Passport Online Launches New Resort Connection Tools

Passport Online announced the launch of its new Resort Connection program to allow travel agents and hotels to improve online marketing. The program allows individual hotels and chains to cost-effectively connect their sales content with consumers who are shopping for their next vacation on thousands of travel agency websites currently powered by Passport Online. Passport Online also reports strong growth in consumer views of agency websites.

“Resort Connection was designed to help hotels break away from the commoditization that has occurred in the way hotels are typically presented to shoppers online,” said Greg Kott, president and CEO of Passport Online Inc. “Instead of just being a ‘Four Star’ hotel, Resort Connection enables hotels to actually differentiate their brand and customer experience – directly to a consumer who is shopping on a travel agent’s website. These consumers are not typically your price driven shoppers, because they already have a trusted relationship with their travel agent.”

Tools include enhanced presentation on the agency website that combine text and rich media, allowing the property to communicate its unique vacation experience directly to the consumer and emphasize value instead of price. Passport Online will enter the content for each property, and it can be updated at any time.

“Travel agents historically produce higher rates and have higher spending consumers than other booking channels," said Kott. "This new tool allows hotels to be more obvious players in the marketing relationship between the travel agent and the agent’s loyal customer.

“We have seen tremendous growth in consumers viewing vacation offers on our travel agency websites, from 1.7 million offer views in 2002 to 7.2 million offer views in 2007. Travel agencies are starting to effectively incorporate their websites into their consumer marketing campaigns. More consumers are shopping for their vacations online and purchasing them offline through a trusted travel agent who can provide the expertise and support they need. Resort Connection is the first program to let hotels capitalize on this trend.”

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