available in every room. In addition, all websites feature state-of-the-art interactive maps that allow access to all information of what is around the hotels and how to get there. The sites work on all supported media, including desktops and all portable devices (iPhone, iPad, smartphones), giving visitors more flexibility to book their rooms directly from the hotels, from any device.

Have You Listened To What Your Hotel Team Is Saying To Real Callers? | By …

In the busy world that hotel marketing and revenue managers live in these days, there are many distribution channels calling out for our attention. It’s a constant effort to stay on top of the latest trends and new opportunities especially regarding electronic channel management. Yet one often forgotten distribution channel is for many hotelsstillthe one that hand-delivers the best sales inquiry opportunities every day. No, it’s not the latest OTA funded by an IPO; nor is it really a new channel at all. We are of course talking about the good old fashioned hotel voice channel. My regular readers know well that I have often said “The Telephone Is Your Hotel’s Storefront Window,” which is as true today as ever.

The good news forallhoteliers is that it’s easier than ever to manage this important, first-impression making channel.

Step One: Find A Way To Access Recordings Of Inbound Calls.

Due to emerging technologies, hotels and call centers of all sizes and market segments can take advantage of affordable tools for listening-in to what real-world callers hear daily.

Mega call centers, such as those with upwards of 50+ agents, have had this technology in place for over a decade now, with equipment based call monitoring and tracking solutions. These solutions usually provide the most detailed tracking and sorting of calls, such as on a “by agent” basis. In recent years the cost of these systems has come down, but price can still sometimes be a barrier for mid-size and smaller call centers.

Now in recent years new emerging technologies have provided a way for hotels and resorts of all sizes and market segments to be able to record inquiry calls. One example is the growing number of options for purchasing a unique 800 number from a pay-per-click advertising provider, most of which provide the option of recording the inbound calls. This option at least provides some access to real-world inquiries, however it can become cost prohibitive at US $1 per call or more.

More recently, there are now options for using inbound 800 providers that provide call tracking and recording features as part of their service. Since hotels are already incurring a per-minute cost on their inbound 800 lines, the additional cost can be nominal. Although the costs vary greatly, a quick Google search will turn up companies that both track and record all inbound 800 calls for under US $.10 per minute. Besides recording all calls, some of these systems also provide data on the geographic origin of the calls, the phone numbers of the caller (for follow-up purposes if needed), useful call traffic data such as time of day, day of week, lost calls, etc… The call tracking data and recordings can be accessed online.

Step Two: Make The Time To Listen To Calls Regularly

These call monitoring tools won’t change performance alone. Despite how busy it gets as a hotel marketing or distribution manager, it is critical to schedule-in time on a regular basis to listen to a random mix of calls. There is much marketing intelligence to be gained from listening to how real-world callers are reacting to pricing, promotions, or operational procedures as they are being explained.

Step Three: Score and Assess Guest Services and Sales Calls On A Regular Basis

Once you have access to real world call recordings, you can assign an in-house manager or supervisor to score both guest services and sales calls. Create a scoring criteria that ensures consistency, yet still allows for a conversational sales style and is not so rigid that it creates scripted, transactional sales and service exchanges.

Make sure that all sales and service staff receive regular monitoring assessment, including the “superstars.” Too many managers spend most of their time monitoring and coaching the lowest performers; the reality is that associates of all levels can benefit from the feedback.

Aside from just reviewing the written report, make sure associates have the opportunity to listen to their call recordings to that they can hear how they really sound on the phone.

Step Four: Use An Unbiased Third Party To Calibrate In-House Results

It is important to avoid one potential pitfall of in-house call monitoring assessment, which is that those doing the monitoring can often become biased due to their personal relationship with the person being monitored. As a result a poor call performance might be overlooked because “She was having a bad day that day; she usually does better” or “That’s just how he sounds on the phone.” There our outside companies that will score and assess a sampling of your in-house calls to ensure that the scores are calibrated with the in-house results.

By implementing an ongoing call monitoring assessment process at your hotel, resort, or call center, you will be assuring that your sales prospects and guests receive an excellence call experience every time they pass by the “storefront window” of your hotel.

Doug Kennedy – July, 2012

Doug Kennedy is President of the Kennedy Training Network, Inc. a leading provider of customized training programs and telephone mystery shopping services for the lodging and hospitality industry. Doug continues to be a fixture on the industry’s conference circuit for hotel companies, brands and associations, as he been for over two decades. Visit KTN at: Read his travel blog at or email him directly:

new emerging technologies, storefront window, pay per click advertising, hotel voice, market segments, electronic channel, hotel marketing, voice channel, inbound calls, sales inquiry, tracking solutions, channel management, distribution channel, distribution channels

Doug Kennedy
Phone: 954.981.7689
Mobile: 954.558.4777

Kennedy Training Network (KTN)
1926 Hollywood Boulevard, Suite 202
– Hollywood, FL 33020
Phone: (954) 981.7689
Fax: (866) 599.3849

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Interactivity Hotel Marketing Generates 24 to 1 ROI for Clients in June – Virtual

Interactivity Hotel Marketing exceeded its industry-leading 22 to 1 average return on investment for paid search clients by generating a 24 to 1 ROI through the first half of 2012.

Myrtle Beach, SC (PRWEB) July 12, 2012

Interactivity Hotel Marketing, a division of Myrtle Beach-based digital marketing and advertising agency Interactivity Marketing, earned over $330,000 for its paid search marketing clients during the month of June, bringing the agency’s total revenue for its hotel clients during the first half of the year to over $1.9 million.

During the month of June, Interactivity Hotel Marketing spent $13,735.96 on behalf of its clients to earn $333,314.82 for a return-on-investment of 24.26 to 1. Through the first six months of 2012, the agency has spent $79,923.59 for its clients to generate $1,929,385.37– an ROI of 24.14, topping the agency’s industry-leading 22 to 1 average.

Interactivity Hotel Marketing provides digital and traditional marketing services for clients throughout the nation, including properties in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Wyoming, Utah, and Puerto Rico.

“We (and our clients) are thrilled with the returns that we’ve been able to generate,” said Gary Henderson, owner and President of Interactivity Marketing. “Our staff is dedicated to the success of our clients and these returns certainly show that. By focusing on optimizing for conversions, we are able to fine-tune our strategies and methods to position our clients for the greatest amount of success and revenue.”

Conversion rate optimization is the practice of using data drawn from research to test and determine the most important factors to drive bottom-line paid search conversions. A hot topic in the digital marketing world, conversion rate optimization requires that marketers focus on testing multiple ads, target groups, landing pages, and calls-to-action to determine which combinations are most effective (and profitable).

About Interactivity Hotel Marketing

A division of Interactivity Marketing, Interactivity Hotel Marketing provides digital and traditional advertising and marketing services for hotels throughout the United States. The division is currently averaging an industry-leading 22 to 1 ROI for its paid search marketing clients. In addition to paid search management, the division also offers services such as web design and development, search engine optimization, social influence marketing, email marketing, and fully managed eCRM.

About Interactivity Marketing

Headquartered in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Interactivity Marketing is a fully-integrated digital advertising and marketing agency that provides branding, print, web design and development, search engine and social media marketing, and marketing strategy services to clients across the nation. Regarded as one of the fastest growing digital agencies in the southeast,Interactivity Marketing continues to win business and break new ground by implementing quantifiable, measurable, and innovative creative marketing solutions and strategies for its clients.

For the original version on PRWeb visit:

Make your hotel appy, a new start-up enabling hoteliers to create free iPad app for their properties, was launched last week during the Tourism Technology Association event at the Chiang Mai Holiday Inn by JP Dumas, MD of iHome Systems, Thailand’s leading provider of hospitality related technology.

Appy Hotel promises to “Make your Hotel Appy” by providing hotel marketing teams with a fast, free and friendly way to create apps that would normally cost thousands of dollars.

“Our goal for Appy Hotel was to create something that was easier-than-Faceboook and cheaper-than-peanuts,” says founder Dumas, “based on the response we’ve been getting from our pilot partners, things look very promising…”

Did you know?

You can introduce your kids to edutainment reading with our Student Weekly magazine: Thailand’s only all-English entertainment and education magazine for teens and all ages.

Engaging Content of Utmost Importance for Hotel Marketing

Especially in the hotel marketing industry, content rules all. While a paid search campaign can be a great tool for hotel marketing, travel sites like Expedia can outspend almost everyone. Therefore, the issue becomes how to set your hotel’s site apart from the pack. To further complicate things, Google’s new Panda and Penguin updates value a deeper, more substantial and more entertaining type of fresh content. It’s no longer possible to slap up some content with relevant keywords and expect your site to rank well. Instead, new content generation techniques that make the content not only relevant but engaging need to be implemented. According to a recent eMarketing article, this is how hotel marketing pros will profit from redesigning the content on their sites.

In addition, paid search marketing can benefit from this more engaging content creation. Instead of blanket and general brand messaging, paid search campaigns can be more tailor-made and used as a direct response advertising tool.

In short, hotel and travel marketing pros need to sit up and take notice of these new changes and challenges. Creating 30 pages with bullet points about accommodations and amenities is not going to work any longer; users want a fun and engaging experience when landing on the site. We do have some advice to add to this, however. Make sure you do not forget to make that engaging content SEO-friendly, or it will have been a waste.

This article originally appeared on Asking Smarter Questions and has been republished with permission.

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Hotel Marketing Association Names Young Marketer of 2011

PRLog (Press Release)Dec 20, 2011
London 20 December, 2011

Sarah Tobler, Online Marketing Executive of London’s Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel has been named ‘Young Marketer of the Year’ 2011 by the Hotel Marketing Association (HMA)

Now in its sixth year, the Young Marketer of the Year award was created by the HMA, a branch of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, to recognise the cream of young marketing talent in the hotel industry. Eligible candidates have to demonstrate they have made a significant contribution to the success of the company and be aged under 30.

Sarah was described by the panel of industry expert judges as ‘one to watch’ after securing two internal awards and a promotion recently for successfully implementing digital marketing campaigns on behalf of the Knightsbridge Hotel. She was presented with her award in a ceremony at London’s Savoy Hotel.

“Sarah has demonstrated a good understanding of the industry and is a thoroughly deserving recipient of this award,” said Andrea McKay, Chairman of the HMA, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

The HMA has also announced the winners of its annual marketing awards, sponsored by American Express, which are now in their 18th year.

Three awards – ‘Best Marketing Activity on a Small Budget’, ‘Best Social Media Campaign’ and ‘Best Marketing Campaign Hotel Group or Group Hotel’ went to De Vere.

‘Best Social Media Campaign’ went to De Vere Venues for their Facebook page, described by the judges as one of the top referring sites to their website. Premier Inn was also highly commended for their Facebook page.

De Vere Venues received ‘Best Marketing Activity on a Small Budget’ for the second year running for their ‘Summer Lovin’’ campaign, while the Coniston Hotel and Country Estate in the Yorkshire Dales were highly commended for their ‘Drop-in for Coffee’ campaign.

De Vere Group also picked up the ‘Best Marketing Campaign Hotel Group or Group Hotel’ for their Showtime Rewards campaign. “The campaign had clear and measurable objectives with good return on investment,” said Andrea McKay.

Advertising and marketing agency, Law Creative, were winners of the ‘Best Agency Promotion or Campaign’ for their ‘Meetings a Fully Integrated Approach’ entry on behalf of Intercontinental Hotels Group.

The Hotel Marketing Association awards are the only dedicated recognition scheme which celebrate good practice in hotel marketing and are judged by industry experts.

The HMA’s membership comprises sales and marketing specialist and operators of both independent and chain hotels.


Further information about HMA Award Winners:

Further media information and photographs:

Linda Moore

Facebook vs. Google: The battle for the future of the Web

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