Hotels Use IT To Cut Costs, Lure Travelers - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
News

Hotels Use IT To Cut Costs, Lure Travelers

Hotel franchisers such as Cendant are getting IT more closely involved with their marketing and customer-service initiatives.

Cendant Corp., owner of several hotels and other travel-related properties, is getting IT more closely involved with its marketing and customer-service initiatives in an effort to give its franchisees a competitive edge.

Cendant next year will launch a membership-based customer loyalty program, dubbed Mega Loyalty, which will integrate programs from all of its brands and major airlines. Customers will have the option of crediting airline miles to their frequent-flyer accounts or to their Mega Loyalty accounts, which will include hotel and car rental programs. This option helps customers accrue and redeem points faster, according to Cendant. The Mega Loyalty program will let customers use the Internet to enroll, access their accounts, and redeem points. And Cendant franchisees will be able to inform customers about the new program via low-cost E-mail marketing campaigns, says Cendant.

Since its IT and marketing units will now be working more closely together on projects, Cendant plans to relocate its IT division in Phoenix to Parsippany, N.J., by April, says Ron Bialkowski, Cendant VP of hotel information technologies. "When you have all folks involved in one area, it's a lot easier to communicate, understand the business drivers, and deliver the technology to support the big projects we're working on," Bialkowski says.

Other hotel franchisers are also investing in technology to enhance their frequent-traveler programs and increase bookings. U.S. Franchise Systems Inc., parent company of Best Inns and Suites, Hawthorne Suites, and Microtel Inns and Suites, is helping its franchisees automate paper-based frequent-traveler programs in an effort to lower costs and to give customers more control over their accounts.

The redesigned Best and Microtel Web sites will let members of its Best Travel and MicroPass frequent-travelers programs check their account balance and keep track of accrued points rather than carrying membership cards that have to be stamped upon arrival at a hotel, says John Leven, U.S. Franchise Systems senior VP of marketing. "Automating the frequency programs streamlines the process for franchisees, because they don't have to deal with the administrative work of managing the customer's account," Leven says. Helping franchisees save money is more critical now because "business in the travel industry is suffering across the board," he says. The new Web site and Internet-based frequency programs will be available next year. Hawthorne, which is an extended-stay chain, does not have a frequency program.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2020 State of DevOps Report
2020 State of DevOps Report
Download this report today to learn more about the key tools and technologies being utilized, and how organizations deal with the cultural and process changes that DevOps brings. The report also examines the barriers organizations face, as well as the rewards from DevOps including faster application delivery, higher quality products, and quicker recovery from errors in production.
News
The State of Chatbots: Pandemic Edition
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  9/10/2020
Commentary
Deloitte on Cloud, the Edge, and Enterprise Expectations
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  9/14/2020
Slideshows
Data Science: How the Pandemic Has Affected 10 Popular Jobs
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  9/9/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
IT Automation Transforms Network Management
In this special report we will examine the layers of automation and orchestration in IT operations, and how they can provide high availability and greater scale for modern applications and business demands.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll