Hotel Online  .Special Report


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Starwood Targets Niche Markets to Increase
Revenues, Brand Aswareness
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June, 2005 - Although occupancy around the world is on the rise, most hotels still have room for growth and Starwood Hotels and Resorts is taking advantage of niche markets to fill this gap.  In the US, nationwide occupancy levels are approaching historical record levels, but not all properties are enjoying this recent surge. 

In fact, only 12.2% of US hotels had occupancies higher than 80% in 2004 and in 2000 it was only 17.4%, according to PKF Hospitality Research (PKF-HR).  Even at 80% occupancy, revenue managers at the most exclusive properties have plenty of opportunities to increase their RevPAR, brand awareness, loyalty and most importantly their bottom line through niche marketing.

Starwood recently partnered with ID90.COM to better establish itself within the travel industry.  ID90.COM’s airline employee membership continues to be some of the world’s most frequent flyers, taking an average of eight trips each year often booked within 10-days or less.  The objective of Starwood is simple as stated by Michael Vaillancourt, Manager Travel Partnerships; “Starwood has been seeking to increase incremental leisure revenues while continuing to drive web bookings. Hotels have been very supportive and are eager to reach this audience, especially in soft spots. This will also strengthen our brands' positions with the travel industry…”

Starwood is encouraging each property to utilize the services of ID90.COM to the fullest, for in many cases ID90.COM is able to produce a higher ADR than other distribution channels as each property manager controls availability and rates.  ID90.COM is the largest online travel portal for the 10,000,000+ Interliners (airline employees) worldwide whose key objective is to help our hotels and resorts around the world fill their distressed inventory. 

All our rates are based on availability.  Property managers may be offering an industry rate to our airline employee membership, but they are only filling rooms that would normally go empty and now have the opportunity to sell these guests incidentals such as room service, liquor or spa treatments.  It’s found revenue,” explains Tristan Schukraft, Managing Director of ID90.COM.

Whatever strategy one is using, it is easy to lose focus and only concentrate on the short term, however it is imperative to think long term as reinforced by Michael Vaillancourt; “Short term this increases brand awareness among a group that, although not necessarily loyal to one hotel chain, does travel frequently. Long term we anticipate that a majority of this travel can be at Starwood brands, provided we can continue to offer an easy booking process and fair availability in terms of both rate and distribution. Short and long term we fully expect this to substantially increase leisure revenues.”

While many hotels are experiencing high occupancy and record numbers, there will always be soft periods and unfortunately uncontrollable events such the recent tsunami in Southeast Asia.  Maintaining relationships and brand awareness within the travel community can offset these difficult periods and help the exposure of new properties.  Groups such as Starwood Hotels & Resorts that take advantage of the airline employee travel market and other various marketing channels will be better able to leverage all revenue opportunities in variable market conditions.

Starwood is one of the world's largest hotel and leisure companies, with a hotel portfolio that includes 733 owned, leased, managed and franchised hotels with approximately 231,000 rooms in 80 countries.  Brand names include St. Regis® , The Luxury Collection®, Sheraton®, Westin®, W® and Four Points® by Sheraton. 

ID90.COM is password protected and is promoted internally by 143 airlines from around the globe.  It’s worldwide airline employee members logon daily to locate accommodations and car rentals, helping its family of worldwide travel partners fill empty rooms.  ID90.COM refers all members to each hotel and does not charge booking or commission fees.  For more information on ID90.COM, please contact Matt Smith at 818.595.0280 or via email at pr@id90.com.

   
Contact:

Matt Smith, ID90.COM 
Los Angeles, CA - USA
818-595-0280 TEL 
818-887-9365 FAX 
pr@id90.com
http://www.ID90.com


Also See WestCoast and Others Thinking OUTSIDE the 'Box' in 2005; ID90.COM Helps Hotel Groups Establish Themselves Within the Travel Industry, Specifically with Airline Employees / December 2004
Wyndham and Others Use Niche Marketing to Offset Travel Downturn / July 2003
Radisson Using Airline Employees to Fill Distressed Inventory and Increase RevPAR / Oct 2002
Delta Air Lines’s Employees Expected to Book Over 1 million Leisure Room Nights / June 2002
Hotels Using Airline Sales Techniques to Fill Excess Inventory / Dec 2001 
Kimpton Hotel Group and Others Go After the Lucrative Airline Employee Travel Market to Fill Rooms / Sept 2001 


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