Independent Properties Turn to InnLink
HENDERSONVILLE, TN, September 14, 2006. InnLink, LLC, a leading provider of central reservation services and technology, has announced the addition of several new clients to the company's growing list of independent properties with locations spanning the globe. In 2005, over 150 independent hotels signed on as InnLink clients. With new independent clients signing on daily, the company is well on its way to surpassing last year's growth.
This growth is largely due to the fact that while larger hotel chains have long embraced the necessity of an online presence on sites such as Expedia and Travelocity, independent hotels have recently realized that they may not survive without it.
According to statistics released at TravelCom 2006 by the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA), 25 percent of today's travelers plan their trips on the Internet. Data also cited that more trips were booked online than by any other method. In addition, according to research by Internet Security Systems, the number of travel websites has increased by 25 percent over the past 12 months.
One of InnLink's newest international properties, The Viceroy Bali is located in the island's serene Lembah Valley minutes from the excitement of the famous art community. This independent property recognized that it is critical for them to be available to the online traveler.
"We needed an affordable approach to getting our name in front of travel agents and online consumers," says Anthony Syrowatka, IT manager for the Viceroy. "We found InnLink could help us manage our online visibility and supply us with the services needed to promote our special property."
Quaint country inns, ski lodges, resorts, holiday cabins and campgrounds are turning to InnLink to provide the electronic marketing tools needed to compete in today's highly sophisticated hospitality market. Behind the scenes, the InnLink staff is answering phone calls, booking rooms through website booking engines, sending confirmations and making sure that the hotel guests are handled with utmost care and consideration. InnLink has gained a reputation in the hospitality industry for providing the exceptional customer service essential to survival in the guest services arena.
"We pride ourselves on offering exceptional service and accommodations to our guests," says Marian Burns, owner of the Mira Monte Inn, a historic Bar Harbor bed and breakfast inn. "We expect the same from our vendors, and InnLink provides us with just that."
Another new client, Mt. Baker Lodging, is a good example of how InnLink works with independent hoteliers that have unique circumstances. Because of Mt. Baker Lodging's collection of cabins, cottages, condos, chalets, executive vacation home rentals and bed & breakfasts, the company was looking for a reservation and technology company that had the flexibility to provide services for all of its different properties.
"In looking toward the 2010 Olympics, we knew we needed an online presence," says Mt. Baker Lodging customer service representative Marni Schroeder. "InnLink was extremely helpful in providing the perfect solution for our unusual situation, and now the staff has become a virtual extension of ours by supplying the muscle it takes to market and maintain reservations for this many properties globally."
"Innkeepers and hotel managers are busy running day-to-day operations and accommodating the needs of their guests. Trying to market a property's Internet presence and secure future reservations is a separate full-time job," says InnLink President Michael Young. "We understand this and therefore offer an affordable solution to properties with a variety of services, enabling them to increase bookings and yield more revenue. The InnLink staff knows their business, comprehends the new trends in both hospitality and technology and is committed to helping grow their business."
InnLink is also working closely with several state associations with the goal to reach out to independent properties that need the services provided by InnLink and, as a result, assist in building the tourism industry in that state.
"As the CEO of Maine's largest tourism trade association, membership satisfaction is of the highest priority for me. All of the services, staff and management of InnLink have exceeded my expectations from day one." states Vaughn Stinson, CEO of the Maine Tourism Association. "My members that have chosen to use InnLink as a vendor have been very pleased and continue to profit and benefit from their business relationship with InnLink"
Independent properties are also attracted to the communication methods offered by InnLink. Today's hotelier is no longer relying on traditional methods such as the standard rack brochure and display advertising. Consumers are now shopping rates online, booking reservations on websites and expecting electronic E-mail confirmations.
Furthermore, InnLink continues to develop its online marketing services such as pay-per-click advertising, website banner ads and E-mail blasts, all of which are affordable ways to promote new openings, hotel rates and packages, and promotions to a targeted audience.
"As an independent hotel, InnLink's services are a vital part of our marketing campaign. Visibility to both online shoppers and travel agents is a strategic advantage" states Renee Verhage, Assistant General Manager of CopperLeaf Boutique Hotel in Appleton, Wisconsin. "We worked with InnLink during the months leading up to our grand opening and, as a result, the introduction of our property was a huge success."
"The Internet has created a whole new world of opportunities for the hotelier and their guests," adds Mary Skinner, Director of Marketing for InnLink. "Marketing methods such as E-mail blasts not only save our clients money but also provide additional benefits such as reporting mechanisms. Our clients like that InnLink can provide them with a report on the opened emails from a blast, showing when an email was opened and how the reader clicked back through to the hotel's website."
Mike Otten, Director of Sales expands on this topic, "The advent of communities such as pod casting and personal websites offer a fresh "hunting ground" for a truly innovative reservation provider like InnLink. We believe that the maturing younger generation will continue to use and encourage new technologies that will further depersonalize the reservation booking processes and therefore, InnLink will continue to research ways to incorporate new technologies into our services. In this day and age, it is fundamental for hoteliers to work with a company like InnLink."