A recently published article by Hotels Magazine looks at examples how hotels or rather hotel chains have improved their websites. The argument is that 31% of the people who visit an online travel agency site, book directly with the supplier and therefore the supplier websites need to be providing a good service. I’ve made a similar argument in a recent blog entry: Why hotels need an individual website.
The Hotels Magazine article explains how hotel chains start optimising search results, make download times faster and provide more graphics on their websites.
For example, the Sonesta Collection has moved images and flash content from its server to a content delivery network which makes their website download twice as fast. A content delivery network employs servers strategically in multiple geographic locations, each of them containing a cached version of the website, so that delivery time is speed up dramatically.
Another good example they give is the new E-Wave feature on the Paradise by Marriot website.
Marriott has created an interactive kit for the leisure traveler or meeting organiser, including maps and video. They thereby significantly increased the time people spend on their website (+25%). Moreover, users can upload their own video, generate their own itinerary and send it to a friend or travel partner.
To read the full Hotels Magazine article, please click here.