Hospitality eBusiness Strategies Wins Five Awards

. October 14, 2008

NEW YORK, NY, October 10, 2006. Hospitality eBusiness Strategies, (HeBS), New York City, today announced receipt of five 2006 Web Marketing Association WebAwards for outstanding achievement in website development, including the Best Travel Website Award for RIU Hotels & Resorts in Cancun, Mexico, for their RIU Cancun portal (www.riu.com/cancun). This portal provides visitors to Cancun a one-click entry to a wide range of vacation opportunities at the Riu Palace Las Americas, the Riu Caribe and the Riu Cancun. Entries were judged on top web site design, copy writing, innovation, content, interactivity, navigation, and use of technology.

Along with Best Travel Website for 2006, HeBS received Hotel and Lodging Standard of Excellence awards for:

o Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort, Marathon, Florida

o Historic Hotels of America, Washington, DC

o Waterstone Resorts & Vacation Hotels, Panama City Beach, Florida

o Hotel Nexus, Seattle, Washington

HeBS conceptualized the award-winning websites, created the contents, developed the strategies for the sites' user-friendliness, search-friendliness, and booker-friendliness, and provided the Internet marketing strategies, in partnership with its associated design shop Previsual, which designed the RIU Hotels and Resorts website along with the other award-winning websites. You can read more about the awards here: http://www.hospitalityebusiness.com/aboutus/awards.html

Max Starkov, HeBS president and CEO, 'In addition to the unique and creative design, the awards committee values usability issues like the tiered navigational structure, trust and credibility of content, website optimization, and the overall marketing messages. Hoteliers appreciate the increasing importance of these factors in ensuring that an attractive website also produces revenues and grows the direct-to-consumer online distribution strategy. All five award winners clearly understand the competitive advantages of a well executed Internet strategy with a powerful web presence that enables them to reach out directly to their customers lessening dependence on third parties and avoiding price and brand erosion. This award underscores the importance of how a creative, informative, visually pleasing Website can add genuine value to hotel marketing and distribution efforts.'

According to Denis Strekalov, chief web designer of the award-winning sites, 'Hoteliers ability to generate consumer interest in their properties relies on the successful union of an Internet marketing strategy and creative design. We proudly develop sites that create the hotel experience, before the guest steps foot into the hotel. This philosophy has guided our business and we are extremely proud to have our efforts recognized with RIU Hotels & Resorts and the other winners.'

'We are extremely pleased that the RIU Resorts & Hotels website has won this award,' noted Fernando Rodriguez, Consumer Marketing Director for RIU. 'We welcome our guests from around the world through a website that most effectively describes the quality of our properties and the best that Cancun offers. Our web strategy is a very important component of our marketing program in reaching our audience throughout the world, enhancing our competitiveness and adding significant value to our marketing efforts.'

The Web Marketing Association was founded in 1997 to help set a high standard for Internet marketing and web development on the World Wide Web. Staffed by volunteers, this organization is made up of Internet marketing, online advertising, PR, and web site design professionals who share an interest in improving the quality of online advertising, internet marketing, and website promotion.

The WebAward recognizes the very best of website design and development, where entries are judged on several criteria including: innovation, content, technology, interactivity, copywriting and ease of use. Judges are comprised of marketing, advertising, public relations and Internet professionals from more than 40 countries encompassing a wide range of markets and creative and communications disciplines.

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Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.