The redesigned “global window” for Protea Hotels went live yesterday and is said to be fully optimised for the build-up to the FIFA World Cup 2010. This multi-functional website incorporates a simple user interface supported by a powerful backend.
According to iPerceptions Hospitality Industry Report for Q2 2009, only 60% of would-be bookers completed their reservation whilst online and report data suggests that the barrier between browsing and actual sales has more to do with usability than price. The remaining 40% reportedly abandoned their booking due to usability problems with the booking engine and difficulty in navigating the websites.
Given this, the group has made certain that all aspects of its website are customer focused and careful attention to detail has ensured that the site is not only visually appealing, but also easy to use and stable. This has been a major reason for the shift from 5% to 20% of all the hotel group's reservations being made online over a period of four years.
Website promises to deliver…
“One of our business objectives through the website is to drive revenue to our hotels through destination marketing. We make sure that our online presence is aligned with the latest technologies, so we can achieve these objectives,” said Danny Bryer, group marketing & revenue director, Protea Hotels.
“The consumer has three discretionary assets, which are continuously under pressure - money, time and convenience,” says Clinton Arnot, head of online distribution, Protea Hotels. “In terms of money, the website delivers on its guarantee of best available rate; time, in terms of the simplicity of booking a break; and convenience by offering a one stop place for bookings and a source of reference for destination information.”
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